Federal law prohibits collection of more than the amount you actually owe. However, certain fees can apply. Creditors or collection agencies can add penalties for late payments, interest, and attorney fees for creditors. These are usually allowed if they're discussed in the small print of the credit card contract.

Be sure to ask the creditor for detailed information about the amount of the original debt as well as interest and fees charged. You should have a clear idea of exactly what your debt amount is and why.

You should also request a validation notice. Creditors are required to send a written validation notice telling you how much money you owe within five days of their first contact with you. This notice also must include the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money, and how to proceed if you don’t think you owe the debt. (Don't pay debts you don't owe!)

If the debt has been wrongly charged or added to incorrectly, you can file a complaint against the creditor with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, your state attorney general’s office, the Better Business Bureau, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, or the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

Castle Law Office has been handling bankruptcies for Kansas City clients from more than 14 years. If you need the fresh start bankruptcy can provide, call us today at 816-842-6200 to speak with an attorney. Or click here to email us and schedule your free consultation.