Tips for Dealing With a Debt Collector

by Susan Cioffi 04/14/2019

Debt collection calls can be frustrating and a headache. It is quite disappointing to know that you have outstanding debts and the debt collector is offering very stringent conditions in terms of payment options. If you're familiar with the behaviors of debt collectors, then you know they issue threats, use offensive language, and come up with various tactics to scare the debtors. This practice most often only makes things worse and creates unnecessary tension. Here are the seven things to know when dealing with a debt collector: 

1. The Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Credit Reporting Act gives you the rules and restrictions guiding debt collection. Get yourself acquainted with the credit reporting act to know your right as a debtor. 

2. Abusive behavior is illegal

According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices, it is illegal for debt collectors to use abusive language on the debtor. If a debt collector exhibits such behavior, debtors should document all that transpires and report to the Federal Trade Commission. 

3. Negotiate a settlement on your terms alone

It is essential you negotiate the payment plans after you have carefully considered your income and expenses. On this note, payment plans should be based strictly on your terms, not theirs.

4. Beware of scammers

Before starting the negotiation with any debt collector, you should get them to identify themselves with their names, telephone number, company's name, address, and a professional license number if necessary. You are entitled to know these pieces of information by law. 

5. Do not fall into the trap of "Just Pay Something."

Before making any payment, ask the debt collector to send you a written document of proof of your payment. Do not authorize anything over the phone otherwise; you will not have a record for the money paid.

6. Too many calls are against the Law

Aside from the fact that debt collectors are not allowed to use abusive language, they also don't have the right to call you against your instructions. According to the law, a debt collector must stop contacting you as long as you have sent a letter to the appropriate authority, requesting it ends.

7. Collectors do not have the right to inflate what you owe

The debt collector only has the right to charge interest based on what is stipulated by the law or according to your agreement with the original creditor. 

Do not fall prey to unnecessary scare tactics; always take the time to read up on contracts and understand your rights as a debtor.

About the Author

Author
Susan Cioffi

My name is Susan Cioffi. I have been a Realtor for 15  years now. I pride myself in customer service. I have won the Diamond award for volume with my first brokerage, but also won the Customer Service award that same year, so I am very proud of that. I specialize as a Listing Agent,  Property Management, New Home Sales, Buyers, Waterfront, Rentals, Condo Conversions in the South Shore Area (Riverview, Apollo Beach, Lithia, Brandon, Gibsonton). I am active in the community and with the Riverview Chamber of Commerce. Awarded Volunteer of the year in 2007. Also giving to various charities. Each year we raise money to help homeless veterans in the area with their Christmas gift. Also give to Children's Miracle network all year with every closing I have.

Originally from Boston, we moved here over 16 years ago. It's hard to believe it's been that long. We miss family and friends but we love the Florida Lifestyle. I have been married for almost 31 years to my husband, Vin. I have two wonderful children, Vincent (29), and Christopher (23), and a dog, Bandit. Plus my first grandchild, Colton, who is 1 and 1/2.   I also have my mother that live right down the street from house, and my brothers are also close to us. We live in the great community of Lake St Charles.