What do you do when debt collectors are calling?
I’ve met a several people as part of my financial coaching ministry that have had debt collectors chasing after them to collect on past due debts. This is never a pleasant experience. In most cases, the people want to pay the debts, but they can’t do so immediately or need to get their finances organized before taking any action.
Make sure you talk to the debt collector. Don’t ignore their calls. Maybe they have the wrong person. That’s entirely possible and you need to make sure it’s in fact your debt. It can even be a debt collection scam.
Speak to them and get as much information as possible about the debt they’re trying to collect and ALWAYS get them to send you something in writing.
Sometimes creditors threaten to take you to court and here’s what they article states about that:
Under federal law, collectors may not threaten to take action they cannot take or don’t intend to take. So threatening to take you to court before they have even verified that they are calling the right person is a sign that something isn’t right.
A great idea offered is to ask for the case number and name of the court. You can then call the court to make certain it’s a real case.
Finally, know that collectors can call family members to find you, but once you’ve been located they’re not supposed to continue to call family unless someone has consigned a loan for you.
Make sure you review the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and call the FTC if a debt collector is getting out of line. They have a right to collect on debt, but they have to play fair!
It’s definitely important to know your rights and beware of scams as there are so many out there today. I’ve always learned that it’s best to run towards these types of issues. Ignoring them will never make them go away and can often make matters worse.
Once you determine that the debt collection case is legitimate, it’s a good idea to seek some counsel from a financial coach. There is a reason the debt is in collections and you need to understand how you got there and make sure it’s fixed.
The best place to start is by identifying all debts, to whom owed, interest rates, etc. Next, create a budget and make sure the minimum payments have a place in the budget. A financial coach can help with creating your debt payment plan and making sure your budget is in balance.
So, have you ever been called by a debt collector? If so, how did you handle the situation?