Negotiating With A Creditor Or Debt Collector
While it is ill advised to negotiate with a debt collector yourself, rather than a consumer rights attorney, some people decide to do so. Though you risk negotiating a bad deal or saying the wrong thing to creditors, you may still have time to hire an attorney if your negotiations do not pan out if you attempt to negotiate early.
If you do decide to attempt negotiations with debt collectors on your own, here are a 4 tips for doing so:
1. Try not to threaten hiring an attorney to defend you, unless you have already hired an attorney or are in the process of doing so. Collectors will ignore your threats as not credible, because if you were going to hire a lawyer than you probably would have done so already.
2. NEVER send the debt collector personal documents, such as pay stubs, tax returns, financial reports, or bank records. You can explain your financial situation, preferably with as limited details as possible, but do not send them documentation. You do not want your words or documents to be used against you, either in negotiations or if your case is litigated in court.
3. Be realistic. Debt collectors negotiate hundreds of deals or settlements every week, and they are trained to do so. You are not going to pull one over on them, or work-out some incredible deal. While it may be possible to reach a highly favorable arrangement, there are still minimum amounts that the collector can take, and remember – debt collectors work on commission. They have an incentive to settle high. In addition, studies have shown that if you start negotiations with an unreasonable offer, the negotiation is likely to end early and unfavorably.
4. Try not to yell at collectors or threaten to file bankruptcy. You are not the first or last person to threaten a collector with bankruptcy, and they will ignore you. If you scream at collectors, the negotiation will not be productive. The creditor will no longer want or be able to work with you, and most collectors will note your file as “combative.” This means that the next time a collector calls you, they will be prepared for aggressive behavior and will have a game plan for it.
If you are willing to risk negotiations with a debt collector yourself, remember that you want them to work with you, not against you, in reaching a mutually favorably settlement of your debt. However, make sure not to give collectors too much information or evidence, in the event you want to end negations and/or fight the debt outright.
If you have come upon hard times making the payment of bills impossible, you need the help of an experienced debtor rights attorney—like those at Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC—to review your case and discuss your options with you, whether that means bankruptcy, a negotiated settlement or lawsuit. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in all types of consumer rights matters, including bankruptcy, and we are here to help you!
Call us today for a free consultation at (855) 709-5788, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org