Actions speak louder than words, thoughts on debt collection.
I am just a bit peeved right now and I thought rather than ranting about it and making certain people look bad I would write a somewhat informative post to help those certain somebodies, then I would rant at the end…
Do you receive at least one debt collection letter a month or perhaps you are get debt collection calls… They are annoying and stressful right? So how do you deal with them? Most people simply choose to ignore them, they do this for many reasons.
I know that being in debt is stressful, the collectors are usually jerks, you feel like you will never be able to pay the debt off and that it is just easier to pretend the issue doesn’t exist. I have my fair share of debts and know exactly what you are feeling and thinking, I have some advice for you…
Pay them whatever you can, NOW!!!
Did you get that? Right now send them a check, even if it is only $20.00. Common, get your check books out and write that check!
Don’t argue with me about it. I don’t care if that $20.00 only goes towards interest, I don’t care if they said they will only accept X amount of dollars when you called… Just send them a payment, NOW!
The worst that could happen is they don’t accept the payment but I am telling you the majority of them will cash your check and then you’ll be making good on the debt.
If you don’t deal with the debt (in writing) and if there is no proof that you are making attempts to repay the debt they can and will take legal action against you. I am talking wage garnishment, fund levying and so on… Do you want them to get a judgment against you that forces you to pay even if you can’t afford to or would you rather voluntarily pay what you can afford?
As a consumer you do have rights and options when you owe debt. If the debt collector is rude or uncooperative you can take steps to protect your rights. Those debt collectors want to make it hard for you to repay the debt, I know it sounds crazy but think about it… They want to charge you penalties, interest and milk you for all they can. The more uncooperative and overwhelmed they can make you the better their case is against you.
They tell you they can only accept payment for a certain ungodly amount of money that you obviously can’t afford, this ensures you are feeling defeated and trapped. You will either agree to pay them the amount they are demanding and you will default on the agreement or you will avoid contact with them all together. Either way you loose, right? Well that is what they want you to think!
Are they bullying or harassing you? Are they refusing to provide you with requested information about your debt? Could the allegedly owed amount be wrong? If you answered yes to any of these questions chances are they violated the fair debt collection laws and you do have options!
Forget what the collector has said you must do, chances are they are just screwing you. Here is what you need to do right now to cover your butt in regards to your owed debt:
- Write letter to the creditor (send it via certified mail) asking that the validity of the debt be proven, in writing.
- Report the collector to the FTC if they violated the fair debt collection laws.
- File a complaint with BBB outlining your issues with the creditor and their collection practices.
- Make a good faith attempt to repay the debt by sending any payment amount you can afford.
It is that simple! Send them some money, send them a letter that documents your attempts to gain account information, report their unfair practices and you are done! Each month just pay them what you can, don’t skip a month and you’ll be repaying the debt without having to deal with the nasty creditors plus you will be protecting yourself from the legal repercussions of not “making good” on a debt.
A personal story about debt collection:
Just last night a major debt/ collection issue was brought to my attention that inspired this post. Apparently the Department of Education has been waiting for someone to begin repaying money borrowed. The requests for payment were confusing and overwhelming so they got ignored then the collection letters came.
The collector gave that certain somebody the runaround via the phone over the course of 3 months. This collector was “on vacation”, then he failed to return calls or provide the requested information regarding the debt and repayment options. The certain somebody thought the issue was being dealt with but the collector was actually just buying more time.
Surprise, a wage garnishment threat has arrived in the mail! Phone calls were again made to the collector, he was rude, uncooperative and made several attempts to break down and anger the certain somebody. Eventually the collector conveys that no payment under $2000 would be accepted, more confusing and overwhelming repayment options were discussed and at the end of it all that somebody was left feeling like there was nothing that could be done.
Finally this information was brought to my attention and I became livid! Simply sending a payment in whatever amount that could be managed would have prevented this whole situation! They try to confuse you and make you think you can’t pay them what you want, in doing this they buy themselves time to charge you penalty fees and to take legal action against you. This makes them more money!!!
If you make attempts to pay your debt they can’t claim you are refusing responsibility of the debt, which means they can’t take legal action against you. If you dispute the debt in writing via certified letter they are required by law to prove the validity of the debt BEFORE they can force you to pay. Note: Phone calls to creditors are not legal proof of an attempt to make good on a debt.
It takes 15 minutes to draft up a dispute letter and send a payment folks and it could save you tons of stress and legal repercussions! Heed my advice guys, dispute the debt in writing and send any payment you can afford, do it right now. If the collectors are violating the law you should also report them.
Don’t sit idle and let the case pile up against you, take action, protect your consumer rights and make some financial attempt to repay your debt- it is what the collectors don’t want you to do and that is exactly why you need to do it!