Debt collectors have a reputation of being both ruthless and intimidating to consumers. But this doesn’t mean you have to bend to their every whim. To the contrary, there are some important things you need to know about when handling debt collection calls that can give you the higher ground.
When Will You Get Debt Collection Calls?
The first thing you need to know is when you should expect to be getting calls from debt collectors. Being prepared is an essential part of handling debt collection calls. There are two aspects to this.
First, you want to know how long it takes one of your debts to go to collections, which will then likely become the process of receiving unwanted calls from collectors. There’s nothing enjoyable about getting collection calls, especially when you’re already dealing with a stressful financial situation.
Unfortunately, there’s no hard rule on how long it takes for your debt to be sold to a collection agency. Though, six months after the time you miss a payment is an okay rule of thumb. If you’re late on your debts, you might want to be keeping up with your credit report on a regular basis in order to see if there are any new accounts that have gone to collection.
For those with debt in collection, it’s also key to know when to expect these calls, as you’ll not want to be caught off guard by them. Fortunately, there are rules and regulations regarding this. Debt collectors are prohibited from calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. without your permission.
Handling Debt Collection Calls
Now that you have a general idea of when and why to expect debt collection calls, you need to learn how to actually handle them. It’s easy to say you’ll be fine, but going through an actual collection call can be intense and flustering.
For those who have trouble handling debt collection calls, it’s possible you’ll end up having your wages garnished. This is where the collector makes a legal injunction to have funds directly taken out of your bank account. You can click here to learn more about this process and how to avoid it. Needless to say, handling debt collection calls the right way can be hugely important for your financial health.
There are a few general things that should and shouldn’t be done when on the phone with debt collectors. Here are some of the top things to know about handling debt collection calls:
- Don’t avoid the situation – Simply ignoring debt collection isn’t going to get you anywhere good. As previously mentioned, it’s possible for debt collectors to garnish your wages or take money directly from your bank account. So pretending they don’t exist isn’t exactly a viable strategy. Actively working to find solutions is the best way of handling debt collection.
- Never say you owe the money – Even if you do in fact owe as much as the debt collector claims, it’s up to the collector to actually prove this.
- Request documentation – It’s not uncommon for debt collection agencies to have faulty information or missing documents. If they can’t show you actually owe the debt, you’re not going to have to repay it.
- Take notes – You’ll want to be able to review what happened on calls with the debt collector later—both to plan what to do, and in case you need to use the information later in court.
- Know your rights – There are federal and state laws that determine what debt collection agents are and aren’t allowed to do on calls. Reviewing these will help you know how to act and compose yourself when communicating with debt collectors.
There’s nothing enjoyable about handling debt collection calls. But not everything you have to do in life is a fun time. Learning the best ways to deal with debt collection will at least make the process as painless as possible, and maybe even work to your financial benefit.