Top 8 Ways To Deal With Debt Collectors
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Many people feel intimidated when dealing with debt collectors and often avoid them entirely or give in and pay them whatever they want to make them go away, but that is not the best way to deal with them. They often engage in harassment of the people they are trying to collect from in order to get them to feel like they need to give in and pay them whatever they want. It is time to take a stand against these nonstop calls and nasty attitudes from the debt collection agencies. Don’t let them bully you. It is time to bully them back, get yourself out of debt, and negotiate them down to get the best deal for yourself, not debt collectors. So how do you go about this? What do you do to stop the calls and start negotiations? Is it better to hire a debt negotiation agency?
1. Only You Can Decide If You Feel Comfortable Enough To Negotiate On Your Own, Or If You Want To Hire A Debt Negotiation Agency:
When it comes to negotiating, only you can decide if you want to get on the one and make your stand. There is nothing wrong with hiring a company to do the negotiating for you. Get your bills together, and you can even try out a call or two on your own before deciding to make all of the calls on your own or not. There is no shame in turning the reins over to an agency as long as you come out on top with no debt at the end of the process. Make sure if you do hire a debt negotiation agency that they do not tell you to stop paying your other bills so they can negotiate those as well. That will hurt you more than help you.
2. Know Your Rights And Record All Of Your Conversations:
It is essential to know what you are going up against when dealing with the harassing threats of the debt collection agencies. Some will do almost anything to get payment even if their threats are actually illegal. Make sure you know your rights so you can shut down their threats as soon as they start. Under no circumstances are debt collection agencies allowed to call you before 8 am or after 9 pm. They are also not allowed to threaten you by saying you will be arrested and can’t threaten to sell your property. They cannot threaten to seize your wages or garnish your salary unless permitted by law or intend to do so.
3.Have Your Original Bills As Proof Of Debt Amount:
Go through your bills and make sure you have your paperwork as proof of the amount you owe. Very often, when the debt is sold to collection agencies, the amounts are misreported. You may also even be harassed for a debt you don’t owe or have already paid! If you have the receipt or have proof you don’t owe on that account, it will help you get out of that debt even faster. If it is your debt, and you do negotiate the amount, use that bill as proof of the starting amount for negotiation.
4. Get Everything In Writing-Keep Copies and Records:
It is crucial when you are negotiating with the collection agencies that you get the negotiation amount in writing, that you get the new amount in writing before you pay them anything. If you don’t get the new amount in writing, they can come back later and say that you did not pay the bill in full, and the problems may start all over again. If you have the settlement amount in writing, you have proof that the account will be settled once the new amount is paid. It will then show up on your credit report as settled. Once you pay the debt, get a receipt and keep it in your records as proof of settlement.
5. Don’t Let Them Bully You Out Of A Payment Plan:
Depending on how much you settle for and how much debt you owe, even the settled amount may be too much to pay all at once. Don’t be afraid to fight for a payment plan. The debt collectors will try to tell you that the deal will expire if you don’t pay all at once, but that is not the case. Remember, you are the one with the power. They want you to pay, and they want the debt settled. Break the settlement up into a payment plan you can afford and build it into your monthly budget, so you don’t end up with any more debt in collections.
6. Use Certified Mail:
Track all the mail going back and forth between yourself and the debt collection agency and keep copies of everything. The last thing you need is them saying your paperwork got lost in the mail. If you have copies and tracking numbers, they can’t lie about anything.
7. Safeguard Your Bank Accounts:
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, of you ask for validation from the debt collection agency in writing before paying, they have to provide you with a written letter proving they are a real collection agency and cannot pursue you any further until they have proven they have the correct debt. If you suspect anything is wrong, asking for validation helps prevent any further problems in the future.
8. Find A Debt Management Lawyer:
Find a lawyer to have on the back burner, just in case you need to push back further with illegal threats. It is always good to have legal backup when dealing with illegal threats and harassment.
What do you do if you still don’t feel comfortable calling the debt collectors on your own, but you still want to get them off your back?
The other option you have is to hire a credit repair or debt negotiation agency. They have trained representatives that will complete the process for you, keep you informed, and most of all they will be making all of the phone calls you don’t have to feel intimidated.An agency such as CuraDebt is a great option if you are feeling this way. Just remember, when using any agency, they can only negotiate the debt you already have in collections. It will hurt your credit to let any other debt you have in collections to negotiate it. Pay your other debt down in other ways such as budgeting or debt consolidation.
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