If you’ve fallen behind on credit card payments and other debts, you’re likely familiar with phone calls from relentless debt collectors. Whether you’re beginning to question if you’re being harassed, or you simply want the phone calls to come to an end, the following tips can help you deal with debt collectors:
Don’t wait until you hear from a debt collector again—instead, initiate contact and reach out to them first. Explain your situation and tell them why you are having difficulties with paying your bills. You can prepare yourself better for the phone call this way, as you won’t be caught off guard. Additionally, it looks better on you by reaching out to them first, rather than dodging their phone calls and never returning them.
Ask for documentation of the debt
Not all attempts to collect a debt are accurate. Whether you believe the amount that you owe is incorrect, or you’re completely unfamiliar with the account in question, ask for documentation of the debt. Mistakes do happen, and receiving this documentation is the first step needed in taking action to fix the situation.
If you would like to pay off your debts, ask the debt collectors if you can receive a better offer than what they already presented. If the debt is really old, you’ve probably already received voicemails and letters in the mail, offering to eliminate the debt completely if you just pay a portion of what you owe. If this amount is still out of reach, however, tell them that. Don’t be afraid to throw out a number of your own, either. Most of the time, debt collectors will want to settle your account and move on, and they’re often willing to just take what they can get.
Tell them to stop calling you
If you’re simply unable to pay off your unpaid debts at this time and phone calls from debt collectors have gotten out of hand, you have the right to ask them to stop calling. Unpaid debts can result in a lot of consequences—for example, you can get sued for the unpaid amount and your wages can be garnished. Debt collector harassment, however, is not allowed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and if you feel your rights have been violated, you can tell debt collectors that you don’t want them calling you anymore.
Speak to a supervisor
If you’ve already spoken to a debt collector and told him or her to stop calling you, yet the phone calls haven’t ended, ask to speak to supervisor. Report the activity, especially if you received any threats or if you were contacted at inappropriate hours.
Seek legal advice, if needed
You’ve spoken to the debt collectors, their supervisors, and the phone calls haven’t ended. If you’re questioning whether a debt collector has crossed the line and your rights have been violated, you may want to seek legal advice and contact an attorney who deals with these issues.
If you need money to pay off debt, Peachtree Financial Solutions may be able to help if you’re an annuitant. By selling some or all of your future annuity payments, you can receive your money sooner. Contact Peachtree today to learn more about turning future payments into a lump sum of cash.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.