Debt collectors have a reputation for being both ruthless and intimidating towards consumers. But that doesn’t mean you have to bow to every whim. On the contrary, there are some key things you need to know when handling debt collection calls that can get you higher ground.
When do you get debt collection calls?
The first thing you need to know is when to expect calls from collection agencies. Preparation is an essential part of handling collection calls. There are two aspects to this.
First, you want to know how long it will take for any of your debts to get collected, which is then likely to result in you getting unwanted calls from collection agencies. It’s not pleasant to receive debt collection calls, especially when you’re already dealing with a stressful financial situation.
Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule as to how long it takes for your debt to be sold to a collection agency. However, six months from the time you miss a payment is a good rule of thumb. If you are delinquent on your debt, you should periodically check your credit report to see if there are any new accounts that have gone into collection.
For those who have debts to collect, it’s also important to know when to expect these calls because you don’t want to be surprised by them. Fortunately, there are rules and regulations regarding this. Collection agencies are not allowed to call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. without your permission.
Handling debt collection calls
Now that you have a rough idea of when and why to expect collection calls, it’s time to learn how to actually handle them. It’s easy to say you’ll be fine, but going through an actual collections call can be intense and nervy.
For those who have problems with collection calls, it’s possible that your wages will be garnished. This is where the collector issues an injunction to withdraw funds directly from your bank account. You can click here to learn more about this process and how to avoid it. It goes without saying that handling collection calls properly can be hugely important to your financial health.
There are a few general do’s and don’ts when on the phone with collection agencies. Here are some of the most important things to know about handling debt collection calls:
- Don’t avoid the situation – simply ignoring debt collection will get you nowhere. As mentioned above, it is possible for collection agencies to garnish your wages or withdraw money directly from your bank account. Pretending they don’t exist isn’t exactly a viable strategy. Working actively on solutions is the best way to deal with debt collection.
- Never say you owe the money – Even if you do owe as much as the collection agency says it is, it’s up to the collection agency to actually prove it.
- Request Documents – It is not uncommon for collection agencies to have incorrect information or missing documents. If they can’t prove that you actually owe the debt, you don’t have to pay it back.
- Take notes – you want to be able to trace what happened when you call the collection agency later – both to plan what to do and in case you need to use the information in court later.
- Know Your Rights – There are federal and state laws that dictate what collection agencies can and cannot do on calls. By reviewing these, you will know how to act and behave when communicating with collection agencies.
It’s no fun handling debt collection calls. But not everything you need to do in life is have a fun time. Learning how best to handle debt collection will at least make the process as painless as possible and maybe even to your financial advantage.