Being hounded by calls from debt collectors is stressful, but you can turn the tables on them with these eight proven strategies.
Aggressive debt collectors can scare and intimidate you with relentless calls. Even worse, they can make you feel out of control. But this is your life, and you ARE in control. Learn how to gain the upper hand on nasty debt collectors, and take back control of your financial future.
#1. Contact Your Debt Collectors
It might seem crazy to call someone who you have been avoiding like the plague, but doing so gives you control of the conversation. You can be prepared, and you can choose the date and time.
#2. Treat It Like a Business Deal
Instead of getting caught up in feelings of guilt, shame or embarrassment – stick to business. It’s easy to be swept up by your emotions on a call with collectors, who are trained to exploit any negative feelings you may have about your debt. Treat all interactions with collectors like business dealings, which is easier to do when you are not hungry, tired, or already in a bad mood.
#3. Research the Company
Check out the debt collection company to ensure that they are a legitimate operation and not a scam. Ask for their address (you are entitled to know this information) and/or obtain their phone number from caller ID. Research the company online with the Better Business Bureau, and check to see if they are licensed (if your state requires such certification).
#4. Ask for Proof
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have the right to ask the collector to validate the debt. They have to support their claim by proving that the debt is actually yours, the amount is correct, and it is not too old. At the very least – this strategy will buy you time to figure things out.
#5. Call Their Bluff
Many collectors threaten legal action even though they have no intention of pursuing it. Perhaps the case is weak, or it wouldn’t make sense for their company financially. Most debt collectors are not set up to sue. Challenge their empty threat.
#6. Throw Them a Bone
If you reach an impasse, sending the collector a small payment (such as $100) may prevent your case from being sent to a lawyer. This tactic works best for newer debts, as it may extend the statute of limitations for older debts.
#7. Talk to the Manager
If you are being intimidated by a collector, make a note of the threats (date, time, and name) and ask to speak to a supervisor. Make a note of their name too. This information can support your claim if you end up suing the collection agency.
#8. Call in the Pros for Backup
Schedule a free consultation with Pew Law Center to learn your legal rights and discover real debt solutions. We’ll explain what the collectors can and can’t collect, and help determine if bankruptcy is right for you. We’ve guided thousands of people just like you to a debt-free future. With Pew Law Center’s help, you can ditch the debt collectors once and for all.
Contact us online or by calling 1 (480) 745-1770 to set up your free debt evaluation. You can also download our free guide right now: 6 Bankruptcy Myths that Could Destroy Your Finances (and What to Do Instead!)
Want to take back control of your financial future? Pew Law Center is here to help.