When a Debt Collector Calls, What to Do?

When a Debt Collector Calls, What to Do?

Calls from debt collectors can entirely catch you off guard. Additionally, if you don’t have any preparation for a chat with a debt collector, you might agree to pay a collection you can’t afford. Or you can get into a heated dispute with a debt collector who demands you pay a bill you don’t believe you owe right away. Don’t freak out if a debt collector calls you. Maintain composure and take these actions.

Ensure that you have time to speak.

If you can’t talk right now, tell the collector you can’t talk and ask them to call back at a time that works better for you if you’re too busy to write down some information about the collector. Even if you want the debt collector to halt their calls to you permanently, you should at the very least make a note of their name and address so you can send a written cease and desist letter. Continue to the following step after you have time to speak.

The pen and the paper

Your phone call will undoubtedly be recorded by the debt collector. And you ought to. Your notes will be useful if you ever need to remember a previous conversation or if you ever have to go before a collector in court.

Every time you speak with a debt collector, you should take notes of the following basic information: the date and time of the call; the collector’s name; the name and address of the collection company; the alleged amount of the debt; the name of the original creditor; and everything else that was discussed.

Requesting that the debt collector send details about the debt

You could declare, “I don’t think I owe this debt.” Could you send details about it? The collector must confirm your address before sending a bill for the debt. It’s okay to change your address since, if you’re receiving bills at your current address, they may already have your updated address from the credit bureau. Keep in mind not to mention anything that could put you in debt.

Don’t Acknowledge the Debt

Consider this conversation as an interrogation where your innocence will be assumed unless proven guilty. Make no payment or payment plan until you are certain that the debt is yours and that the collector has the legal authority to collect it.

Debt collectors frequently create new debts or attempt to collect on ones that are no longer enforceable. It is your responsibility to confirm these facts through the debt validation procedure, which is simply writing a letter asking the debt collector to produce documentation proving that the debt is actually yours.

Withhold information regarding your earnings, debts, or other bills.

Some of this information can be obtained by debt collectors from your credit report, and they might even use it to pressure you into making a quick payment. For instance, they might say, “I see that all of your credit card payments are current.” You can certainly afford to pay off this loan. Alternatively, “Don’t you work for ABC Company?” So you may pay for this.

Keep in mind that the caller will utilize any information you provide to collect the debt. It serves no purpose to discuss your personal or financial details if you are not prepared to pay.

If necessary, hang up.

You are in no position to bargain if a debt collector approaches you without warning. You need time to confirm that the debt is yours, determine whether you can afford to pay it, and whether it is even prudent to do so. When a debt collector calls, don’t ramble on for too long. There are simply a few things you must say.

  • “Now is not the time.” Call us back at 6:00, please.
  • “I don’t think I owe this debt,” he said. Can you send details about it?
  • I would rather pay the initial creditor. I need your address to send you a cease-and-desist letter, so please provide it.
  • “My employer forbids me from taking these calls at the office,”
  • You risk being held accountable for anything else you say about the debt or your willingness or ability to pay.

To Determine What to Do Next After the Call

After you hang up the phone, you have a few options, including using the debt negotiation procedure to contest the debt, sending a cease-and-desist letter, requesting a pay-for-delete, making a settlement offer, or paying the bill in full. Even if the debt is within the statute of limitations and credit reporting time limits, ignoring it isn’t always the wisest course of action.

Questions and Answers (FAQs)

Ignore debt collectors if you can

Ignoring a debt collector is not a good idea. If you do, they might use more drastic measures to recover the debt, such as bringing a lawsuit. 

If you are on the Do Not Phone list, may debt collectors still call you?

Only unsolicited sales calls are prevented by the Do Not Call Registry. Debt collectors are exempt from this list since they do business with you. However, you have the right to request (in writing) that a debt collector stop calling you, and they must abide by your request. Keep in mind that the debt collector may continue to attempt to collect the debt using other means. 

How frequently can a collection agency phone you each day?

When a debt collector is assumed to be overstepping their bounds, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act specifies a set of conditions. A debt collector is not permitted to contact you more than seven times in a seven-day period, and they are also not permitted to do so within seven days of speaking with you on the phone about the issue.

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