When you owe someone money, or they are under the impression that you do, you will likely be inundated with phone calls, and possibly text messages, letters, and emails too. It can be hard to know how to properly deal with these debt collectors and lenders, especially when you are under stress! Debt collection harassment is more common than you might think, but even if you do not feel like you’re being victimized in any way, it is still intimidating and uncomfortable to talk to someone about your debts.
There are things that you can do to give yourself the best chance at a good financial outcome, and a good outcome if you decide to file a case for debt collection abuse. Whether you are talking to a lender, bank, creditor, or collector, here are a few important things to keep in mind:
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when dealing with collectors is to ignore the problem and just hope it goes away. Unfortunately, this can escalate their collection attempts, and even result in legal action being taken against you. It might be unpleasant, but showing your willingness to talk and to understand the debt that you are in can go a long way to strengthen your case.
Whenever you contact a creditor or collector, it’s critical that you ask them to identify themselves, what company they are calling from, and the details of any accounts in question. There are many shams and scams that will refuse to do so, thus, this is an important first step in handling your debts. Make note of anyone who calls you who won’t provide the requested information.
If you get letters in the mail or texts on your phone, keep them, either as copies, screenshots, or scans. And when you talk on the phone with someone, take notes about the conversation. Write down things like the date/time of the call, the person’s name that you spoke with, what accounts were discussed, and any agreements that are made. Also note any potentially illegal, coercive, abusive, or threatening behavior.
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if a creditor’s behavior falls within the boundaries of consumer protection laws like the FDCPA, so don’t hesitate to contact a consumer rights attorney to discuss your circumstances. Here at Martin & Bontrager, we are dedicated to fighting for people like you, so get in touch with us for your free consultation today!