Debt is expected for many. Regrettably, so are collectors. Learn the best way to cope with collectors in a good way.

Pick up the phone up

Ignoring the debt collectors who try to verify info is a very bad idea because eventually you are going to have to pay off the debts anyway, unless you are eligible to get rid of them in a bankruptcy. Consumer debt expert Michelle Dunn recommends that everybody answer the phone when collectors call.

“You will have to deal with them calling and sending you letters, and the debt may be reported to your credit report. You should never ignore a collection agency – that only intensifies the calls…and can promote court action,” said Dunn.

One thing the collector is intending to do is verify that the debt really belongs to you and is accurate and correct. Creditors have made mistakes in the past, which means you might be able to save your credit rating if it is debt that does not really belong to you.

“You must ask for verification within the first 30 days of being contacted. If you wait and ignore the calls and letters and the 30 days goes by, by law you are acknowledging that you owe the money,” said Dunn. “It will be much harder for you to dispute the debt after that, and you may lose in court, since the law states you have 30 days to dispute the debt or request the verification. So the best thing to do is make payments or stay on top of the situation and dispute within those first 30 days, in writing!”

After the debt is verified

If it really is your debt, put your thoughts about a credit rating aside and pay off the debts as quickly as you can. There are more significant things that can come if the debt collector thinks you are holding out to them. The collector can take you to court if necessary. Make a payment plan with the collector, and make your payments.

“Once accounts are placed for collection, you just have to make payments to them all until they are paid in full,” Dunn noted. “The only way to get out of debt faster is to pay it off faster. Budget your money, cancel your credit cards, get rid of the cell phone, get rid of cable and internet, carpool, and bring your lunch to work – get a part time job. The only way to get yourself out of the hole you dug is hard work; you need to make more money somehow and send as much of it as you can to the creditor.”

Things collector can and cannot do

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