What To Do When You’ve Been “Tagged” for Someone Else’s Debt
Debt tagging occurs when collectors aggressively target the wrong person for a debt. This situation is usually caused by outdated information. Collectors erroneously report the outstanding debt to the two major credit bureaus, “tagging” the innocent person’s credit record. These cases exact a toll on victims by damaging credit and taking months to resolve.
Consumers can protect themselves by following these five tips:
- Ask for it in writing. When a debt collector first calls, ask him to send a written notice. Collectors should not try to collect a debt without first notifying you in writing or making a reasonable attempt to do so.
- Tell them that they are wrong. If you don’t owe the debt, tell the collector he’s got the wrong person. Ask for the collector’s mailing address. Send a letter restating that he’s got the wrong person, and ask him to stop contacting you.
- Keep track of all calls. Track any subsequent calls from the collector.
- Contact industry trade groups. If verbal and written communication doesn’t work, contact the Consumer Affairs office of your province.
- Check your credit report to make sure the debt hasn’t been mistakenly attached to your report.