When you are behind on your payments, you can certainly expect that collection calls will start to pour in. It doesn’t really matter if you have a big debt or not. The process is the same and no one enjoys these exchanges anymore than you would a recurring sickness.
Debt collection calls can make your life miserable. That is the reason why you need to know the intelligent way to handle these debt collectors. If you are not careful, you may be persuaded to do something that is not to your benefit and you can end up in a worse situation than when you started. It pays to know the right way that you can talk and deal with these debt professionals.
Dealing with collection calls
The best way to deal with a collection call is by having the right attitude for it. You have to understand that although the economy had a hand in your financial difficulty or your ex-spouse put you in debt, the debt is still under your name. Unless you had been a victim of identity theft, it is your responsibility to pay off your debt. Here are some of our suggestions when you are dealing with debt collectors.
Be polite. Debt collectors can be rude. There is no doubt about it. They are driven to get you to pay for what you owe and that can make them say really nasty things. But even if you know that these people have that tendency, that does not mean you should not be polite when you start the conversation. Sometimes, there are collectors who will respond with the same courtesy that you will show them. They may even be cooperative in helping you pay off your debts.
Be patient. The longer you drag the debt collection, the better it will be for you because the collector will be more desperate to get money from you. Once your debt is beyond the statute of limitations, they can no longer take you to court for that particular debt. Just be patient and keep your emotions in check so the collector will not have the power to stress you out.
Be consistent. If you are unable to pay your debt because of a financial crisis or an illness, stick to that story. You don’t have to embellish your story if you really cannot afford to pay your dues.
Be on your guard. Most of these collectors will tell you things that will really wind you up. You have to be on guard and you need to check if the collector is really who they say they are. Get their details and make sure that you take note who you are calling, the company they are working with and the original creditor of the debt being collected. Have them verify your debt to ensure that it is really yours. Make sure to call the creditor too so you can check that the collector has the right to collect on your debt with them.
Be prepared. There are ways for you to prepare for collection calls. This preparation will help keep you from being too intimidated by what will be said to you. Do not take these calls lightly because a lot of people end up with unbearable stress caused by debt collectors.
How to prepare when debt collectors start calling
Technically, there is nothing wrong with the job of a debt collector. We still encourage that the above mentioned traits be enforced but you need to know that there are debt collectors out there who are really out to break you. While it cannot be said about all debt collectors, they are given a bad name nevertheless. There are debt collectors who are trained to use only the best debt collection practice and some of them really follow through. However, know that these professionals are not angels. Here is an interesting video from ABC News about audio tapes bearing the proof of bad debt collection practices.
There is really nothing that you can do about these except to prepare for the collection calls. Here are some of our suggestions.
Know your rights. As soon as you know that you cannot afford to make your payments, you have to learn what the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act say about you. FDCPA for short, this law states how debt collectors must and must not collect from you. This will help you determine when they are bluffing or crossing the line.
Know your debts. There are debt collection agencies who buy out old debts from creditors. To avoid being tricked to pay something that you never should, you have to know your debts. Identify if there are debts that are past the statute of limitations or if you are being harassed for a debt that you did not make in the first place.
Know your debt relief plan. Regardless of how financially hard up you are, you need to start considering a debt relief plan. You have to pay off your debt somehow. If it involves a simple restructuring of debts or a more significant debt reduction, you have to choose a plan to get out of your credit problems.
In the end, your knowledge of the whole thing and your rights as a consumer will help you deal with abusive debt collectors. You can explore more of your rights by visiting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website.