Debt

How to Get Rid of Debt Collectors

Having debt in your name can be a serious problem and a major source of stress. This is especially the case if you have a large amount of debt with awful interest rates. Whatever debt you have against you, perhaps you chose to ignore it or were simply unable to pay the money. So what do you do next?

Debt collection is difficult to accomplish, which is why most companies that you owe money to will sell your debt to a debt collection agency who will then begin to bother you. Collection agencies have one main goal in mind: to get as much money as they possibly can. They resort to almost any means in order to do so, which is likely why you now want to get rid of them. Debt collectors are a huge nuisance, and usually are not the best people either, using threats, intimidation tactics, and generally poor behaviour to get money out of you.

Keep in mind that debt collectors are not immune to laws or rules. Debt collectors know the rules they are supposed to follow, but many choose not to so that their job becomes easier for them. Whether you have a legitimate debt to your name, you were the victim of identity theft, or you were mistaken for someone else, there are several ways to get rid of debt collectors. Read on to find out how!

1. Talk with the debt collector.

There is no point in flaring up with the debt collector unnecessarily. They likely expect this reaction from you. If the debt does not belong to you and you blow up at them, you will look as guilty as anything, and they are sure to pester you further. Before you slam the door in your face, try and get as much information as you possibly can from them. Does the debt actually belong to you?

There is no use getting stressed from making yourself mad, especially if the debt is not yours. Asking the debt collector is a useful strategy for several reasons. Have them provide you with specific details, like who the debt belongs to, what company the debt is from, and how much money is owed. Once you have this information you are prepared for the next stage.

2. Does the debt belong to someone else?

Once you have the information by the debt collector you might realize that the debt isn’t yours. Never heard of Claude Johnson, have you? The debt collector might have the wrong address or phone number, or Claude Johnson might have moved or changed their number that you now have. What a nuisance!

Naturally, you should never pay off a debt that doesn’t belong to you. That is one of the worst ways to get rid of a debt collector!

Ignoring the calls forever isn’t a good idea, however. Debt collectors are naturally persistent and will simply continue to call you. They will not stop calling until they get a response from you, and they might even file a lawsuit in extreme cases if you continue to ignore them.

What you should do instead is to write a letter to the collection agency to say that their calls are harassing you. Inform them in writing that if their calls continue, you will take a page out of their book and file a lawsuit against them, focusing on harassment.

3. Does the debt belong to you?

If you have confirmed that the debt is indeed yours, your next step is to arrange an appointment or take up correspondence with the debt collectors by mail. If you plan on paying your debt back, making an appointment is the fastest way to get rid of debt collectors. If you plan on avoiding them, insist that they get in contact with you by mail.

Informing your debt collector of your particular stance is a smart decision. Doing so by mail is your best solution, because you control the pace of the interaction. If they continue to call you, informing them that you will only respond to a written request will help them get off your case (and your phone line). Feel free to reference some local or national legislation while you are at it for good measure.

If phone calls are your preferred method, then try dictating the time that they happen. Debt collectors are not making a mistake when they call your house at five in the morning: they want to annoy you as much as they can. Instruct the collector to only call you during set times that are convenient for you, like after work at some point during the evening.

Laws in most areas protect your privacy against intimidation tactics from these companies, so there is no reason for debt collectors to be calling without permission at home, at work, or when you are asleep.

Always remember that debt collectors are not above the law. If you feel that they have overstepped their bounds, don’t be shy to say so, because they certainly will continue to threaten you, use profanities, or try and use tricky methods to force you to pay. If debt collectors continue to use these tactics, you may have grounds for a harassment lawsuit.

4. Pay the debt back.

Paying the debt back is likely the fastest and best way to get rid of a debt collector. If you have decided to pay your debt, be sure to get as much information as you possibly can from them. Recall the amount of money that you owe, and make sure that you inquire about interest rates, any penalties, or other charges that you owe.

Of course, the amount you are required to pay will likely be higher than the original debt. But this does not mean that you will have to pay back the entire amount! You can negotiate with the debt collectors to try and lower the amount you have to pay. Some debt collectors are satisfied with almost any amount, although they would of course prefer to be paid in full.

If you are having trouble with this negotiation process, consider bringing in some outside legal help. Once debt collectors have you in a negotiation process, they might try to pull some fast tricks to get you to sign some documents or agree to pay even more money than you initially thought. Don’t let this happen! A lawyer might be worth the investment, especially if you have a significant amount of debt to tackle.

5. Don’t pay the debt.

Once you have mailed something to the debt collectors, they may not even try to contact you any longer, especially for smaller debts that they might not consider to be worth their time. Keep in mind that this strategy is not ideal, of course, especially if you need to make a bank loan or a major purchase in your future. Banks have access to your credit information, and old debts can come back to haunt you in the future.

About the author

Nicole Harding

5 Comments

  • Um, I would like to say that I am a professional debt collector and don’t listen to these people. First of all, calls don’t constitute harrassment unless I were to sit there and constantly dial a debtor’s number repeatedly, thus causing their phone to ring without. A reason to. And second, we are allowed to call the debtor, whether at work or at home sleeping, between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm local debtor time. We will not cease calls if the debtor happens to be sleeping at the time of the call simply because they told us they were sleeping. A justifiable reason must be given(such as the debtor sleeps during the day because they works nights) in order for the calls to happen at a more convenient time for the debtor.

    As far as fraud goes, the debtor must be able to file a police report and either fax or mail it to the collection agency in order for the calls to stop to allow time for the fraud investigation to be complete. As debt collectors we are seldom given information such as when the account was open, how much the loan was for, what was bought on the account. What we can tell you is who the account is through, when it went to collections, and if/when/how much the last payment on the account was.

    Keep in mind that as 3rd party collection agencies, we don’t represent the place of the account itself but rather the client who the store/place of business sold your debt too. To put it in layman’s terms: sears itself has nothing to do with your sears charge card any longer. According to them, you no longer exist. They washed their hands of your debt and sold it to someone who has time to deal with your constant refusals to pay.

    Also, read the fine print on the contract before you sign it. And remember, as debt collectors we aren’t here to harass you, we’re here to help you figure out a way to best pay this bill in payments that fit your budget. And most collectors don’t work solely off of commission, so beng rude to us is no skin off our back. You’re just one more person in our systen refusing to pay back money you borrowed from our client. You not paying your bill by no means entails that I will not get a paycheck this week.

  • Debt collectors are not allowed to harass in any way to force one to pay what they cannot pay.Some collectors think people are not aware of what they can do to sue the collector when harased.If you have been wrongfully harassed by these jokers.Contact an attorney to see if you have a case.What these collectors fail to understand is,When one lets them know they cannot pay because of loss of job,sickness,or other things that prevent one from paying the debt.The creditors have been known to call twenty times a day to harass one over a debt.Pesty little devils who think they are above the law.In writing let them know you don’t want them to call again.It is against the law for them to continue to call.Contact your attorney general for information.

  • Every year a Debt Collecting company send me a threatening letter saying that my agreement to pay £12 per month is no longer acceptable & they request the amount in full or a settlement figure to be made.

    This debt has been passed to about 3 agencies since I have been paying this.

    I have been to the CAB each year got an income & outgoing statement done, but still this company are not satisfied.

    I am nearly 70 years old, live solely on my State Pension, have no assetts or savings & my circumstances have gotten worse over the years due to increased utilities etc. I am prepared to continue paying £12 per month but its a struggle. I find it very distressing to keep receiving these letters.

    Suggestions on how to get through to these people that I do not have the means & never will be able to pay them more per month.

  • Jessica, Sure wish I seen this post when you put it up. Just by reading your post it is not hard to tell that you think you your the big boss lady not worried about nothing,,I work as a call agent for a billion dollar company,,and you need to learn that not all people lie about not being able to pay,,and you are saying you will call many times a day, every day when it comes down to taking food from people and there children. Your comments ” so being rude to us is no skin off our back.” and “You’re just one more person in our system ” is the most unprofessional comments . You have a job where you don’t belong, Your not there to help, when people tell you they have no money to pay, you will call back again, again and again, even if it means they have no food or they will have to borrow from a mortgage payment to pay “Sears” as you put it. Well lets see what would I do, What would anyone do,, Lady I wish you would have been a bill collector calling me when I had hard times,,I would have your job and I would not stop harassing your company until I had it,,and I would call several times a day, everyday until it was easier for them to get rid of you instead of me,,

  • So what do you suggest people out there in internet-land? My father had a heartattack 9/23 and died in his home. The papemetics brought him back on the way to the ER. He was in a coma for 2 weeks and then stayed in the hospital unable to move for 6 weeks. He then was moved to a nursing home for physical therapy and rehabilitation (he has minimal brain damage) He learned how to and use a walker and a wheelchair etc… He was sent home 12/23 and still can not walk on his own and is having physical therapy sessions in his home 3 Xs a day as well as speech therapy every other day. He can not work and has a pending disability claim out right now. There will be no $$ comin in until his case has a decision there is 1 specipic creditor asking my mother when my fateher’s disability check is coming and how much will he be getting and how does she pay the mortgage and bills if no money is comin into the home. My mom explains that the church and some friends have been gracious enough to help so far. The creditors response is must be a really nice church to do everything for you (VERY sarcastically) My mom gave the creditor the church name and address and who to speak too. The creditor calls everyday and is very loud and curt in tone. My mother has had crying episodes after speaking with the creditor. They would pay if they had $$. They are not trying to get out of paying. She is 61 years old and has not worked a day since she married my father. She has tried to get a part time job but someone has to be with my dad. What should my mom tell the creditor other than what she already has? (I think my mother told the creditor too much information myself.) Thank you, sorry this is so long.

Leave a Comment