Fair Debt Collection Practices Act - How to Deal with Debt CollectorsIt can be quite nerve racking when the bill collectors are calling and sending demand notices, however you can handle it. There are ways you can protect yourself and also ways to properly handle your debt collectors.
There is an act that was designed just for individuals that are trying to cope with the overzealous bill collectors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a guideline that must be followed when a debt collector is attempting to collect payment on a debt. It is illegal for a debt collector to call a residence before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m.. They are also not allowed to threaten the garnishment of wages or harass you with phone calls after you have asked them to stop calling you. For more information go to => www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htm#801.
If you have an answering machine, you can screen your phone calls before you answer them. Adding anonymous call blocking to your phone line can also help from receiving the unwanted collection calls. Well, at least from having to talk with the person on the other end. However, if you decide to answer the phone you can request that the collector no longer call you. Once you have stated to them that you don't want any further phone calls, legally they have to stop the phone calls to you.
Before you take some of the more drastic measures, you should consider making arrangements with the company to pay off the debt. In many cases, the collector is authorized to reduce the amount owed in order to collect the money. Usually, if you make payment arrangements on the debt, the collection calls from that company will stop.
Keep a log of all calls between yourself and the collection agency. If you have agreed to any payments be sure that you write it down as well as the person you made the agreements name with. Try your best to keep the agreement you have made, if you are unable to keep it notify the company as soon as possible. If you have requested the collector to stop calling you, you can record any phone calls with them. Just make sure you notify them that the phone call is being recorded. This is usually very effective in making them cease the harassing phone calls.
In most cases, you will be able to negotiate the amount of money you will be paying off. The collection agency gets a commission off of the amount of money they successfully collect. So, in many situations they will accept a smaller payment in order to collect any money. In their eyes, any money is more than nothing.
If you agree to a smaller payment, be sure to request that there should be no further negative marks placed on your credit report. Also, be instant that they promptly report the payments made as well as adjusting the amount that is owed on your credit report.
After you make an initial good faith payment, you should receive an agreement. In this agreement it should state the amount that is owed as well as the terms of the agreement. Send as little of a first payment as possible. This will insure that they will keep their end of the agreement and hold true to the contract.
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