Have you been contacted recently by a collection agency because you are behind your bills? If yes, it’s good to know what a collection agency is. A collection agency is a third party hired by the creditors to collect for long overdue accounts. From the creditors’ point of view, collection agencies are their best card to collect receivables from the borrowers.
Some people are actually getting annoyed and sometimes feel harassed by these kinds of agencies. You know that you will pay your bills, but you just need a little more time, so what will you do with the collection agency? Relax, and take time to read this article; here are the best things to do in dealing with collection agencies.
1. Don’t Negotiate Over The Phone
It would be best not to negotiate over the phone because the tendency is they will ask for your personal information, and you should not do it over the phone. Also, you would not be sure if the one calling is from the collection agency; you don’t want to be included as one of those debt-collection scam victims, right? It’s also a good idea not to answer the phone.
If they keep calling you, it would be best to ask for a letter from them regarding the debt transaction’s original copy. Never share your personal information, even your plans on how to pay your debt. You also have the option to ask them to send you a letter via email to ensure that the outstanding debt is really yours.
Collection agencies won’t stop calling you unless you tell them to. With that said, it’s also a good idea to record your conversation. Usually, if you tell them you’ll record the call, they’ll hang up right away. You may also want to visit Crediful to learn more about dealing with collection agencies.
2. Know Your Rights
If you know your rights, then you don’t have to worry much about the collection agencies. Also, they won’t be able to harass you or tell lies just to make you pay. Remember, they’ll make everything, even false threats, just to collect debts. With that said, it would be best to know your rights to counter their threats.
Inform them about your rights, and the collection agencies must follow and respect your requests, especially when you can’t still pay. Your rights include the following:
- Contact time restrictions – this means collection agencies are only allowed to call you between 8 am and 9 pm. They are also prohibited from calling you at work. If someone calls you outside the allowed time, don’t entertain it, it might be a scam.
- Ask for a callback number – if the agency is legit and existing, they won’t have problems providing you their company name, company address, and call back number. This is to ensure if they legally operate in your state.
- They can’t harass or threaten you – collection agencies would sometimes threaten you with arrest or wage garnishments if you don’t pay. Remember, they are not allowed to do this, and owing money is not a crime so that you won’t be arrested. If they continue to threaten you, you can report them to the Federal Trade Commission.
3. Acknowledge Your Debt
You understand that since you owe money, they won’t stop bothering you, right? With that said, it would also make a good idea to acknowledge your debt. There’s no harm in acknowledging it. It would only help you stop getting calls from them. But when you acknowledge your debt, ensure that it is your debt and ensure it is in the correct figure.
When you acknowledge your debt, collection agencies will be put at ease. It will give them the impression that this borrower will surely pay. Also, when you acknowledge your debt and put some time to answer their queries, it will save your credit score from further damage. Don’t hesitate to acknowledge it, especially when you have time; ignoring them is not a good idea.
4. Know Their Limits
In knowing their limits, you’ll also need to understand their nature. If it is in a Chess game, the best way to defeat your opponent is not just anticipating their next move, but also knowing their limits and understanding them. It’s a good idea to know their limits, so you will be knowledgeable in countering them when they press beyond their limits.
Here are more of collection agencies’ limits:
- They can’t pose a threat.
- They can’t lie to you about your debt.
- They can’t physically, emotionally, and psychologically harass you.
- They can’t contact you anytime or anywhere.
- They can’t call your relatives or friends if you can’t pay.
- They can’t pretend to be someone else.
- They can’t charge your payment to the wrong transaction.
We may not be able to avoid collection agencies every day, but it’s good to know how to deal with them. With that said, the above mentioned are the easiest things to help you deal with collection agencies. It would be best to share this with your friends and family so they’ll also have an idea of what to do with them.