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CALLED BY COLLECTORS FOR PAST DUE CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT?

There are certain things you need to know. And certain things you should not do.

POSTED: 2013-06-22 15:07:34

 

AFTER being past due for a short period of time, most credit card issuers will call you to ask for payment, usually in full, to restore your account. If these first, polite calls don't get the account paid, they will quickly refer your past due account to collections. Then the collector starts calling. These calls will be aggressive and, in many cases, rude. There are certain things to know and certain mistakes you should be careful not to make.

FIRST, you should know that by the time you are receiving these collection calls your credit card account has probably been sold to a junk debt buyer. The price paid for these past due accounts varies according to age of the account and what information the the buyer wants. That becomes important to you later. But the price will be as low as one or two percent of the account balance.

NEXT, remember debt collectors are often very aggressive and may tell many lies. There are statutory restrictions on what they can say, as well as who and when they may call. Some will comply with these legal restrictions, but many do not. If they do violate the fair debt collection statutes, you may be able to file legal claims against them. Most people already feel bad about not paying their bill, and the callers will exploit that. Don't feel bad; you would pay the debt if you could. Remember this is a business contract dispute, pure and simple, not a moral issue.

ALSO, you should keep in mind that the only thing they want is money. The caller makes hundreds of calls and you are simply a name and number on their list of targets. They don't care what excuse you have or explanation you wish to make. Don't waste your breath telling them your life story. They want the money. They are not likely to work reasonably to come up with a plan you can live with. They just want your money. They want your money because that is how they get paid. Most callers will be on a “percent of collections” commission basis with the agency they work for.

THEY JUST WANT YOUR MONEY, so work on that assumption. Don't make any payment plan promises unless you are sure you can do it. If you have some money available to pay them, then try to negotiate a fast settlement for a fraction of the account. Remember that the caller wants to collect some cash and get paid. Most of them will quickly settle for thirty to forty percent - sometimes less.

DO NOT believe anything they tell you about bankruptcy or other law. You cannot be sent to jail for not paying a bill unless it is court ordered, such as child support.

FINALLY, it may be wise to obtain the advice and services of an attorney, which may be a game changer for the bill collector.

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