How to Respond to Debt Collection Calls

Single Mom Financial Help

This article, entitled Debt Collection Calls: How to Respond comes from

As a single mom, dealing with collection calls is something you will have to figure out if you have a lot of debt that you cannot pay. You will not have another individual to pass the phone off to. These calls are something you can handle on your own with a little forward thinking, provided you understand what the debt collector is going to do.

One of the first things a debt collector will do when he calls is try to catch you off guard. Collection calls often begin with the use of your first name. This is intentional, as the individual is trying to make you start thinking about how you know them.

Once introductions are past, the caller will state who he is, who he works for, and how much you owe, and ask you to take care of your debt. At this point, say, “Hold on, I am going to turn on my tape recorder.” Then, explain that you do not believe you owe the debt, and ask them, according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, to please send you the information about it. The debt collector will ask many more questions, but the only information you need to give is your address. The caller’s goal is to get you to slip up and admit that you owe the debt. Do not do this. When you know that they have the address, end the call.

If they call back, you are in the driver’s seat. This is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, since you stated that you do not believe you owe the debt. Record the call, and tell them that you are aware of the fact that they are violating the law and will be reporting them to the Attorney General.

If you do owe the debt, then wait until you receive the information. Verify that it is accurate, and if it is, make arrangements to pay it. If you can work out a payment plan that you can afford, do so. You can request that the debt collector stops calling, but you must do so in writing via a certified letter. Even if you stop the collections calls, you still have to pay the debt.

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