We all use different financial services in our daily life. We buy and pay for many things, use credit cards and short term loans online no credit check to meet expenses. That’s why it may easily happen that you forget to pay one of your bills. Also, you may have an old small debt which you have forgotten about. Such bills can give debt collectors a good reason to contact you. Many consumers start to panic once they receive such calls. But stay calm and know your rights! Fortunately, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives us enough rights so we shouldn’t be afraid of debt collectors. Learn 6 smart ways to deal with them and know how to protect yourself and your money. Personal Money Service is one of those online loan companies that takes a good care of financial literacy of its customers.
Get All Data in Writing
There’s one important thing to remember: you will never prove anything if you don’t have the information in writing. Once a debt collector has contacted you, he/she should send you a written notice within next 5 days. This notice should contain an amount of money you owe, the lender’s name and the information concerning actions you should take if you’re sure you don’t have this debt. That’s why always ask to send you a written notice.
Discuss the Debt in Writing
If you’re sure you don’t owe the money, you should get the written notice proving it. Send it to the debt collector within 30 days. Once you do it, the debt collector can’t contact you. You should keep the copy of the letter and send your reply by certified email. That will not leave collectors a chance to say that they haven’t received your letter. However, debt collectors also have their rights. If they have a copy of your unpaid bill, they can renew collection activities.
Record Phone Calls
To protect your financial independence, keep records of phone calls and put your communication with the collector in writing. Save all the letters and notifications you receive. When you get a phone call, take a pen and write down the date and time, the name of the collection agency, the sum of money they say you owe and what you have agreed in the end. If the debt collector breaks your rights, you can prove it with the help of these papers and records.
Know Collectors’ Restrictions
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act contains the list of things debt collectors can’t do or say:
- Talk in abusive way
- Disturb you with frequent calls
- Call you before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. without your permission
- Distort the amount of money you owe
- Discuss your debt with anyone except you and your attorney
- Falsely introduce themselves as attorney or representative of law enforcement official
- Falsely introduce themselves as a credit bureau’s employee
- Call you at work when you asked not to do that
- Threat to sue you when they don’t actually plan it
- Threat to collect your wage or property when they don’t actually plan it
Keep the Conversation Short
The debt collector may ask you many questions trying to determine your ability to pay off the debt and when you can do it. That’s why say as little as possible and don’t let to be interviewed. Stay calm, polite and don’t let them ask you numerous questions. Collectors may use different tactics to push on you and to make you pay, but in any situation, don’t lose control over yourself and keep the conversation as short as possible.
Negotiate Your Debt
There are 2 ways you can negotiate your debt. First of all, debt collectors want to make you pay and that’s where it’s better for them to get something than nothing at all. Use your chance to pay less than you actually owe. Start from 10% of your debt’s amount and, if it doesn’t work, go up to 50% but do it step by step. Always ask for written agreement and details of the deal before making a payment. Second tactic is to agree to pay the full amount but ask the collector to remove the collection account from your credit report. That is hard to do, but try to push because it will significantly increase your credit rating.