This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of court reporter schools at her blog Court Reporter Schools. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: [email protected].
It’s never an easy situation when you’re in debt; the thought that you cannot pay back money you owe is as frightening as the fact that the debt collectors are going to be knocking down your door sooner than you think. But there are ways to deal with the collection agents and agencies, without losing your cool or getting intimidated by them.
Know your rights. If you know your rights, you’re less likely to give in to demands from collectors that may be unscrupulous. They’re not allowed to harass you or use threats to collect money from you. They must follow the rules according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and not call you at odd hours of the day or night.
Negotiate with them. Every debt collector worth their salt knows that if you refuse to pay, they cannot use force to make you do so. So if you explain your situation to them and try to reach an agreement where you can pay a lump sum down or a minimum amount every month to keep your creditor satisfied and show that you do intend to repay the debt in good faith, you can make your situation a whole lot easier to bear.
Don’t be bullied down by threats. Some collectors may try to intimidate you by threatening to collect your debt directly from your pay check. But unless they have a valid court order to do so, they cannot do such a thing. So don’t allow yourself to be browbeaten into paying more than you can afford and neglect your food and rent in the process.
Don’t use threats of your own. It’s best to deal with debt collectors in a conciliatory way and avoid antagonizing them for your own peace of mind. While you must show them that you are aware of your rights. Don’t throw facts in their face. Instead, try talking to them about your situation and asking them for a grace period in which to repay your debt.
It’s not easy when you know the collector is due to come calling, but with a little patience and planning, you should be able to deal with this crisis and get back on your feet soon enough.