When you have a collection agency calling you, it's because you owe a creditor money. Perhaps you owe a bank, an apartment complex or have, credit card debt. When you owe this back debt and they're tried of trying to collect from you they will hire a collection agency to make collection or sell your account to them.
When you owe someone money for a prolonged period of time, say 3, 6, or 12 months that's when they contact a collection agency. Here's another scenario, you may have a line of credit open at the store you often shop at and you pay on that bill every week. If you skip a week for whatever reason, they won't contact a collection agency. Now, if you are unable to pay them or they can't contact you, they'll turn it over to a collection agency.
The collection agency will want you to pay on a weekly or monthly basis. You may have a fee to pay as well. Or they sell the debt to the agency for a sum, sometimes as small as one tenth of what you owe them. The creditor's line of thinking is that you will never pay them, so they may as well get something for it.
The collector will track down debtors that try to hide from them and they have access to information that helps them do the tracking. One of these is the reverse phone directory. If they can't find your address, they'll try to find it with your phone number in this directory or they may use Net Detective or city records.
The collector will attempt to either collect for the creditor if the creditor still owns the bill or collect for their agency if they have bought the debt. The main problem with the collector is being rude to the debtor and then the debtor refuses to pay and usually hangs up on them.
Most people automatically respond with hostility when they are bullied. And sometimes the collector finds himself talking to someone who refuses to cooperate, though the collector isn't rude.
You can contact the original company that you owe the bill to and explain you're situation and make arrangements with them. Many will agree to this, especially if you can give them a payment immediately. Of course, they'll want to make arrangements for the rest of the payments.
You should check your credit report often to make sure it doesn't contain duplicate reports. If your bill has been handled by more than one company or agency, they will all make reports. It's your legal right to have the duplicate reports removed from your file.
You can write to the credit report agencies and have them look at your file. When they see multiple reports concerning the same bill, they have to remove the duplicates. You have the legal right to protect your credit report and make sure that it contains accurate information about you.