A feeling of hopelessness can sometimes prompt a person to stop making payments on an overdue account. This action is never a good choice. Your creditor will send the delinquent account off to a collection agency once they have exhausted themselves trying to get you on track. Its important to be prepared for what comes next in the process of collection a debt, especially that collection phone calls. You have rights! Expanding your education on these rights will help you avoid unnecessary arguments and agreements that are not in your best interest. The following are some tips to help guide you in properly handling agents with confidence.

Be Straight Forward & Honest
Handle the phone call on your terms. If the call comes at a bad time, inform them and schedule a time that’s best suited for both parties. You are not required to work solely around their schedule. It’s important to have the conversation when you can give your full attention to the matter in question.

Call Preparation
You should expect a debt collection call whenever you fall too far behind and/or stop paying on a loan, credit card or other financial credit account of any kind. Prepare yourself for the anticipated phone call by having a method of taking detailed notes (pen and paper) or recording the conversation. The agent will be prepared for this. Almost all collection agencies record the conversations. A few basics that should always be recorded are; date, time, callers name, agency name, address, name/address of original debtor and the alleged debt amount. You may need these notes if the debt collector takes you to court in an attempt to collect the debt.

Limit the Information You Give
The agent will attempt to gain as much information as possible. They can be sneaky and persuasive. Some of the details they will not doubt attempt to gain are current income, personal information, debt account details and so on. Never provide any details until you are ready to settle the debt in question. Always make sure you know the reason they are calling and the details about the debt they are asking about before volunteering any answers.

Always ask for paperwork to be sent to you by mail. Having this information will provide you with a name and address you may end up needing to write them. You may need to send a cease and desist letter at some point. They already have your current address, so there is no reason to not provide that information again if asked. How did they get your current address? They can obtain your current address through the credit bureau.

Don't Be Bullied
These callers will most likely use guilt tactics in their attempts to gain information and collect on a debt. Don’t be so quick to agree on a payment structure. Make sure the debt in question is actually yours, before making any verbal agreement. Do some research of your own to confirm what they are saying is true. If the debt in question is yours, you will want to get confirmation that the debt has not passed the collection statute of limitation.

Answer the following questions before making any agreement:

1. Is this debt mine?
2. Am I better off dealing directly with the original creditor?
3. What amount can I afford to pay? What terms?
4. I have several accounts being collected on: Should this be the first account to get squared away?

If the collection agent is, or becomes too pushy, make the conversation short and hang up the phone. No need to stay connected if they make things uncomfortable for you. There are some actions that you will need to make. You have some choices, as to what action your going to make. You can dispute the debt, provide a settlement offer to the creditor, pay the full amount or put in a request as a pay and delete offer.

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