How to Deal with a Debt Collector
Just the title of today’s blog entry seems a bit unfeasible. How can you deal with a debt collector, especially if they are threatening you, and/or using obscene language? Here are three primary rules of thumb you should take into account if you are being continuously called by a collector.
First, figure out why you are being called. Chances are someone is calling to collect on a debt and they have not received payment for several months. Or it could be an older debt that was sold to a third-party debt collector and they are trying to get as much money from you as possible. You need to make sure you understand the specifics of the debt. How much are they trying to collect? What for? How old is the debt? Do you remember the debt?
Get as much info as possible the name of the collector calling, the name of the collection agency, the creditor, the address and fax number for sending correspondence
Also, make sure that if you have never received written correspondence pertaining to the debt that you tell the collector you expect to receive a written follow-up following this call.
Unfortunately, identity theft is still running rampant so you may be getting calls after an impostor used your identity to seek credit. You would not be responsible for this debt, but you may experience a tremendous amount of resistance convincing the collector that you were a victim.
Second, do not disregard or ignore the calls. This debt may create a negative effect on your credit report so you want to research the matter and write everything down for your file.
Third, fight for your right to privacy. If you are first hearing of this debt through a collection call, tell the collector that from this point forward, you want all further correspondence in writing. You can also tell a collector that you do not want them calling you at work. From the moment you start speaking to a collector, you want to make notes of each and every conversation for your file. It is also important that you send written requests as well to follow up on what’s discussed on the phone. Send any correspondence, including disputes to both the collection agency and creditor, via certified mail, return receipt requested.
Also, make sure the collector knows that you are the only person who should be contacted regarding the debt. If this is not your debt, and it is an employer’s, friend’s or relative’s, you can write to the collection agency and request that they cease communication immediately.
More tips to come… keep your head up and if the calls are not ceasing, please contact us for further advice and assistance.