Many people are struggling with debt out there. Most of them want to pay their obligation, but are in a temporary tight spot. Sometimes taking a "break" from the debt is the only way to get back on track. You can often negotiate a lower payoff with your creditors, but if you don't have the money to pay the balance off, what to do in the meantime?
Here are some great tips from the author of "Credit Warfare:"
Key Points to Remember on Dealing with Collection Issues:
1) Always send a dispute letter to each creditor and collection agency before you consider calling to negotiate. If they don’t comply you are in complete control because the law says they must cease collection of the debt. That means no calls or collection efforts of any kind. Make sure you dispute the debt and request validation of it in the form of all possible proofs (original agreement, statements, payments etc..)
2) Conduct negotiations in writing and avoid speaking to anyone on the phone. You will be far better off. This avoids any spontaneous screw ups in a fluid conversation and a great deal of stress.
3) Don’t call to negotiate if you don’t know in advance how much money you can part with in one shot. Calling to negotiate without the money in place and a plan will only irritate the creditor and make you look foolish.
4) NEVER sign a “repayment agreement” with a creditor or collection agency unless it states in writing that upon receipt of final payment the account will be “deleted” or “removed” from your credit file. The signing of a "repayment" agreement gives the collector the legal right to not only report the collection but extend the original seven year reporting period.
5) Keep your emotions in check. If you don’t think you can on a given day then don’t contact anyone. Wait for a day when your head’s in the right place and you are calm.
6) Send all communications via U.S. mail certified return receipt requested. This documents your request for proof of debt and not to be called.
7) Remember - No debt can be reduced to a judgment if it was previously disputed and validation was not provided as required under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. So when you dispute you are also potentially insulating yourself against a lawsuit..
NOTE - “He who is prepared and arrives on the field of battle first will be victorious” Sun Tzu. In other words. Have your act together before you call and expect everything. If you do you’ll be able to stay calm throughout.
From: S. Louis Blisko
Author - Credit Warfare
Twitter = @CreditWarfare