Today I am going to take a break from discussing the Major Components of a Healthy Financial Plan and instead delve further into an article I commented about on Twitter. The article is about abusive behavior by debt collectors. As the article states, there was a 50% surge in complaints in 2009 to the FTC about harassment from debt collectors. With more and more people defaulting on loans, collectors will be harassing more than ever to get their money. Are collectors allowed to call to collect a debt? Absolutely! Are they allowed to harass people into giving them money! No! When dealing with a collector who is harassing you, it is important to know your rights.
When you are dealing with a collector you do have rights. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) that was created in 1977 to ensure debt collectors give fair treatment when collecting a debt. Currently the number 1 complaint right now against collectors is repeated calls. Collectors are only allowed to call between 8 AM and 9 PM, local time. After repeating phone calls, the number 2 complaint is using abusive and vulgar language. Dealing with this is simple, just give the collector a warning that you will end the call if they keep using inappropriate language. If he/she continues then simply follow through and end the call.
A few things you need to remember when dealing with collectors. The first is that it is not personal. Often it will seem personal, but in reality it is all about them collecting the money that is owed to them. The second thing to remember is to resist taking the bait from collectors. Their job is to get you emotional so you will pay. When you are scared you are more likely to pay the credit card bill instead of feeding your family. By knowing your rights, you will be able to resist falling for their tricks. Also you will learn to be patient. Remember, collectors just want one thing, to get paid and they do not really care if you and your spouse just lost your job. Just keep communicating with them and eventually you will be able to get through to one that you will be able to work something out with. Finally it is important to remember that YOU set your priorities for the family, not a collector. Never let a collector determine your family’s spending. You decide what your priorities are.
Dealing with collectors is not an easy task. It is can be a very time-consuming and emotionally draining process. If you need help in this area, please contact us today and we will set up a meeting to discuss how we can train you to resist unfair collection practices, prepare you on how to communicate with your creditors, to understand the FDCPA, and teach you the priority of protecting your four walls (food, utilities, housing, transportation) first before paying collectors. Remember you do not have to put up with abusive behavior from collectors!