To say there is endless misinformation about debt collections in the media and on the Internet would be a vast understatement.

Right up front, you should know that the debt collection industry provides critical and necessary support to not only consumers and the business community but the overall economy.

Just about everyone who works in the debt collection industry fully understands that it can be an uncomfortable situation as a consumer being sent to collections. And one other thing we know. No consumer wants to be in debt and struggling to pay their bills. Consumers do not want to have their accounts sent to a collection agency.

However, it is important to point out that over the years, the debt collection industry has dramatically changed for the better. These changes have put the consumer in a much better place to be able to resolve the debt they have accumulated.

There are still many myths about the debt collection industry so we have compiled just a few to make sure that the public fully understands not only how collection agencies operate but the rights that consumers have when it comes to being in collections.

Collection agencies always demand full payment-FALSE

There has been a long-standing myth about collections that states when you are contacted by an agency, they will always demand full payment. This is not true. One of the more successful ways in which a consumer can work with a collection agency is to create a schedule of payments that allow that consumer to manage that debt much more efficiently.

Payment plans allow the consumer to get on with their lives and even continue to do business with the creditor that has not been paid. And most collection agencies understand that demanding full payment from a consumer, will only cause that consumer to end up in collections once again.

Payment plans are always an option for a consumer in collections.

Debt collectors are always aggressive and demanding-FALSE

Most issues are resolved when people can get along and have meaningful and constructive conversations. The only way that is done in collections is by showing the consumer that we can listen to their situation and offer them a way out. Every interested party wants to resolve the debt, including the business that hired the collection agency, the consumer, and the agency. It’s in the best interest of everyone to get along, and that’s why professional collectors are increasingly focusing on the dignity and respect that is afforded the consumer.

Professionally trained debt collectors are never demanding or aggressive!

I can be arrested if I don’t pay my bills-FALSE

You cannot be arrested if you are a consumer that has not paid off your debt. It’s a shame that this myth has to be continually debunked, but we continue to see it spread around all forms of media. While we in the business community always advise consumers to pay their bills on time, it’s not a crime if you do not pay off your debts. As you might imagine, paying off your debts is the right thing to do, but you will not be thrown in jail for neglecting your financial responsibilities to another business.

If you are called by someone trying to collect a debt and they are threatening any type of jail time or they are telling you that they will be sending the police to your house, that is not a legitimate or licensed debt collector. You should end that conversation immediately!

Debt collections is not a legitimate career-FALSE

Those who work in debt collections can build a thriving career.

Many people may have the images that have been portrayed in nightly news magazines of all people working in dark rooms and harassing consumers, but that is the furthest thing from the truth.

The debt collection industry provides thousands of people across the country with a chance to make a difference with both the businesses that have hired them and the consumers they are contacting. Because of this, many in this industry feel a sense of purpose because they can use enhanced communication skills to mediate a solution that helps everyone involved.

Those who work in the collection industry and understand their role also understand Their job is to help others. And while, like any career, there are good days and bad days, knowing that you’ve helped people in your job can make all the difference in the world.

Stay tuned because we have more myths to debunk about debt collections!