Recently, I got the opportunity to be a guest on FOX 25 Boston to discuss how winter debt can lead to spring collection calls.  Read about our conversation here and watch the video below to hear the full discussion from the Fox 25 segment.

As spring rolls in, so do the bills from winter.

This year due to the polar vortex and a long winter some people are finding that they didn’t budget enough for the extra oil or high heating bills and now they need to prioritize their bills.

If you have fallen behind this winter, your bills may have gone into collection. Here are answers to some of the common questions asked about collection agencies and how to work with them.

What do you do if you get a call from a collector?

The most important thing is to not ignore it. It’s important that you communicate with the agency or the original creditor so you can work to set up an arrangement for payment.

What type of debt falls to collectors?

Any business or service that extends credit can use a collection agency to collect from late paying customers.

What collection tactic red flags should you look for to avoid scams?

A big red flag is if the person calling you will not divulge the name of the company they work for or the company phone number or address. Also, if they threaten you or you do not know what the bill is they are speaking about.

There are federal laws that regulate the collection industry, which prevents them from harassing customers. A reputable agency will follow these laws.

If you are in over your head financially, you should reach out and get help. One site that can help you is askdoctordebt.org. This site is great for financial advice and helping you get your finances back on track.

For the full discussion watch the segment from Fox 25 News in the video below: