In the American Justice System, you ALWAYS have the right to remain silent, and to not incriminate yourself.  That applies equally to a phone call,  testimony in a court of law, a traffic stop, or a debt collection attorney.  The better question is “Should you” not “Do you have to”.

However, the debt collection process usually starts with a default on paying a debt.  Following that, the national average is that a business will try to contact you 6 times about paying that debt.   That’s an average, and not a requirement.   Debts are then turned over to a collection agency.  The agency is not an attorney.  They have limited ways within the law to reach you to attempt to settle a debt.

When their efforts fail, they may turn the debt over to an attorney.  Now your debt is likely seriously past due and likely has accumulated significant interest.   Unlike an agency, an attorney has the ability to take you to court over the debt.  If the debt truly is not yours, and there is a legitimate mistake, you could still end up in court, if you don’t communicate with the attorneys’ office.  If the debt is actually owed, but you are able to make payments, if you don’t communicate with the debt collection attorneys’ office, you lose much of the ability you have to work with someone, other than a judge.

In court, if the judge finds in favor of the creditor, you could have your wages garnished, or assets seized.  While you have the absolute right to not speak to a debt collection attorney, we believe it is in most debtors’ best interest to work with the attorney and stop the collection escalation.

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