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Steps for Dealing with Debt Collectors

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Afraid to answer the phone, because you feel that a debt collector will be on the other line? Well you are not the only one. There are over one third of Americans who owe about $5000 in debt collections. Debt is detrimental to your life in many ways: it can lower your chances of getting a loan, how much you pay for insurance, and your ability to get a job or even a promotion.

Here are some tips one should follow to stop getting bothered by debt collectors:

1. It is important to know what rights you have. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors cannot call you before 8 am or after 9 pm, and you can forbid them from trying to contact you at work either orally or in writing. Also you can request in writing that they stop contacting you all together. One should contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and file a complaint, if you feel that you are being harassed, or that a collector is violating the rules of debt collection.

2. Make sure you are aware of what you can afford to pay toward debt. This will help you when negotiating an affordable payment plan. It might be a good idea to look over past bank statements and credit card bills to see where you are spending money, and on what each month. Once you know where your money is going each month you will have a better idea of how much you can afford to put toward debt.

3. Knowing the balance, interest rate, minimum payments and the time of delinquency of your debt is important and to keep track of that information. If you see something that is inaccurate, then contact to credit bureau immediately to have it removed. You do not need to add to the stress of debt, by dealing with other's mistakes.

4. Pay off your most recent debt first because that has the most potential to hurt you financially then old debt. As time goes on debt will still affect your credit, but a lot less then new debt.

5. Sometimes we need a hand to help us in times of trouble; with dealing with debt collections it might be beneficial to work with a credit counseling agency to negotiate with a debt collector for you. Make sure the agency is accredited and associated with organizations such as, the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Also check is they are approved to provide pre-bankruptcy counseling. It will also be wise to contact an experience attorney in your area to guide toward a debt free life.

Debt collection is not something anyone wants to deal with, however, unfortunately it happens to many Americans. Luckily there are steps to get out of debt collection, and agencies and attorneys that are available to help someone struggling with debt.

Works Cited:

7 Steps in Dealing With Debt Collectors (Forbes)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/financialfinesse/2014/08/01/7-steps-to-deal-with-debt-collectors/?ss=money-life

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