I don’t ever want to get to a place where all I want to do when my phone rings, is to throw it as far away as I can and hide. What is your reaction when you know the collectors will be calling, harassing you to pay a bill you know you can’t pay? Don’t they know if you had the money or ability to pay it you would have? Why won’t they just leave you alone? These are probably just a few of the thoughts and questions that go through your head when dealing with debt collection agencies calling you for a debt you have in collections. Debt collection agencies can be relentless, and many of their employees have no problem harassing you and making threats if you don’t pay them. Well, it is time to stop avoiding these calls and start enjoying your phone again!
Are you getting constant calls from debt collectors who are threatening you about your overdue debt? You need to know how to deal with these calls and how to stop them for good. There are always ways to work with your debt and negotiate the amount to pay less. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when it comes to negotiating debt. You do not have to pay it all! Negotiation is the key to solving all you’re your debt worries.
Organize all of your debts before you get started:
It can be very overwhelming to even think about tackling your debt on your own, but as long as you are organized and methodical about it is an attainable goal. Go through all three of your credit reports to ensure you have all of the bills and information for any outstanding debt you have and then get organized. If you like to use technology, create a spreadsheet. If you are a pen and paper person, make a list. You will need to have the total debt you owe, the phone number of the debt collection agency, and the account number. Take control of the situation, and don’t let them call and bully you into paying. They want you to pay, so keep that in mind and hold onto that power for the conversations you will be having with them.
Don’t give in to their demands on the first call:
Before you take or make any calls to or from the collection agencies, make sure you are calm and ready to speak to them. They will often try to harras you into making a decision right there and then without thinking about it so they get the best deal and you don’t. There is no pressure to make a payment on the first phone call, and quite honestly, you should not pay them anything until you have a written settlement agreement.
You may think that giving in and paying the debt collection agencies is the best thing to do when it comes to collection calls, but paying is not the answer.
First, make sure the debt is actually yours, and that the amount is correct. Check it with your records. That is why it is crucial to go into these calls armed with an organized list. If you feel there is an error on your credit report, you can challenge it, have it investigated ad ultimately taken off of your credit report.
When it comes to debt, collections agencies buy it from the banks for a reduced amount, once the bill is more than 180-days overdue in most cases. When this debt is sold, the information can sometimes be transferred incorrectly. This is why it is essential to check first and make sure that it is not only your debt, but also the amount is correct.
Once you know exactly what debts you have to have investigated and what bills are correct, you can move to the next step and start negotiating the amount you are going to pay them to settle. Remember to stay calm, don’t play into their games. They are there to put pressure on you so you will pay more as fast as possible. They will tell you that you don’t need to see the amount in writing, and you should just pay them on a credit card that day! If you stay calm, you will be able to negotiate and push for the paperwork, so you have the best price and records to prove it. Keep in mind; this process only works for bills that are already in collections. If you are looking for a solution to lower payments on bills that are not in collections, look into debt consolidation or balance transfers as a great option!
Keep Records of everything:
Now that you have an open line of communication with the collection agencies, make sure you document everything. Always write down your interactions. Such as, what you spoke about and how much you negotiated for during the call. What did they offer you? What did they say would happen if you did not pay that same day? Make sure to always get the name of the person you are speaking with on each call you make. This way, if they attempt to go back on the negotiation, you have it in writing that they said otherwise. Also, make sure to always request a written invoice from the debt collector as proof of the conversation.
You have options if you don’t want to do this on your own:
If you don’t feel comfortable negotiating your debt amounts, you can call a professional debt settlement company. They will help you with the whole process! Make sure you do your research on the company. Never work with a settlement company that tells you to stop paying your debt so it can be settled!
Managing Your Debt:
Once you have a settled amount, you can either decide to pay off the amount in one payment or set up a payment plan. It is essential to follow through on this step in the process of completing your settlement journey! From here, you can move on without worrying or being harassed by collection agencies! Your credit will show that the debt was settled, and your score will go up once the payments are made! Financial freedom is just a phone call away!