The debt collector
They are a breed all their own. It takes a special kind of person to take this kind of job. The worst kind of debt collector is the rude kind. Therefore, here are some ways to deal with the rude debt collectors should you ever have to encounter those special kinds of people:
1. Familiarize yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
There are certain things that creditors are not allowed to do when trying to collect a debt. One of those things is that they are not allowed to call you prior to 8 a.m. in the morning or 9 p.m. at night. They are not allowed to continually call you to annoy you, or call you at work once you tell them to stop. To fully prepare yourself, knowing what is in this Act so you know how to deal with rude debt collectors that may step over the line, just click on this link: know your rights.
Once you are equipped with the knowledge of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), it is time to get prepared to conduct the battle of the intellect. This really isn’t that hard at all.
- Just remember to keep your emotions restrained.
- Debt collectors are trained to get results.
- Have a notepad and pencil ready by the phone to take notes
2. Taking Control When Dealing with the Rude Debt Collector
Now here is where you show him or her who is really the one in control. When you answer that phone and realize you have to deal with the rude debt collector, again, just stay calm.
Sometimes the debt collector will ask if there was a reason that the bill hasn’t been paid. It is your choice to give a defense. Most of the time, when dealing with a rude debt collector, or any debt collector, this is a tactic to put you at ease so you will open up and talk more freely.
Pick up that pencil and ask:
- him or her to repeat their name, spell it, if necessary
- the company they represent, again, spell it, if necessary
- and anything else, including what they say you owe
- how long they say you have owed that debt
- Their companies address* (you may need this)
- the account number, etc.
Conduct that call like a business call.
Now, since you know the rules that this debt collector should be abiding by, you will know when and if the line has been crossed. They know what they are not allowed to do, they just don’t think you do. The things that you need to write down if you feel like the debt collector is getting out of hand are:
- Harassing remarks
3. When the Rude Debt Collector Doesn’t Understand the Word No
Sometimes, when you deal with rude debt collectors, they just don’t know when to give up. They call you outside of the allowed hours, they call constantly, they call your friends to track you down, or worse- leave a message on your friend’s machine (which is a major no-no), and even call you at work. You know you will have to take the next steps.
If you accidently pick that phone up after they have been harassing you all the time, just set the phone back down. That’s right. Hang it up. Do not bother picking it up again if it rings again right away.
You can request that the debt collector stops calling you, but I suggest that you make sure that you have their address, first. This is because you have to make a request in writing.
If you like to be one-step ahead of them, you can have a letter all ready to be sent and upon their call, tell them on the phone that you are sending them the letter, if there is anything more that they would like to discuss, now is the time, otherwise there is no need to call again. This prevents them from calling at a later time to let you know what they plan to do next because you have already asked.
4. Your Other Options When Dealing with Rude Debt Collectors
There are other options when you deal with rude debt collectors that will cause less contact between you and the creditor.
Option 1. Disputing the Debt
You will have to make this request in writing. You do this by writing a ‘Debt Validation Letter.’ This stops all collection activity until the debt is validated. When you get proof of the debt, you can then check to see if it is passed the statute of limitations in your state. Each state has a statute of limitations.
There is one caution that you need to be aware of here. Do not admit to owning or paying the debt, you just want validation and find it is passed the statute of limitations. The clock could start running on the debt for seven years and six months from the time you admit or promised to pay.
Option 2. Find an Attorney
Unfortunately, sometimes when we deal with rude debt collectors, it can cause health problems because of their harsh tactics. Some people just can’t handle that kind of stress and end up in the hospital with stress-related health problems or worse. At that point, or before, when you know they are stressing you out, it is reasonable to look for an attorney. There is no shame in it. Rude is rude.
Option 3. Report Them!
There is a time to say enough. The Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are there to enforce the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. There is a list of collection agencies no longer in business because they have gone too far. If you feel like you have been dealing with a rude debt collector for a little longer than you would like, and you feel that the line has been crossed.
How do you deal with rude debt collectors?