Debt Collection Horror Stories - Under my debt management program it is possible that one of my debts will be sold onto a debt collection company by one of the creditors. I have been briefed on my basic rights here and now I know that I can just put the phone down on them I am not too worried. However from vague intimidation to absolutely illegal rule bending tactics debt collectors can be some of the meanest people on the planet. They are really just like a loan sharks hench men!
Debt collection horror stories: The Tactics
I have heard of some really mean things done by debt collectors and here are just a few.
I wish I could remember the blog I read this on but apparently one debt collection company had taken it on themselves to contact everyone in the street to tell them that their neighbour was in debt. This is a terrible level of shame they were trying to push on the person and I would not be surprised if this was illegal.
It’s very common for debt collectors to call you up and call you names. Anything from criminal to scum to swearing has been known. They threatening to take money from your wages, take away your car, other necessary items and I even heard of a case where a collector threatened to take the kids toys. Of course it’s very unlikely they ever have the rights to take anything from you, it is all just intimidation tactics.
Another very common tactic is to annoy you to absolute hell. This can start with them calling just once a day, it can turn into several times a day and eventually lead into several times in a space of minutes, while you are at home, at work and everywhere in between. It causes many people to turn off all phones around them unless expecting a call.
I have had the credit card companies call me trying to collect debt and pretending to be my friend, they understand what I am going through apparently! They don’t care, they just want the money and it’s never worth being more than civil as if they drag any if or promise from you they can try and push to use it against you.
Avoiding debt collection horror stories: Your rights.
Quite honestly a debt collector has very little rights over you. Most of the stuff they are doing is illegal but they rely on you not being able to prove it. The best thing for you to do is play by the rules and don’t push ahead paying any specific debt because of debt collectors harassment. Bank rate has an excellent summary of the basic federal rules for paying your bills here.
My advice for dealing with them is to tell them you are seeking advice and ask them to talk to you via letter and that you will only respond that way, be polite but don’t idle on the phone or give them any sense they are getting through to you. Stay calm and don’t let their games get to you. Also if possible make records of their actions and even record calls so that you have evidence of their bad deeds. I have absolutely no idea how they have been operating like this for so many years!
Your debt collection horror stories
My biggest story so far basically involves a company calling me and offering me a settlement for 1/3rd of my debt. They told me they had called after speaking to my debt management company and the debt management company should have contacted me advising me to pay up the settlement. I smelled something fishy so I called my debt management company and they had never been contacted! If I had paid this settlement my other creditors could have taken me to court for un-equal treatment of debts.
Now I would love to know your debt collection horror stories or how you have dealt with these slim bags?
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