I have some friends with big muscle around me, but I never thought that one of them is a bill collector. Debt collecting is a bit violent profession. Well, at least, in my eyes. I don’t think it interested any of my friends. But, I was wrong. My slender friend in Junior High School has become a muscle collector! I just couldn’t believe it. So, that noon, we talked about what he does.
Of course, my friend didn’t reveal all of his things. But since the day, I more or less have known how the collectors work, how they target a debtor, as well as their tactics.
The debt collectors will try various means to collect payments from you. Or else, the worst case, your house will be gone. See this possibility: when a creditor hires a collector, the creditor still holds the right to your account while the collector only acts on their behalf. But once the creditor sold your account (for instance because they doubt that you can pay), the collector automatically owns your account.
This is when your thriller begins, because they can harass. However, don’t sweat too much. Keep calm and:
- Stop ignoring the debt collectors’ arrivals, calls, or letter. It can only be worse. The collector may take you into court.
- Don’t discuss your finances too detail. It can be your blunder. The collector may use that against you. Remember, the only goal of the collector is collecting payments from you.
- Put the recorder on. You can use such records as proof against collectors who abuse the law. If secret taping isn’t allowed in your state, get the collector permission first.
- Verify the debt. You need to send a written request to the agency asking them to prove that you owe something. You know, the collectors often contact debtors for old accounts where the SOL (Statute of Limitations) has expired or for accounts which have already been paid off.
- Ask for some time to pay off the account. Negotiate to reschedule it based on what you can afford.
- Send a Cease and Desist Letter. My colleague did this. He dealt with the creditor directly, and it end up with a win-win solution. By that, you can request them to stop contacting you.
- When everything didn’t work, you are required to keep calm. Don’t do something regrettable. The collectors are trained to act annoyingly. If you can’t control your emotion, the debt that’s in civil law can be a criminal law that would harm you in the courthouse.
Actually, dealing with creditors and debt collectors is easier when you’re aware of their tactics, the laws, and the consumer’s rights. At the end, the best choice is still pay your bill on time.
Photo from Credit.about.com