Debt collection calls are some of the most frustrating calls you can ever deal with. If you have received those calls before you’ll agree with me. I have had to deal with them too so I can relate. Even people who don’t owe anyone anything have had to put up with the devastating calls for one reason or another. When debt collectors start calling you, they aim to torment you. The calls just won’t stop. Thank God for debt consolidation services; they transform your credit card debts into one debt which can be paid on a monthly basis at a small interest; they make the debt collection calls go away like magic. We have helped many of our clients handle debt collectors and we’ll be happy to put you on a program which will help you out of debt. On this post, we’ll share with you some do’s and don’ts on dealing with debt collectors.
Many people tolerate these calls out of fear that failure to pay the debts or failure to receive the calls would have some effect on their credit score. That’s a misconception which debt collectors have fed debtors minds on. First, paying off your debt to some debt collection account as per a statement on your credit report does not improve your credit score, and failure to pay does not make your credit score go down. On many occasions, most debt collectors are not even legitimate companies. They are money hungry initiative which collude with an attorney’s office to use the office’s “authority” to scare you into paying off a debt. So here are some valuable tips that would save you the torment which comes with the calls.
Don’t fear the caller—challenge him or her; put up a fight.
Managing your credit situation can be challenging but it doesn’t make you less of a human being. You are a citizen with rights and you can use those rights to your advantage. When you give in to all demands made by the caller—game over, they will get into your mind and drive you crazy. You may even end up paying a debt you don’t owe or paying more money than you owe.
Know your rights
The first step to dealing with the caller is knowing your rights. Know your rights and let the caller know that you know your rights. Tell them that you know when they should call you, what they should talk to you about and what they can’t tell you. If you can, record the first call and use it to collect as much information as you can on the call agency and what they claim you owe them. Verify it against your records and use any irregularities as a defense. Be firm and authoritative. Here are a few things the debt collection agency is allowed/not allowed to do:
- They should not call you all through the day, it’s unethical
- They can only call you during business hours
- They are not allowed to use threats or abusive language
- They must stick to the subject of debt collection and nothing personal
- They must provide their identity when you request for it
- They don’t have a right to interests or a service fee
Is the debt collection agency legit?
If anyone has the guts to push you around over unpaid loans, at least it should be a legitimate company. Unfortunately, most debts collection agencies are scams. Some will even insinuate that they have bought your debt from your creditor even when you’d paid the debt off. If they can scare you enough, you’d pay the “debt” without giving it a second thought. So be sure to request the caller for their company name, call the registrar of companies or the Better Business Bureau and inquire if the company exists. Launcher a search on Google to see if the company name exists and get as much information to prove the legitimacy of the company before you give in to their demands.
Countercheck the records on the debt claim
While the debt claim may be true and the debt collector legit, the records may not be accurate. Many debt collection agencies are very cunning and may alter the figures in order to make money they don’t deserve from you. Say they claim they bought a debt which you took five years ago. Your debt might have been for $20, but since it’s been years and you probably don’t have the records they may claim it was for $200 and insist on your paying the full amount on stringent timelines. Find out as much data on your loans and verify that the claims are accurate before you pay a dime.
Request for a proof of the debt in print or writing
Unless a phone call is recorded it cannot be used as evidence in a court of law. If you make a payment based on a mere phone call they may even claim that the payment was for a different service. Try as much as you can to document all claims and transactions between you and the debt collection agency.
Request for proof of payment
Once you clear the debt, request for a proof of payment. There have been cases of the creditors using different debt collectors to collect the same debt. Ask the collector to provide you with receipts for all payments you make towards the debt and keep them safe.
Ignore the calls
At this point you have probably told the caller that you need a proof of the debt in writing and they can’t produce it. You can go radio silent. Until they can produce all the proof you need, they have no case against you. Don’t yield and avoid any communication with them until you get valid proof of the debt. If they guilt you or threaten you, try as much as you can to record the treats and let them know that if they continue calling you, you may take a legal action against them.
Mention that you are willing to settle the debt through a claims court
Claims court handle cases related to debts over $5000 while small claims court handle cases related to debts under $5000. Depending on how much you owe the creditor, tell the caller that you are willing to settle the issue through a claims court and be specific on a court of your choice. The mention of court alone would work wonders. Many debt collection agencies are illegitimate and would not want anything to do with a court. Simply mentioning a court action will scare them enough to leave you alone.
We hope that you found this post informing on how to handle debt collection calls. For more information on debt collection and debt consolidation, get in touch with us and we will willingly help you.