Dealing with Creditors and Collectors
Since the economy took a hit a few years back, many of us have been struggling more than usual with debt. If you have been unable to keep up with you bills you are probably being contacted daily by creditors and/ or debt collectors. Although these individuals may not be friendliest or the most sympathetic, they may be willing to strike a deal with you if you have the tools necessary to negotiate with them.
When negotiating with representatives it is in your best interests to tell the truth. But, they don’t want to hear every detail so give it to them as concisely as possible. Give them just enough information to understand that hardship is present and that you are trying to catch up. Also, stay calm! These representatives can be unpleasant to deal with but try not to lose your cool. If you feel yourself getting to that point, let them know you will call them back and end the call. You can also let them know that you are going to record the conversation and do so if you think this may keep them in line.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. These are your finances and you have a right to all the information. You should also take notes. Approach these calls as professional situations and note who you spoke to, when and what about. This can help document if any illegal practices were used. Another important tip is to pay attention to your mail. Don’t ignore it. Open the mail, read it and organize it in a file so that you have complete records.
When it comes to negotiating a settlement number, be realistic. By this point, you should have thoroughly reviewed your finances and should know what you can afford. If you are able to make a lump sum payment that may be in your best interests as you usually end up paying more if you set up installments. Also, go directly to the creditor if you can. Do your best to deal with missed payments early on so that you are dealing with the actual creditor and not some debt collector who has purchased the debt. If you don’t think you are making any progress or you don’t think you can handle the negotiations, contact an attorney to protect your rights.
The most important thing is to resolve your debts and then move on. The past is the past. You can and should start building better credit from here on out.
If you need assistance dealing with creditors or debt collectors contact Fitzgerald Campbell at (866) 927-8289 for a free consultation.