Living life with debt has become a standard part of the American Dream. Most large purchases are done on credit, and even some everyday purchases such a gas. These then turn into agreements to make monthly payments. Should you ever be guilty of missing, just being late, on your payment, you will become inundated with phone calls to collect that debt.
I’ve been there; on both ends of the phone. I’ve collected on those debts and also have been called to collect owed debt. Neither is a good position to be in. But it is a relationship that should not be dodged. You miss the phone call, reject the call, do not return the call, your credit is negatively impacted. It may appear to be an easy way to handle the situation, but it never goes away. When you need credit and your score is not acceptable, you quickly recall those debts.
I have six suggestions for those receiving debt calls. It will help you to end harassment and work on a solution to collecting the debt.
Steps to Handling Creditors
1. Your debt is their income
Remind the collector that they should treat you with kindness. Besides the fact that every human being should be afforded that basic right, if you did not have a debt for them to collect, the roles would be reversed. They would have no debt to collect and no income to pay their own debt.
2. Let’s make a deal
Most creditors are willing to work with their debtors. By making an arrangement, you are showing intent and they are more willing to work with those who have good intentions.
Document the phone call. Document who you spoke with, what time, the time zone, and the date. Should you make an arrangement, you will be able to reference the exact time the arrangement was made. Should the organization not honor the arrangement, you will be able to request their phone records which will show them where they have dropped the ball.
4. Wrong number
If a collector calls you at a phone number that you do not want them to use, simply request that. Verbally state that you want this number removed from your records and they cannot call you at that number. Should they say they can, remind them you know the laws and all you need is a verbal request to have the phone number removed.
5. Community Property?
The creditor cannot, legally, discuss your account, anything about it, to anyone. This is unless you live in a community property state, where, in such a state, they can speak to your spouse about the account.
6. Your Ace in the Hole
If your creditor continues to give you trouble, ie. Doesn’t honor an arrangement, continues to call when you requested they do not, shares account info with others. You can talk to them about it. Share your concern and ask to speak with a Supervisor. If the Supervisor shows no intent to change the behaviors of their collectors, inform them you will be contacting the State Attorney General and reporting the incident. Such statement almost always gets results. If it does not, follow through with your promise. Contact your State Attorney General and report the organization to the Better Business Bureau.
These are the 6 rules I follow. It will not wipe out your debt, but it will minimize harassment and hopefully help you come to a resolution. That is, a payment arrangement that is acceptable to the creditor and manageable to you.