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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What to Do When Collectors Go Too Far, by Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey posted a fantastic blog this week about how to handle debt collectors when they go too far. The first thing to know is that these people DO NOT have the right to abuse and harass you, so here's some tips on how to deal with them before you get too emotional and do or say something you'll regret. If you'd like to read the blog on Dave's page, click here and give it a "like."

Everyone who has ever dealt with a bully knows that there is a point where they push you too far.
When that happens, it’s time to push back.

If a bill collector is harassing or intimidating you, here are some ways to fight back:

Hang up
If a collector is yelling, cursing or even threatening you, you don’t have to stay on the phone. In fact, it’s best if you don’t. If you keep listening when they berate you, you might get too emotional and do something unwise like give them free access to your checking account. You won’t get in further trouble by disconnecting the call.

Record the call
Collectors break the rules set by the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1977 all the time. If you are able to record the call (and tell them you are doing so), one of two things will happen. Either they will continue the abuse and you’ll have it on record, or they’ll hang up and you don’t have to listen to them.

Know their tricks
Collectors try to pick the busiest (meal time), the most inconvenient (heading out the door to work), and the most embarrassing times (holiday or family gatherings) to bother you—it increases the odds of them making you overly emotional. If you know the tricks of their trade, you won’t be caught off guard if they try to pull one over on you.

Know your rights
You as a consumer are protected from bullying tactics under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. That includes a collector not being allowed to call you at work and only being allowed to phone you during certain hours at home. If a rude collector is waking you up at five in the morning, he or she is violating federal law and you can use that to defend yourself. Collectors prey on you not knowing your rights in order to manipulate your emotions.

The best part about fighting back is the sense of empowerment that it gives you, both over the situation and your money. It breeds confidence and makes you feel like you can win financially.

If you are being bullied by a collector, you don’t have to take it lying down. Visit Collection Bully now.

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