Dealing with collection agencies-debt collectors

It is never fun to deal with collection agencies. They can contact consumers through endless phone calls or they can send out multiple letters. At the time, things seem overwhelming and instead of dealing with the situation, most people attempt to avoid contact and hope that the situation resolves itself. Unfortunately, avoidance will only work for so long.

While it seems like avoiding debt all together is the best idea, there are times when it is just unavoidable. As soon as the debt collection agency makes first contact, it is important for a consumer to learn more about their rights. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has set up several guidelines that collectors must follow. If a company is not abiding by these regulations, they can be held accountable for their actions.

Because ignoring the problem is not going to change anything, consider dealing with the problem head on. It is possible to double check the debt and make sure that it is accurate. From there, come up with some type of plan for paying it back. The sooner the issue is handled, the better. Debt that goes into collections is often reflected on a consumer`s credit rating.

Keep documentation of everything along the way. Keep a copy of the statement showing how much is owed and what action the person or company plans to take to get the money back. Document all payments made towards the debt and when it is finally paid off or the balance is settled, make sure to keep records. It might be hard to believe, but debt collectors will sometimes pursue someone after they have already paid the debt.

If anything is decided, make sure to get it in writing. People say things all the time and do not plan on following through. If an agreement is reached, it should be in writing. This agreement can be sent over by fax, email, or through the mail. It is always a good idea to get things in writing before sending out a payment. For example, if a debt collector says that one more payment will absolve the debt, before sending out that final payment, get a copy of the agreement.

Much like documentation, keeping recordings of phone calls can be helpful if there is some discrepancy between what a consumer says and what the debt collector says. If the collection agency is not abiding by the regulations set out by the FTC, this is the perfect way to offer proof.

If possible, pay with money orders. While it might seem easy to just write out a check, the collection agency will have the consumer`s routing number and account number. This means that they can deduct the money from the account electronically. Allowing a company or individual to make electronic withdrawals can cause real problems in the future. Most people have other bills to pay and need money to purchase groceries or gas for the car. When the checking account has been cleaned out, it causes more problems for the consumer.

If things get way out of control, consider talking to a professional about how to manage the debt. Sometimes it is necessary to have an expert look over the accounts and attempt to arrange a settlement. A lawyer may be of some assistance, as would a consumer credit advocacy company like National Debt Relief. While the negative effects of the situation can seem overwhelming at first, the best course of action is dealing with the situation quickly. Don`t avoid debt collectors. Instead, learn about consumer rights, come up with a solution and begin making payments to decrease the debt until it is completely gone.