If you are falling behind on your bill payments, it can seem like trouble is headed your way. Many people assume what follows after a missed payment, or a series of missed payments, would be physical harm, legal ramifications, or time spent in jail.
What A Debt Collector Can And Cannot Do
Fortunately, none of those things are true. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TALK TO THEM. YOU CAN HANG UP. Yes, hang up.
Debt collectors also have laws and rules that they must follow, as outlined in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). But many skirt the laws. Commissioned sales reps will say whatever they want to say to get a payment out of you through lies and intimidation. There are a number of things that debt collectors are not allowed to do to you, such as call you during work, call you on holidays, tell you or threaten you that you could go to jail or get sued, use profanity, blackmail you, or tell your financial status to your friends or family members.
Still, you might receive phone calls from debt collectors when they are legally allowed to contact you. Hang up. To many people, this can feel like harassment. Hang up. So, if you do not want the debt collector to keep calling you, you can simply ask them to stop. Then hang up. As long as you send the message and they receive it, they must comply with your request by law. If they don’t, next time they call hang up. You are not legally required to talk to them. Ever.
Whether you ask them to stop over the phone or through an email or letter. Your word is like a law that they are obliged to follow. And you don’t have to be nice. And you do NOT need to respond at all. Think about it, they want money, and you are not going to give them any.
So, would you allow your phone to ring a few times in exchange for a 60% reduction in your balance? Of course, you would. Do the math.
One last story to think about
Once upon a time, a successful business man named John borrowed 10 million dollars from his local bank. Months later, after a series of setbacks, John was washed up and unable to pay back the loan. Depressed and miserable, he finally had to tell his wife about the loan. He was in tears of pain telling her the horrible news. He said that he is now indebted to the bank for the rest of his life or until he earns the money back. Surprisingly, his wife calmly thought about it for a moment and then replied, “Honey, I think you have that backwards. The bank is indebted to you until you can pay them back. The way I see it, YOU are in power, not the bank. So, can we go to dinner now?” In respects to your consumer debt, who has the power, you or the bank?