You might be tempted to hang up on them. You might be tempted to ignore the phone calls and throw the letters in the trash. However, whether the debt is legit or not, those are not the steps you need to take in order to properly handle the debt collectors.
Talk With The Creditors
One of the first things you will want to do is to answer the phone to speak with the debt collectors. If they tend to call when it is inconvenient for you to discuss such private manners, such as while you are at work, you can answer the phone and ask for a return call at a time that would work better for you. They should be able to schedule a call to go back out to you at that time. If they are unable to do that, you can take their contact information and give them a call at your earliest convenience. No matter what, just make sure that you are having that conversation with them.
Some of the things that you will want to discuss once you are on the phone with them include:
· The amount of the debt
· What and when the debt is from
· Possible payment arrangements
If after speaking with the debt collectors you find that you believe that the debt is not yours, such as in cases of identity theft, you will need to talk with them about that as well. Once they have figured out the problem, you will then need to take action to have the negative marks from your credit report by filing a dispute with the credit report agencies.
Finding Suitable Payment Arrangements
It is not uncommon for the debt collector to first ask for the total amount due, especially if it has been a long time since you have made any payments. If you are unable to afford that, explain that to them and be open to discuss other arrangements. Just make sure that you are not agreeing to arrangements that you know that you cannot keep.
Should you find that you need assistance with debt repayment agreements, you might want to contact a financial professional such as Miller Stark Klein.
Ask About Stopping The Collection Of Interest
There are many debts that will sit there, collecting interest from you, while you try your best to pay them off. This can make a bad situation worse for you. Therefore, in order to ensure that you are finally able to pay off your debts and that you are not paying more than you need to, you will want to ask about putting a hold on the interest that the creditors are charging you. If they are not able to completely put the interest on hold, they may be able to lower the interest rate in order to help you some.
Know Your Rights
Even though you are in debt to a company, they must treat you with respect and obey the FDCPA, or the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. The FDCPA dictates the times of days the creditors can call you, how often they can leave messages, the type of information they can leave with someone taking a message for you, and it ensures that creditors cannot harass or degrade those who owe them money. Should you feel as though you are being treated unfairly, you will want to speak with a debt management manager or attorney in order to have the issue resolved as soon as possible.
With this advice in mind, you should find it to be a lot easier to finally face the debt creditors that have been trying to get a hold of you. The sooner you tackle this past due debt, the sooner you will feel relieved and ready to move on to the stage of rebuilding your credit.