Debt collectors have a reputation for being ruthless and intimidating to consumers. But this doesn’t mean you have to give in to their every whim. On the contrary, there are some important things you should know when handling debt collection calls that can give you a higher ground.
When will you receive debt collection calls?
The first thing you should know is when you should expect to receive calls from debt collectors. Being prepared is an essential part of handling debt collection calls. There are two aspects to this.
First, you want to know how long it takes for one of your debts to go to collections, which will likely turn into the process of receiving unwanted calls from debt collectors. There is nothing pleasant about receiving collection calls, especially when you are already dealing with a stressful financial situation.
Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule about how long it takes to sell your debt to a collection agency. However, six months after the time you miss a payment is a good rule of thumb. If you are behind on your debts, you may want to keep up with your credit report on a regular basis to see if there are any new accounts that have been collected.
For those with debts in collection, it’s also key to know when to expect these calls, as you don’t want to be caught by surprise. Fortunately, there are rules and regulations in place. Debt collectors are prohibited from calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. without your permission.
Handling debt collection calls
Now that you have a general idea of when and why to expect debt collection calls, you need to learn how to actually handle them. It’s easy to say you’ll be fine, but going through an actual collection call can be intense and unnerving.
For those who have trouble handling debt collection calls, you may end up garnishing your wages. This is where the collector makes a court order for the funds to be taken directly out of your bank account. You can click here to learn more about this process and how to avoid it. Needless to say, handling debt collection calls the right way can be very important to your financial health.
There are some general do’s and don’ts when talking to debt collectors on the phone. Here are some of the most important things you should know about handling debt collection calls:
- Don’t avoid the situation: simply ignoring debt collection won’t get you anywhere good. As mentioned above, debt collectors may garnish your wages or take money directly from your bank account. So pretending they don’t exist isn’t exactly a viable strategy. Actively working to find solutions is the best way to handle debt collection.
- Never say you owe the money: even if you do in fact owe as much as the debt collector claims, it’s up to the debt collector to prove it.
- Ask for documentation: It is not uncommon for debt collection agencies to have faulty information or missing documents. If they can’t prove that you really owe the debt, you won’t have to pay it.
- Take notes: You’ll want to be able to review what happened in calls with the debt collector later, both to plan what to do and in case you need to use the information later in court.
- Know your rights: there are federal and state laws that determine what debt collection agents can and cannot do on calls. Reviewing them will help you know how to act and be calm when communicating with debt collectors.
There is nothing pleasant about handling debt collection calls. But not everything you have to do in life is a fun time. Learning the best ways to deal with debt collection will at least make the process as painless as possible, and maybe even work to your financial benefit.