Debt Collector

I Keep Getting Threatening Emails About a Debt

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I keep getting threatening e-mails saying that I will have to hire a lawyer, appear in court, & other threats.

What should I do?



Dear Paul,

It’s hard to give some general advice on your situation. I’d love to label all such emails as a scam but there is always the legitimate collection company that just doesn’t quite play by the rules.

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So I think you should evaluate the email with a cautious eye. First, I’d want to know if the debt they claim you owe is true. Does it look like a plausible claim?

How old is this debt? If it is very old and the request is legitimate, then answering might trigger a reset of the statute of limitations if you accidentally acknowledge the debt or promise a payment.

But if you wanted to try and get some facts about this specific debt, you can attempt to validate the debt following these steps.

If this is a debt from a payday loan company or some other easy money lender, those typically are just a scam. People purchase old customer lists and then try to scare people into making payments for debts they don’t owe.

If you could give me some more details by posting them in the comments section, I’d be happy to give you more advice.

My opinion is this is 80% a scam email and maybe 20% worth learning more about the claims.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


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