Hello consumers, this one is for you. And it’s meaningful advice that is coming straight from the people that you may not always be interested in speaking with, debt collectors.
But that’s about to change!
A common question in this industry and on Internet searches is how to deal with debt collectors. While some of that advice is certainly valid, some of it is written in a more adversarial manner, meaning many writing advice on this topic are teaching consumers how to avoid these issues.
But, that’s not the way to effectively work with a debt collector or more importantly your own personal finances.
The key here is “work with.” NOT “deal with.”
You can be well on your way to improving your personal finances as a consumer by working with a debt collector and resolving your debt together.
Communication is your best strategy with debt collectors
Never hesitate to pick up the phone when a collection agency calls.
Most consumers think the opposite but with most challenges and struggles in life, ignoring those issues will never result in situations getting better.
And while you might think, “sure of course the debt collector wants me to pick up the phone,” there are ample reasons why this is the most effective strategy to get out of debt.
Having that first phone call with a debt collection professional can lay the groundwork for having one less thing to worry about and eventually paying off your financial obligations. It’s a chance to fully understand why your account has been sent to a collection agency and the steps you can take to pay off this debt.
If you are in debt and a collection agency calls you, at least make the effort to pick up the phone or return the call and start a dialogue.
Tell your story to the professional debt collector
Professionally trained collectors understand there are a whole host of reasons why you have been unable to pay certain bills. Collectors understand that life happens and there are many reasons why you may be behind in your finances.
Picking up the phone or calling a collection agency back is your opportunity to convey what is going on in your life that is preventing you from paying certain bills.
If your employment status has changed, you have accumulated unscheduled expenses such as home emergencies or pet care, medical bills and other anticipated demands on your finances, you should feel free to share that with a professional collector. One way collection agencies can help you the consumer is to get a better understanding of your other financial obligations.
This is your opportunity to begin the process of resolving your debt.
Tell the debt collector what you can afford
When you communicate with a professional collector, make sure you tell them what you feel you can afford.
There is a myth in debt collections that you have to pay the full amount right on the spot. That is not accurate and in most cases, you will have the opportunity to work with that collector and build a payment plan.
Creating a structured payment arrangement begins the process of paying off your debt, lowering your stress and moving on with your life. However, this will only happen if you commit to communicating with the collection agency.
One important fact to point out. A collection agency will never force you to hand over your last dollar or empty your bank account. The collection industry understands that this will only lead to further delinquencies in your life.
Commit to a respectful dialogue and communicate what you can legitimately afford, to pay off your debt.
Reciprocate with dignity and respect
One of the best ways to make progress in resolving your debt is to maintain a respectful conversation with professional collectors.
More and more debt collection agencies are asking their employees to take a pledge to treat all consumers with the dignity and respect they deserve. It’s just the right thing to do.
A professional collector understands that you are probably not happy being in the situation you are in and to a greater extent, struggling to keep up with your bills. The last thing that needs to happen is to be treated unfairly.
The results can only be positive when both parties can remain calm and have a respectful conversation.
Understand a professional debt collector is there to help you
We understand this might be difficult for consumers to grasp, given collection agencies are hired by a business to collect money from consumers, but professional debt collectors can play a significant role in helping consumers navigate unwanted debt.
First, they can get the process started by helping consumers remove the burden of unwanted debt in their lives. Many consumers don’t know where to turn and feel trapped so when I collector can get that process started for a consumer, many are thankful for the assistance.
A professional collector can also help consumers that may have been victimized by identity theft. You may have a bill with a debt collection agency that you know nothing about. Because it’s unfamiliar, you may be ignoring it thinking it will go away. But this one bill could indicate future headaches for you and a professional collector can help you become more aware of issues of identity theft.
Your outstanding debt could be getting in the way of you moving on with your life. Maybe you have had trouble buying a new home or refinancing. Or maybe you have had challenges making major purchases such as a new automobile.
A professionally trained debt collector can help you navigate your way out of these situations.
Bottom line, do not be afraid to pick up the phone, have a conversation with a debt collector and start getting on with your life.