• How to Deal With Debt Collectors

    Nobody ever imagines that the sound of a phone ringing would be frightening. YES, the dreaded toll free number on the caller I.D. For anyone who has gotten behind on their bills, the sound of a phone ringing means that a debt collector may be after them. And anyone who has ever dealt with a debt collector knows how unpleasant that situation can be. A debt collector’s job is to get you to repay the debt you owe. They typically only get paid if you pay your debt, so many are quite aggressive in their collection efforts. But fortunately for you, you do not have to live in fear of your phone ringing or avoiding all phone calls where your caller ID may read private. There are many ways you can deal with a debt collector and ensure you are treated fairly.

    When dealing with debt collectors it is important that you know your rights. There is a federal law, called The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which details what debt collectors can and cannot do. The main points that debtors should know are that debt collectors can only call between the hours of 8 a.m. through 9 p.m. and that the collector many not lie, harass or use unfair practice to get you to pay a debt. If the debt collection agency is not following the law, a complaint can be filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC.) The FTC enforces the law and can fine debt collectors who do not comply.

    Once you know your rights, it is time for you to deal with the debt collector. When dealing with a debt collector, you are commonly given two options to repay the debt. One is to make a large sum payment for a percentage of what you owe and be done with the debt and the second option is to set a repayment plan until your entire balance is paid in full. It is important for you to sit down and figure out how much you can either afford to pay right now to eliminate the debt or how much you can pay monthly. There are pros and cons to each, so do your homework before deciding which option is best for you. Then, have these numbers in your head when talking to a debt collector. Do not let the debt collector push you into paying more than you can afford to, as this is just setting yourself up for failure again. Remain calm and keep your composure when discussing a payment plan. Should the debt collector become verbally abusive, hang up and request that all future correspondence be sent in writing. Once you make a payment plan with the debt collector, it is important you follow through. The debt collector will no longer contact you when the debt is paid off.

    A debt collector will not magically disappear if you are unresponsive and can sue and place a judgment against you if you do legally owe the money. It is important that you do not bury your head in the sand and hope this all goes away, because it will not. If you find yourself in debt or with debt collectors calling and you are unable or unsure how to handle the situation yourself, My Financial Corner can find the best solution to help you out. Call us now and let us help you!

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