Have you ever experienced a call from a debt collector at any point in your life? I think everyone has. They call you first thing in the morning, and they seem to call you right before you go to bed. It’s almost as though they think you don’t know that you’ve missed a payment, or have become delinquent on a bill, so they want to remind you every hour, of every day, and at the most inconvenient of times. It’s enough to drive a person crazy.
If you’re being constantly bombarded with calls from debt collectors, it can quickly morph into harassment. Some people have had to change their phone numbers, or even disconnect their services due to the outrageous amount of phone calls. Well, you shouldn’t have to resort to those measures when there are other options you can take to stop the calls altogether. Take a look at the different ways you can stop those harassing debt collector phone calls so that you can move on with your life.
Negotiate a Lower Amount
When you get calls from debt collectors, you have to realize that them calling is part of their job. Just like a doctor’s job is to make people feel better, a debt collector’s job is to make attempts to collect a debt… but some of them do have tendencies to do their job “excessively.” It may impress their bosses, but it certainly won’t help you rest any easier at night.
Now, everyone isn’t able to pay their full balance in full outright, but if you talk to them and tell them what’s going on, it can sometimes help. You also want to tell them what you can and cannot pay. This helps stop the calls, because all they want is your money, and to them, some money is better than no money at all.
If you have a bill and your monthly minimum payment is $100.00, but you can’t afford that, then let them know. Sometimes the expenses of daily life outweigh our income, so before contacting your debtor, prepare a comprehensive list of your recurring expenses, and get the total amount you’re spending across at least a three month period. That way, you’ll be able to accurately communicate to them why you’re struggling with your bills, and clearly establish what you can and cannot afford to pay.
In many instances, if you talk to the company, they will work with you, and can change the repayment terms you initially agreed upon, but they won’t be able to do that if you don’t take the time to provide supporting documentation (your monthly expense bills and receipts) to justify why you’re behind in your payments. You might be able to change that monthly payment of $100 into $40 a month. Changing that will of course force you to have to pay on your balance much longer, but it’s an affordable amount for you to pay, even though it’s a longer amount of time. And, in terms of your mental health, it will get the debt collectors off of your back.
Take Out a Personal Loan
Taking out a loan to pay off a debt collector will definitely stop the calls because you’re giving them what they’re asking for – money! Sometimes it’s just easier to do it this way. Getting a loan and making monthly payments on that will also increase your credit score.
The great thing about loans is that your repayment amount would be at a monthly fixed rate, for a set amount of time. You might be thinking, why would I opt to get a loan to pay off another debt. Well 9 times out of 10, the monthly loan amount you pay back will be considerably less than the debt that you owe. Not only that, but with a loan, you’re only worried about one repayment, and one interest rate, versus having to keep track of many different agencies, each with varying rates and amounts. It can make a real difference when you’re trying to settle your debt, and get your life back in order. Even if you have had trouble in the past, you will still be able to find a loan for bad credit.
Take Them to Court
If you are having issues with debt collector calls, and causing you to ignore your phone when an unknown number calls, then you definitely have to do something about it. Those phone calls will have you feeling scared, intimidated, and some actually feeling helpless. That’s definitely no way to live. There are ways that you can take control of the situation, and taking them to court is one of them.
Taking your debt collector to court is not your way of trying to get out of paying your debt altogether. It’s more so about addressing their aggressive attempts to get you to pay a debt that you owe, but you’re just unable to currently pay in the amount that they’re seeking.
Debt collectors do have rules that they have to follow, and legally have to follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This act has laws that cover what debt collectors can do, and what they cannot do. If you read this act and see that a debt collecting company has violated some of these laws, then you have every right to take them to court. Bear in mind – even if you do find something you feel violates the law, seek legal counsel first, preferably a free consultation. You may think it’s a cut and dry case, but an experienced and effective attorney can tell you how well your case would stand up in court, and even solid cases get expenses. If you lose, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to pay, not only your attorney’s expenses but the debt collector’s attorney fees as well. More debt and a worse situation can be the result of this.
Raise the Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a time limit that a creditor or lender has to sue you for a debt that you owe. To be clear, raising a statute of limitations is more so to protect yourself from being sued by a creditor or lender…they can still call you to ask for payment of the debt, but you have escaped the aspect of them suing you, or threatening to sue you for the debt if an old account or debt has gone past your state’s statute of limitations. The statute of limitation varies from state to state, so you’d need to look up your state’s statute of limitations. It can range anywhere to four or more years.
You can also expect that your debt is going to have all kinds of late fees and penalty fees tacked on to it too. Sometimes, you can ask your debtor for a settlement amount. A settlement amount is usually less than the total debt you owe. If you opt to settle your debt, a loan is definitely a great route to take. Once you pay off the debt, don’t forget to keep tabs on your credit report to see how it has affected your credit score.