When it comes to dealing with creditors, most consumers end up stressed out and feeling alone. While debt collections are not easy, there are a few things every consumer should know about handling the process with grace and ease. In general, there are a few actions that should not be taken when dealing with creditors.
Don’t ignore them- while some avoid calls and collection attempts, this is never a good strategy. You are being contacted for a reason and even if you don’t deal with a credit collector directly, you definitely need to get to the bottom of the issue. Instead of hiding from creditors, find out what debts are being collected and arrange a payment plan directly with the creditor. Credit collections serve their purpose, if for no other reason than to signal there is a problem.
Don’t let them violate the rules- creditors are bound by rules and regulations of how they are supposed to conduct business, although there are some that violate these rules regularly. As a consumer you have right to resolve your debts without being harassed or threatened by creditors. If a creditor is repeatedly calling you, sending emails or social media messages or even contacting you outside of designated times; you have the right to report them to the Federal Trade Commission. You can find a detailed list of what debt collection actions are prohibited by visiting the FTC’s website.
Don’t fight alone- although you may be able to deal with credit collectors on your own, you don’t necessarily have to. There are several types of lawyers and debt negotiation attorneys can help you fight off debt collections, even if you don’t want to file for bankruptcy. Having legal representation can ensure you are not abused by collectors while you find the debt relief you need to resolve your accounts.