Tips for when speaking to your debt collector
By: Carol Ann Aldridge, CCUFC | Certified Lending Counselor
This week we will continue our discussion on debt collection calls. We will elaborate more on the tips mentioned in the previous blog, to give you a better understanding on how to confidently handle the calls like a pro!
- Verify the debt is yours
As a consumer, you have the right to verify that a debt is yours. This will confirm that you haven’t already paid, force the debt collector to prove the debt is legitimate and prove the person calling is authorized to collect the debt.
- Understand your rights
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces what’s called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This act protects consumers from illegal, abusive, and deceptive practices from debt collectors. This regulates when a collector can contact you (between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.), how they can contact you (by telephone, letters, emails, or text messages) and how they can treat you. A collector cannot harass or lie to you to in order to collect a debt.
- Speak calmly and logically
Having a debt collector call you can be stressful and emotional. Knowing your rights and being knowledgeable about fair debt collection practices can help you feel confident in the call. Again, debt collectors are people, just like you, and they want to find a solution that benefits both parties.
- If you can’t pay in full, set up a payment arrangement
Setting up a payment arrangement with your collector allows you to create a payment that works for you and your budget. Make sure to always get the payment arrangement in writing from your collector and know that if you miss a payment, the collector may abandon the agreement.
A final note, please remember, while becoming behind on your financial obligations can be worrisome, talking to your debt collector(s) doesn’t have to be. Be knowledgeable, be aware and take charge of your financial future!