It’s September, and the weather is starting to cool down. Unfortunately, the calls, texts, and letters from creditors are as hot as ever! No one likes it when creditors make contact and disrupt the flow of life. So, if creditors are heating up your email and mailboxes, we have some tips for you!
By the time a debt makes it to a debt collector, it has been “purchased” for a fraction of the owed amount. That means there’s a chance the creditor may negotiate with you to reach a settlement amount.
To successfully negotiate, first pull the account records and verify that the debt is yours and the total amount is accurate.
Once you have verified the debt is yours and is accurate, think about why you haven’t paid that particular bill, and stick with that explanation. And that could be anything from losing your job after an illness, a significant increase in interest rates, pay cuts, or taking care of a loved one who is ill. Whatever the case, stick to the same explanation.
Understand your options
Stay calm, take notes, and ask many questions. If the topic of being sued arises or a loss of property, ask for specifics of either. If what the collector is saying is false, you’ll have documentation in your possession to help you. Keep pen and paper nearby so you can take good notes in real-time as you speak with any collector. Don’t forget to ask the name of the person you talk to during the phone call.
Don’t throw those notices away! Instead, read, save and file your mail. Then, go over each item carefully and look for any errors.
Do your best to deal with creditors to work out a payment arrangement before it goes to collections. While working with the creditor may be stressful, once a bill goes to collections, a late payment notification will show up on your credit report and hurt your credit score.
If a payment arrangement or settlement is made, make sure you get it in writing before paying. If it comes down to your word against theirs, you want it all on paper!
Suppose you’ve taken these steps and are still drowning in debt. In that case, the knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers at Miller Hollander and Jeda! Bankruptcy can extinguish the heat from creditors hot on your tail! Call for your free and confidential consultation today at 239.775.2000 for a FREE consultation.