Debt collectors are probably one of the most disliked people in the financial industry. It is quite sad to be in their position actually. They are only doing their job yet people seem to hate them. Although this negative reputation may not be unfounded because some of them do practice abusive behavior when collecting from consumers. But the bottom line is that they are just doing what they were hired to do. You should always remember that your debt is your responsibility. If they are collecting from you, they have every right to because you had been delinquent on your payments.
When collectors are brought into the picture, that means your original creditor had given up on your account. They have marked it as something that they will no longer profit from. It means that you had been late on your payments for a couple of months already. The chances of your credit score being in trouble is not unlikely to happen.
While the situation may seem ugly and stressful already, you need to keep your head together. There is a silver lining in this seemingly bleak scenario - as long as you know how to deal with your debt collectors.
You have to know that you have the option to stop collection agencies from communicating and harassing you for your debts. However, that usually implies that you have no plans of paying them off and they may be prompted to sue you for your debt. You don’t have to subject yourself to that risk. There are techniques to help you deal with these annoying collectors.
First of all, avoiding the calls of the collector will not do you any good. You should entertain them. You have to treat them as professionals. Be polite even when it is evident that they are being threatening. Sometimes keeping a cool head will get them to lower their tones and be more friendly. You want to show them your good side as it will help you during the negotiation process.
When you are negotiating with them, start with your payment term. As mentioned, at this point, you have been late on your payments - usually because you are in a serious financial crisis and you cannot afford your old terms. Keep in mind the amount that you know you can afford. Never agree if you know that your current finances cannot pay for it. Keep mentioning bankruptcy to get them to agree to the ideal amount that you can afford to pay.
Ask the collector about your credit score too. How will all of this be reflected on your score. Include that in the negotiation. If you can pay them a big amount, you can ask them to remove the record on your credit history. Or if they will not agree, you can ask them to mark your credit record as current or settled - whatever is applicable.
It will help your case if you read about the FDCPA or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This law is implemented by the FTC or Federal Trade Commission. It states the right practices of collectors so you know when they are overstepping already and abusing your rights.
Obviously, the only way to appease the collector is to give them the assurance that you want to pay them but you need to base it on the amount that you can afford. If you ever come into an agreement, make sure that it is in writing. Don’t send them any amount until you have a written agreement in your hands.