Dealing With Debt Collectors....No FEAR!

When a debt collector calls, it can be not only annoying, but also a little scary!  But dealing with debt collectors does not have to be something you fear.  Let me show you what to do...

 

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No matter how serious you financial and/or debt situation is, there is  a solution.  DON'T BE AFRAID!

  • Debt collectors are people just trying to earn a living.  

I've been dealing with them for many, many years and most of them are not hard to deal with. If, you know a few things about them.

Usually, the debt they are calling about is one that you owe.

 

Of course, if you can prove that you don't, you can always demand that they "validate" the debt by providing documentation.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives us protection from illegal debt collection practices.

Basically, it spells out what a debt collector can and cannot do in attempting to collect debt.  It allows a consumer to question the validity of the debt they are calling about. 

There are also many "credit repair" companies that advocate using the validation process to remove debts from our credit report.

While you should challenge or dispute errors on our credit report, beware of opening a validation dispute on accounts you owe as it might backfire on you!

Unless you can prove beyond a doubt that you never had or have paid the debt with proof in writing, don't send the letter!  Why?

A debt collection company has been retained by the original creditor or the owner of the debt.  Yes, creditors buy and sell debt.  In fact, it is a multi-million dollar business.

Anyway, while a request to validate the debt may work, it could cause the debt collector to become very aggressive in their collection efforts! 

This may include filing a CLAIM, resulting in a SUMMONS, that may lead to a JUDGMENT, which could lead to WAGE GARNISHMENT, LIENS and BANK LEVIES!

 

So, before you "jump into" debt validation...You need to contact the collector, but before you do, get prepared:

1)  First, you'll need a BUDGET:

 Budget Worksheet FREE Download here!This will not only let you know how much (if any) money you can offer to SETTLE the debt and the debt collector will most likely ask about your situation.

2)  Call the collector:

Be calm and respectful! 

Trying to act "tough" or being disrespectful will NOT HELP!

While you'll need to explain your situation, don't "over do it".  The collector may need to submit your settlement offer with some budget information to the owner of the debt or they may be able to discuss and negotiate a settlement right now.

Always ask them what it would take to settle the debt! 

They may come back with, "How much do you have to offer?"  

Say something like, "I don't know, I am barely making it now.  What will it take?"

In negotiations, the person who gives out an amount of money usually loses!

Let's say you owe $5,000  and they say they can settle for $4,000. While that is a nice $1,000 reduction, you should be able to do a little better.  Say something like...

"I just don't have $4,000, but I may be able to could come up with $2,000 if you could give me a little time."  That's it...stop talking...wait for a response.

They may or may not accept, or they might come back with a counter offer.

You're trying to get somewhere around 50%.  Here's a few examples:

Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

Negotiating a settlement is not easy! (I know!  I've been doing this for about 17 years now!)

If you are successful in negotiation a good settlement, you MUST GET THE AGREEMENT IN WRITING!!!!!!!!!

Let me state that again....NO AGREEMENT IN WRITING....NO DEAL!

If you are unsuccessful, then just tell them that you'll have to get back to them and politely hand up.  They may or may not follow up with you.

FINALLY, the worst thing you can do is to ignore the debt.

If you do, while the account may be pulled back to the owner of the debt and transferred to another collector, it cause the collector to become too aggressive and possibly initiate legal action by the collector!

By dealing respectfully and confidently with the debt and the collector, you may be able to settle the debt or if necessary, just set up payments to repay the entire debt.

Hope this helps!

FREE  Debt Elimination Summary

 

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Tags: illegal debt collection pracitces, mistakes dealing with collectors, garnishment, Oregon debt collection

Debt Collectors and Your Rights!

If you have credit accounts that have been turned over to debt collectors, you know what it is like to be harassed by calls and letters!  You don't have to put up with it, if YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

 

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The debt collection industry exits for the sole purpose of  assisting creditors with collecting on unpaid debt that is legitimately owed by a consumer. 

However, many debt collection companies will purchase debt from creditors or other debt vendors in and attempt to collect for huge profits! These guys by up huge blocks of "debt" at pennies on the dollar.

Although I don't fault anyone or any company trying to make a profit, I do take serious issue with debt collection companies that prey on consumer's fear and lack of knowledge.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed to not only protect consumers from debt collectors, but to also inform the consumer of his/her rights.

The Federal Trade Commission is an agency of the United States Government that was formed to protect consumers rights and to enforce violations.  The FTC has published a short, yet very informative article that you should download and read carefully.  To get you copy, click here:

Federal Trade Commission...Facts for Consumers

Although I recommend that you download the above information, here is a brief summary of what the law limits what a debt collector can and cannot do:

They CANNOT:

  • Call you before 8 am or after 9 pm (in your time zone)
  • Use an automated dialer to call many, many times a day.
  • Call you at your place of employment after you have verbally requested that they not call you there.
  • Harass or abuse you by using threats of violence or harm as well as using obscene language.
  • Falsely imply that you have committed a crime and will be prosecuted.
  • Threaten that they will seize or garnish your property, income or bank account unless they intend to do so within a reasonable amount of time or have already obtained a judgment.
  • Call your friends, family or co-workers and discuss your debt.  They may contact others, but only to attempt to get or confirm your contact information.
  • Use "official" government looking stationery trying to represent that they represent the government or agency.

If you think that your rights have been violated, you should file a complaint:

You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission  Here is a link to that site:

FTC Complaint Assistant

You can contact your state's attorney general's office and file a complaint.  Just do a "Google search" for your state's attorney genera's site. 

For example, here in Oregon, you would go to:

State of Oregon Consumer Complaint Form

If that doesn't help, there are numerous attorneys that specialize in defending consumer's rights that have been violated by debt collectors. 

Let's look at some of the most common violations:

One of the most annoying practices used by debt collectors is to call you several times a day or week! 

Fortunately, you can put a stop to these calls!  Here is a link that will tell you what to do:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

 I've been assisting our clients on how to deal with debt collectors for over 15 years and although most operate within the FDCPA law, some will not.

Most people who are dealing with debt collectors have gotten themselves into financial trouble due to one of several circumstances, such as:

  • Loss of employment or reduced income
  • Retired living on fixed income
  • Divorce
  • Death of spouse or partner
  • Illness or disability

 

When one or more of the things happen to you (or someone you know), then it is common to use the easily available credit to "make ends meet".

I would say the 95% of our clients over the years got themselves into credit card trouble like this!

They fully intended to repay all their debt, but life and circumstances beyond their control just wouldn't let them.

Now, they found themselves in such a financial mess that they could not even keep up with all of the minimum payments due.

I have some GOOD NEWS!!!

Once your accounts are sold or turned over to debt collectors, the may be willing to accept an amount less than the full balance to satisfy the debt.

This is called a "settlement".  We do this for our clients every day. 

Here's what a settlement looks like:

Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

Finally:

  • Don't let debt collectors intimidate you!
  • Know your rights and stand up!
  • Use debt settlement to get a fresh start!

We have been helping people like you since 2003 and would be glad to see if we could help.  For a FREE CONSULTATION, just click below:

FREE  Debt Elimination Summary

 

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Tags: illegal debt collection pracitces

Illegal Debt Collection Practices and what you can do about it!

If you are behind in your credit card payments, it won't beillegal debt collection practices long before you are contacted by debt collectors!

Here are 3 Illegal Debt Collection Practices to look out for!

#1  CALLING OVER AND OVER AT ALL HOURS OF THE DAY

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collectors are prohibited from using abusive methods to try to collect a debt.

A collectors main tatic is INTIMIDATION and their favorite method is to call several times a day at all hours.

The FDCPA states that a collector MAY NOT contact you before 8am (your time zone) or after 9pm at night.

#2  HARASSMENT

Again, the FDCPA specifically states that a debt collector MAY NOT:

  • Use any threat of violence or harm
  • Publish your name on a list of people who refuse to pay their debts
  • Use obscene or profane language, including telling you how bad a person you are for not paying your bills!

#3  MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS

A debt collector also MAY NOT:

  • Falsely claim to be an attorney or government representative
  • Implying that you have committed a crime
  • Falsely claim that they work for a credit reporting agency
  • Tell you that you may be arrested if you don't pay
  • Flasely claim that they will seize, garnish or sell your property UNLESS they are permitted by law to take action or THEY FOLLOW THROUGH.
  • Send you anything that looks like an official court document if it isn't
  • 

What can you do if you have been a victim of these Illegal Debt Collection Practices?

To put a stop the harassing phone calls, you need to send a letter demanding that they stop.

Click here for a FREE GUIDE TO STOP THE CALLS.

You can contact your state's attorney general's office or the FTC to file a complaint. Most state's have separate divisions to handle consumer complaints.  (For example, in Oregon, you would contact the Oregon Department of Justice.)

If you feel overwhelmed, you may want to contact an experienced company that specializes in helping people deal with debt.

illegal debt collection practicesThe point is...YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE IT!

 

illegal debt collection practices

Tags: illegal debt collection pracitces, fdcpa, how to stop collection calls