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Coping With Debt Collectors

Author : Nicholas Hunt

Having to deal with the aggressive, compulsory tactics of debt collectors can be one of the singularly most frustrating and wearisome aspects of dealing with financial obligations that become difficult to repay. In a day and age where the economy is anything but stable and the job market remains volatile and unpredictable, coming up with the funds needed to repay debts can prove challenging. It becomes even more exasperating when the phone rings all hours of the day with harassing debt collectors on the other line demanding repayment. There is hope and there are options in dealing with insistent, unremitting debt collectors.

Avoiding the phone calls and letters of debt collectors is never a good idea. While it can be uncomfortable, dealing with creditors upfront can save time, money and frustration. There are plenty of solid tips one can use to effectively deal with debt collectors:

* Avoid Debt Collection Overall - When dealing with a creditor, negotiate and attempt to come to a reasonable payment arrangement before the bill is turned over to a third-party debt collector. In most cases, creditors will work with account holders if a payment is guaranteed, even if it is less than the original negotiated amount.

* Understand your consumer rights - Every location has a set of consumer rights. Whether it is the Federal Trade Commission, or another authority of purchaser liberties, there are many publications available that help inform consumers about the rights. In most cases, harassing phone calls, insulting or offensive language, and any form of menacing are illegal and should be reported to a higher authority.

* Take Responsibility for your Debts - Take charge of the debts you may owe and make arrangements to pay your balances. Financial difficulties can happen to anyone. Make sure the debt is yours, and if the account contains faulty information, contest it. If the debt is current and correct, attempt to make arrangements to pay the debt off. Ignoring creditors can lead to a negative credit report and future credit troubles.

* Keep receipts, copies and records - Retain all documentation regarding any debts, payments made, or arrangements prepared. Maintain good record keeping and proof of settlement, and or resolution

* Record Conversations - If a debt collector uses threatening, or menacing language, or harasses and lies, record the conversation and hold these negative business practices accountable. If you are receiving a lot of collection calls, it may be prudent to record them in order to ensure your rights are protected.

* Get it in Writing - If any agreement is reached regarding a specific debt payment or resolution, get it in writing. This provides greater protection to the consumer and helps avoid misunderstandings.

* Get Help with Debt Management - There are fully accredited debt counseling agencies available to help sort out the debt fact from the fiction, offering consumers additional advice and recommendation regarding creditors, debt collection and breaking the chains of allocated liability. When everything else has failed, seek out additional help.

Author's Resource Box

Nicholas writes on debt and how to manage it, including a guide on what happens before, during and after a bailiff visit.

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Tags:   debt collection, debt collectors, bailiffs

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Submitted : 2011-06-29    Word Count : 534    Times Viewed: 569