When you’re just a day late from making a credit card, mortgage, or other debt payment, companies can start blowing up your phone. A debt collector is a person (or company) who works to collect a debt on behalf of someone else. While larger companies have their own in-house collections department, the same rules apply. A person gives you a ring to collect on a payment that has been deemed “past due”. The CGS Team is sharing a few simple ways to help you deal with debt collectors once and for all.
How to Deal with Debt Collectors...
Know Your Rights
First and foremost, consumers are protected from unfair or harassing collection attempts, thanks to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. What does this mean? Well, debt collectors are not allowed to call borrowers before the hours of 8am and after the hours of 9pm (in the borrower’s time zone). Debt collectors are also not allowed to make multiple attempts on the same contact number if a voicemail message has already been left. If you are dealing with nagging debt collectors, it pays to know your rights. Learn more about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
If You Don’t Owe Money, Dispute the Debt
Did you know that a debt collector, within 5 days of contacting you, is required to send you a notice stating the amount of money you owe and who you owe the money to? If you don’t agree with debt, you can submit a certified letter within 30 days of receiving the notice. The letter should be sent certified to the debt collection company and they will no longer be allowed to contact you. Make sure you keep a record of any correspondence sent.
Start Recording the Calls
If you don’t believe you owe the debt, or if you believe the debt collector is harassing you, start recording all of the calls you receive. Keep a copy of any correspondence received or sent to the debt collection agency, as well as any voice mails they may have left you. Should a case be created, a good record of everything can help your situation immensely. Do note that most lenders hang up when they know calls are recorded. Don't tell them you are recording the call, unless you want them to disconnect.
Consider a Repayment Plan
It may not always be an option, but a debt collector would rather collect some debt as opposed to no debt. This means that they may be willing to work with you, especially if you are experiencing a financial hardship. If you are past due on a mortgage, there are numerous options available. Check out the article Foreclosure Alternatives Everyone Should Know About. If your debt is not a mortgage, there may still be a repayment option for you. You never know unless you ask.
If you find yourself in a financial crisis and your bills fall past due, don’t be discouraged. Debt collectors can start calling 24 hours after a payment is due. Make sure you are fully aware of your rights as a consumer and do you best to pay the bill as quickly as possible. Have you ever received a call from a debt collector? How was the experience? Have you been harassed by a debt collector before? This is a serious subject, so let’s get vocal! Share your experiences by leaving a comment or post reply below.