Commercial Collections Blog

Dealing with Debt Collectors

Ethics of Debt Collection

Debt collectors get an incredibly poor reputation, but they are invaluable to both businesses and individuals. While it may not be easy to see it this way, they provide a unique and important service. Many of those that reside in this profession may not want to even reveal to friends and family what they do for a living. They have a reputation of being harassers of everyone, but in reality, they are just doing their job and aiding businesses in getting their money back.

The business that was meant to be paid should get their money back, but things can happen. People can be laid off, or other things may cause them not to pay their bills. If you find yourself in this situation, you should know the best ways to deal with debt collectors to make the process as painless as possible.

Reasons a debt collector is reaching out to you

The business itself hires a debt collector. The creditor may either use in-house debt collectors or hires an outside debt collection agency. This debt collector then will seek out to collect the past-due debt on the creditor’s behalf.

Debt collector buys a debt. This occurs when a debt collection agency buys out a past-due debt from a creditor at a discounted rate. This is done with the hope that the agency will be able to collect the full amount from you and then make a profit.

Best ways to deal with debt collectors

Don’t think you can ignore the debt collector. Many people may try to avoid the debt collector completely. This isn’t a good idea and won’t fix anything. If you act like it isn’t happening, it’ll only get worse for you. If you ignore phone calls or hang up on the creditor, it won’t make them go away. They will continue to try to contact you and could even end up suing you for the balance if the debt sits unpaid for a long enough time.

Know what your rights are. There are certain practices that debt collectors need to adhere to when going through the collection process. There are certain things that they can and can’t do when they are working with consumers. They have the right to take steps and get paid, but they do not have the right to engage in unfair, abusive or deceptive practices.

Be aware of the restrictions on their practices. Debt collectors cannot call after 9 p.m. or before 8 a.m. They cannot call you at work if you have told them either over the phone or in writing that your employer does not allow these calls. You can also ask in writing for them to stop contacting you and they will have to, but this doesn’t negate what you owe. Debt collectors are unable to harass you or lie about the amount that you owe. They are also unable to contact a third party for anything other than your contact information.

Debt collectors are also unable to use methods of deception. They cannot pretend to be the police or claim that you’ll be arrested. They are also unable to garnish wages or seize your property without rights to do so.

Get everything in writing. When working with a debt collector, make sure to get everything in writing so it is clear. Debt collectors are required to give you the name of the creditor and how much you actually owe. If they make promises over the phone, make sure to get it in writing. You won’t have any legal recourse if things change later.

Don’t give up too much information. Anything that you tell the debt collector can be used to collect on that debt. Only give the necessary information that is requested.

Look out for scams. There are so many scams out there of people pretending to be debt collectors. If you’re being legitimately harassed or abused, it is not a real debt collector. Being harassed verify that you are not talking with a professional debt collector, get an address and phone number and look them up online. Legitimate debt collectors will have a verifiable online presence.

Negotiate and consider other ways to pay. While it’s important to pay your debts, you can begin by offering a fraction of the debt collector asks. Hospital bills may inspire more leniency as well. If you have issues paying, you can look into working with a credit counselor or file for bankruptcy.

While debt collectors do have a horrible reputation, keep in mind that they are just doing their job. Work with them in order to pay off your debt and get on with your life. You will develop new-found freedom.

Debt Collection News