The first realization you should have when you get a creditor call is that your problem is reaching a new level. Nearly all people who receive a creditor call have been struggling with their budget for months, if not years. The call is a sign that things are beginning to unravel and require attention beyond all that you’ve been doing to date. It’s a signal that you need a different approach and the proper source of advice is a specialized debt relief and bankruptcy attorney. Get free expert advice.
The next question is whether you answer the call or ignore collection calls.
Ignoring the call obviously won’t change anything for the better and will make things worse. As you become unavailable, the options for the creditor become more limited. Eventually, it leads to collection agencies, debt buyers or lawsuits. A veteran debt collector attorney told our firm that the consumers that get the most help and assistance are the ones that answer the call. The ones who do not shy away and show effort that they want to resolve the outstanding debt have usually talked to a bankruptcy attorney. You need to shine a light on the problem and deal with it head on.
You should take the creditor call.
Be calm and don’t expect it to go well – they called you for the one thing you don’t have – money. Nonetheless, the call can be a good thing, and answering it faces the issue. It gives you a chance to obtain information from them about how they view your debt and it’s an opportunity to see what they can offer. Take notes. You don’t need to promise anything. You can agree to call back, but don’t promise anything you can’t do. The best way to handle the call is to say less but listen more. Gleam from the conversation the most you can from the creditor about your debt but offer up very little on your end.
Before you promise anything on a collection call, look at your situation and your options. You need to ask yourself a lot of important questions before formulating a plan with a creditor:
- How many other creditors do you have?
- What are your upcoming regular bills? Who are your most important creditors? Who should you pay first?
- Is this an isolated problem or part of an overall problem? Can you really pay everyone?
- What is your overall plan – Where do you begin? How long is your plan? Can you afford it, and others…
Remember, a deal with a single creditor isn’t a comprehensive plan, but it’s a sign that you need one.
If you are going to answer the phone calls from your collectors the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends you take the following additional steps for every call:
- Get their name, address and phone number
- Request a debt validation letter. This is helpful for you to get a handle on who you owe money to and how much. It might provide evidence later that can be used by an attorney in presenting a valid legal defense to the debt.
- Lastly, if any collector harasses, threatens you with arrest or suspension of license, hang up and report them to the FTC! There are rules and regulations creditors most abide by under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act and violators can be prosecuted.
Do not let your creditors intimidate you and prevent you from taking the steps necessary to resolve your debt issues Whether you answer the calls or not, you need to promptly assess your overall situation and come up with a plan. Ignoring the calls just brings you to the next step in the debt collection process and closer to a lawsuit. It is an industry with a mission and it won’t go away.
Your Next Call Should Be to Us!
If you are getting collection calls, call the Law Office of Neil Crane, we know how to handle creditor calls and offer that as a free service to our clients. Let us deal with the creditors so you don’t have to! Call us at 203-230-2233 for a free consultation.