Dealing with a debt collector can be an overwhelming process for many people who have accrued debt. Some debt collectors can be very aggressive in trying to recover the money owed, so it’s essential to learn how to tackle them and keep your guards up.
Here are three mistakes to avoid when dealing with debt collectors:
Mistake#1: Not performing verification of the debt
Debt validation is a crucial part of dealing with debt collectors and should be the first thing you should do when encountering such a situation.
Sometimes debt collection agencies attempt to use old debts to generate extra money, so make sure you don’t fall into their trap and agree to pay debt that you don’t owe.
If they are unable to verify a debt, it’s likely that they’re not legally entitled to collect the debt, so you should always ask for the information.
Remember, your request for proof must be made in writing to be legally valid. The best way is to send a letter via certified mail with return receipt requested.
Mistake#2: Ignoring their phone calls
While it can be frustrating to talk with debt collectors on the phone, you mustn’t ignore their calls.
Firstly, you must ensure that the call is legitimate to avoid getting scammed. Only continue the conversation if you’re able to confirm that the call is genuine.
Make sure you don’t admit to owing any balance and refrain from making promises to make any payments. Also, tell them to continue future correspondence through the USPS.
In addition to that, never provide private information like your account details or social security number on the phone or otherwise.
Mistake#3: No attempting to negotiate
Debt collectors purchase debts from companies at a fraction of the price from original creditors and make good profits. Therefore, you always have room to negotiate a low offer.
Make sure you don’t send an extremely low offer, but quote an offer that’s considerably less than you owe. Sometimes, debt collectors are willing to accept half of the remaining balance.
Ask the debt collector to put the agreement into writing and only negotiate using a certified mail service.
If you have a pay-for-deletion agreement, you can present it to credit bureaus to remove the debt from your credit report.
You can hire professional credit specialists to negotiate lenders on your behalf and formulate a plan to increase your credit score so you can improve your financial health.
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