Did you know that as of January 2022, $4.4 trillion is the total consumer debt among Americans?
Unexpected things happen like being sick or having a major car repair. To deal with these financial crises, most people turn into a little bit of borrowing. Over time, a small debt can grow into an uncomfortable situation.
Fees and interest add, leaving the debt larger and more difficult to pay off. Fortunately, you can avoid letting your debt sit dormant. This debt collector guide can help you put the power back into your hands.
Read on to find out how to handle debt collectors.
What Is a Debt Collector?
Debt collectors are third-party agencies that collect outstanding debts. A debt collector may contact you If you have delinquent accounts.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulates debt collectors. Which protects consumers from unfair or deceptive practices.
Debt collectors can’t use threatening or obscene language. And disclosing your debt to third parties without your consent. If a debt collector contacts you repeatedly, you have the right to request that the collector stop contacting you.
Get an Insurance
Get an insurance policy that will cover the debts you owe. This will help protect you from aggressive collection attempts. Understanding insurance is one of the first things you should do when you are struggling to make ends meet.
Seek Professional Help
Seek professional debt collector advice as soon as possible. A good credit counselor can help you develop a budget, negotiate with your creditors, and create a repayment plan.
If not sure where to turn, contact your local consumer protection agency or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Don’t Give In to Threats
If a debt collector is threatening you with legal action or wage garnishment. These are empty threats that debt collectors use to try to scare you into paying them. Debt collectors are not allowed to threaten you with legal action if they don’t intend to follow through with it.
Even if they did take legal action, wage garnishment is a slow and painful process that takes years. So don’t let the debt collectors bully you into paying them.
Negotiate a Payment Plan
If you are unable to pay the full amount of your debt, you can try to negotiate a payment plan with your creditor. This can be a difficult process, as creditors are often unwilling to negotiate.
Explain your financial situation and offer a realistic payment plan. If the creditor agrees to your plan, be sure to get the agreement in writing.
Record All Communications
If a debt collector contacts you, be sure to get their name, address, and phone number. It is important that you keep track of all communications with the debt collector. Keep a log or journal of your interactions, including the date and time of the contact.
By keeping track of all communications, you will be able to identify any illegal or harassing behavior by the debt collector.
Use This How to Handle Debt Collectors Guide
If you are being harassed by debt collectors, know that you have rights and there are ways to stop the harassment. Get insurance, and seek professional help. Don’t give in to threats, negotiate a payment plan and be sure to record all communications.
So go out there, use this guide on how to handle debt collectors and settle your debts!
For more debt collector tips and other legal issues, check out the rest of our blog.