Are you into severe debt and getting collection calls? Are you very much stressed thinking how to pay back the debt since you’re facing a financial hardship and don’t have enough money? If you’ve answered ‘yes’, to both the questions, then at first stop worrying, as there’s a way out. What you can do is, negotiate for settlement with the debt collectors. This is an option to get out of debt, in which, you become debt free by paying less than what you owe on your debt(s).
Ask to validate the debt – You should not negotiate for settlement without asking for the validation of debt. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the debt collector(s) are bound to give you proof that they legally owe the debt; that is, they are assigned to collect the debt on behalf of the creditor(s).
Check whether it is still within SOL period – A debtor is not obliged to pay the debt if it has already exceeded the SOL (Statute of Limitations) period. No one can sue you for the unpaid amount after the expiry of the SOL period. SOL differs from state to state and the SOL on a credit card debt may not be the same with that of a personal loan. So, check the SOL period on the specific debt before you start negotiating with the collector.
Do not talk over phone – It is advisable to not talk over phone with a collection agency. Even if you have to talk over phone, at first note down certain details such as, the person you had talked to, the physical address of the collection agency, the time of your call, etc. And, after settling a deal over phone, always send a certified mail with a return receipt request (RRR). This will be your proof, if there’s any need in future.
Keep record of every communication – You must keep all records of communication – be it over phone or through mail. As already mentioned, always send certified mails with an RRR. Even if you do not get the return receipt, you can always track the status of your letter with the postal service of US. This will be your proof that you had sent the mail(s), which you can produce if required.
Most importantly, you should be very patient while dealing with a debt collector or a collection agency. Do not lose your temper and at the same time, don’t be too much eager to settle your debts. You should give time for a settlement deal, which will be most suitable to you.