Debt collector and Withdrawals from my Bank Account

by Sandra

I gave permission for the debt collector to withdrawl the balance I owed from my bank account. We arranged it in two payments. The first payment was taken out on the date stated, but the second portion of my payment was not withdrawn from my account on the date it was set up to do so. I called the agency who said the debt was paid in full and is sending me a proof of payment for this account. Can they still go into my bank account and withdrawl the money?

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Mar 14, 2011
Debt Collector and Withdrawals from My Bank Account

In the future, NEVER give a debt collector permission to withdraw money from your bank account. It's dangerous for a couple reasons: You are sharing highly personal information with a business you really know nothing about and exposing yourself to the potential of identity theft; you have no way of knowing whether the collection agency will withdraw more money from your account than it is supposed to; and you can end in situations like the one you are writing about. Always pay a debt collector with a bank certified check or via Western Union.

My only explanation for why the debt collector says that your debt was paid in full is that its records are incorrect, assuming you are 100% sure that the second withdrawal was not made. Wait for the collector to send you its proof of payment, but in the meantime, be sure to leave enough money in your account that if it realizes the second payment was not made and debits your account for it, you'll be able to cover the payment. Once you have the proof in hand, I suggest that you contact a consumer law attorney in your area who helps consumers resolve debt collection problems for advice about what to do next. Bring the proof that the collector provided you to your attorney meeting.

At some point, and the timing is something you should talk about with the attorney, you should close your bank account and open a new one at your bank as a means of protecting yourself from the possibility that someone associated with the collection agency will withdraw money from it without your permission now that you have shared your account number with the agency. However, don't close the account without consulting with an attorney first.

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