Let’s say that you ran into some financial troubles for whatever reason and you got behind on your bills; way behind. By now you have debt collectors calling you, sending you notices in the mail and just making your life downright miserable. You work hard, you try to pay your bills and you even got an unsecured credit card for bad credit and you are trying to rebuild your finances and get everything back on track but they still keep calling you. Knowing how to deal with debt collection can be the difference between getting ahead and keeping yourself in the endless cycle of financial abuse.
Just like anyone else, debt collectors have a job to do and because you are behind on your debt, you become a big part of their job. That isn’t to say that they can just harass you at will and make your life miserable’ there are regulations they must follow and if they don’t, you could have grounds for recourse. We’ll take a look at that some other time. Right now, I want to talk about the 5 ways you can deal with debt collection and not let it ruin your day.
Know your rights.
Do not let anyone push you around, especially debt collectors. They have guidelines they must follow and they must treat you with respect and dignity no matter what. Read up on your rights at the USFTC website, specifically the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You will learn a lot about the responsibilities and actions of debt collectors and know when you are being harassed.
Do not ignore debt collection calls.
This doesn’t make them go away and it could make matters much worse. You will find that by answering the phone, you can make amicable arrangements with them to pay off your debt in easy monthly installments that can even be linked to your unsecured credit card for bad credit.
Do not give them too much information.
If they ask you for financial information like bank accounts. Don’t give it to them. If they start asking about how you are paying for other debts but not them, don’t answer that. They are just trying to bait you and get you to send them some sort of payment.
Remember, even giving them one payment will reset the clock on the debt. Always ask for proof of the debt and pay close attention to the last date of payment. It may be a time-barred debt.
Avoid debt collection process.
Another way that you can deal successfully with debt collectors is to avoid the debt collection process altogether.
Whenever possible. Deal with the original creditor.
Find a Debt Management Plan.
Find a plan that works for you and stick with it. There are many credit counseling firms available that can get you on the right track and help keep you there. You can find them online or through your local credit union. Staying in control of your debt will make your life much more enjoyable and end the harassing phone calls, letters and emails from debt collectors for good.
Get Everything In Writing
Also, when working with a debt collection agency, a good practice is to keep accurate records of any payments or arrangements that you make. This will benefit you in the future if there is a dispute with your account.
Be sure to get any arrangements that you make with a debt collector in writing; don’t ever go by their word. Keep in mind if they don’t do as they promised the only proof you have of the arrangement is the letter you get from them, on their letterhead, signed by a manager with their title clearly written out on the agreement.
The agreement should be very clear. If they tell you on the phone that they will remove the item from your credit report, but it’s not on the letter they send you. They probably have no intention of removing it.
Without the letter, you have no proof.