Dealing with third party collection companies can be frustrating. They will call you several times at different hours of the day. I’ve dealt with collection companies for several years now helping clients negotiate their past due credit card debt. I’ll share my secrets on how you can deal with debt collectors while getting the best deal possible!
If you have already completely paid off a late or missed bill, then there is not much you can do to fix it. What you need to pay attention to right now are any outstanding debts. Make a list of who you owe, and how much you owe, and start paying them off one at a time. Contact Debt collection companies if you need more information on where to send the payment to. You may even be able to negotiate a payment agreement on larger balances.
Upon writing the demand letter for proof addressed to the collector, he will not likely have any absolute evidence of the amount owed using the old 1960s law. In the end, you will not owe anything to anyone.
In California they have not gone there yet as far as I have seen. Collections are still a responsibility of the creditor once a judgment for the debt has been issued by the court. We in California are thus luckier than many other states. But creditors can demand that debtors attend a “debtor’s exam” and the creditors can have a court issue the order. Failure to attend one of these can result in an arrest warrant being issued and can result in a debtor being put in jail. So be careful if a debtor’s exam is ordered if you have unpaid debts in California. It can possibly be used by creditors as a back door way of getting you in jail for purely private debts.
And now for the horror stories. One man in Indiana, pictured with his kids, spent two nights in jail for a $4,000 debt. What did they tell the kids when they asked where’s daddy? What if he is a single dad? Another from Carbondale Illinois spent five days in jail for failing to pay a $275 debt. In a previous blog about debtor’s prisons I talked about a woman handcuffed and carted off to jail who kept there all night while she stayed awake and shivered from the cold. She wasn’t told until the next morning even what the charge was. It was of course non-payment of some private debt. Another was threatened with jail by the judge in the case “indefinitely” until he began making payments to some lumber company.
How you pay your debt is actually a main factor. First, determine whether they’re willing to accept monthly payments to repay the debt and if so, how much per month would it require and how much of the debt will be taken off if you pay as arranged. Also, you should find out how much of the balance will be taken off if you pay them completely with a single payment. This type of payment is desired by collection agencies because they are getting cash quickly and this decreases the risk of having to call back for payments or payments bouncing in the future due to change in checking accounts. Make use of this tool to negotiate your balance owed as it should give you a much clearer picture on what it would take to pay the debt.
How to pay off a debt collection company slowly is a matter of knowing what you owe, making a plan for repayment, and then standing firm on that plan. It may seem difficult at first, but there are things you can do to make the process go more smoothly; it’s just a matter of knowing what to do.