From time to time most of us have had a debt that went to collections. Perhaps we couldn’t afford to pay a bill due to employment problems, we forgot about the debt or perhaps it was a parking ticket that we didn’t know about. Regardless of how we ended up with a debt problem, the steps that we take to resolve the problem are critical to making things better and not adversely impacting our credit rating.
The first and most important thing to bear in mind is that how we conduct ourselves will make the difference between an easy or a difficult resolution to the problem. The unfortunate truth is that the debt collector has all the power. No matter how rude they are to you, what threats they make or how much they bother you, you must remain professional. If your rights are being violated there are means for you to seek remedy.
In order to work with a creditor there are several point to keep in mind. You must be trustworthy, calm, to the point and dependable. Your creditor only cares about the promises that you make and that you keep them. By remaining calm and focussed you will create the air of responsibility and thus earn more of your creditors trust and make your dealings with them easier.
Once you have developed a working relationship with your creditor you must be sure to maintain it. If the payment will be more or less than stated call your creditor to let them know. If the payment is going to be a day late call them and let them know. The most important thing you can do is to stay in touch with your creditor so that they are not surprised by anything.
Sometimes it is not possible for you to live up to your promises and the collection agency may need to take further actions. These actions can include garnishing your wages, suing you in small claims court or seizing your tax refunds or assets. Generally these actions are well with in their means and are a reasonable consequence of your incurring a debt and not maintaining it. However, sometimes debt collectors over step their boundaries and attempt to use inappropriate or even illegal debt collection practices.
If you feel that you are the victim of wrongful debt collection practices there are some options available to you. The first step is to keep a log of all the details of all your conversations and promises with the collection agency. The next step is to contact the authority in your area for debt collections. The name will vary depending upon where you live but generally it will be something like the Ministry of Debt Collections or Debt Collections Authority. Each state or province has various laws regarding the actions that debt collects can take and thus there is a governing body to ensure that the laws are being followed. If you have a complaint you can contact them and detail the events and actions that occurred. If they feel that you are being wronged they may be able to stop any further actions, reverse actions taken, have your account transferred to another agency or even forgiven.
Having a debt problem is not the end of the world if you deal with it promptly and professionally. Debt collectors may tend to be a little harsh at times but you must remain calm and try to understand that they are simply doing their job, which can be very tough to do. If you find yourself with a debt problem is sure to stay in constant contact with the collectors and fulfill your promises and you will soon be free of your problems.