Fair Debt Collection Practices

By: Moses Wright

It is a constant source of headache when the bill collectors come knocking at your door. However, there are ways in which you can learn to deal with such stressful situations. Your main aim is to safeguard yourself and to handle the debt collectors properly.

There is a bill meant to help individuals deal with aggressive debt collectors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a guideline that must be followed when a debt collector is attempting to collect payment on a debt. It is prohibited by law for a collector to call your home before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m.. They are also not allowed to threaten the garnishment of wages or harass you with phone calls after you have asked them to stop calling you. For more information go to => www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htm#801.

Use your answering machine to screen your calls before picking them up. Adding anonymous call blocking to your phone line can also help from receiving the unwanted collection calls. Well, at least from having to talk with the person on the other end. Should you decide to pick up the call, you can ask that the debt collector to stop calling you. Once you have stated to them that you don't want any further phone calls, legally they have to stop the phone calls to you.

You should seriously consider reaching an understanding with the agency to return what you can before taking drastic steps. In many cases, the collector is authorized to reduce the amount owed in order to collect the money. The calls from the agency will cease if you can reach an understanding on payment arrangements.

Do try to keep a record of calls that take place between the collectors and yourself. If you agree to any form of payment, it should be recorded on paper and it should bear both your name as well as the other party's name. Do try to keep your word and keep to the arrangements made and if you are facing difficulties, do alert the agency as soon as possible. If you have indicated that the collector cease calling you, you can record any further calls made to you by them. Be sure you alert them to the fact that the calls are being recorded. It is usually helpful in reducing the number of disturbing calls.

For most of the time, you can usually bargain for the amount of cash you need to pay. It is common for the agency to get a small cut of the amount they can successfully retrieve. Thus, for many debt collectors, they are willing to collect smaller amounts to offset their losses. Any amount of money is better than nothing.

Should there be an agreement to smaller payments, you must ascertain that there are no black marks made against your credit history. Also, be instant that they promptly report the payments made as well as adjusting the amount that is owed on your credit report.

When you have made the first payment, an agreement should be reached. The contract should reflect the amount owed as well as the specific terms of agreement. Keep your first payment to a minimum as far as possible. This will ascertain that they keep to their word and do as the contract states.

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