The scenario is the same for many borrowers: bills of all sorts are piling up on the kitchen counter or desk, and debt collectors are on the hunt. You may owe medical bills, auto repair bills, credit card bills, and more–all accompanying the essential bills that must be paid no matter what too, such as utilities. Like many others, you may be having trouble resolving payments due to major and very unexpected issues like an accident or a significant cut in pay. No matter what happened, it is likely that such an event or events have put undue stress on your stream of income—and your life in general. And adding to that are calls from debt collectors. Many calls.
Debt Collectors May Be More Willing to Negotiate Than You Expect
You may have received calls regarding numerous bills while relaxing, working, driving—you name it—without time to spend at length telling the debt collector what they already know: you don’t have the full amount right now. Eventually though, you may have time on your hands to spare in a conversation, and as time has passed, the collection agency may be more willing to offer you a discounted deal on that bill you owe them—in the form of a lump sum settlement. They may also be willing to offer a variety of programs that allow for set payments over time without any interest, helping to you catch up even if you can’t pay the entire bill in full.
Do Not Allow Yourself to Be Rushed into An Agreement
Chances are though, you will find that if you are speaking to a bill collector, they want everything on the spot. They are trained to be very aggressive about getting your money—and after all, that is how they get paid. You must be realistic about your own finances though and entering into any sort of agreement must not only benefit you, but be realistic. Don’t agree to something you might not be able to follow through on.
Get Everything in Writing
If you can pay out a lump sum that is less than what you originally owed, obviously that will benefit you in the long run. But if you do not have hundreds or thousands of dollars just lying around, a payment plan may be your best bet. Whichever route you go, it is crucial to make it clear to the debt collection agency that you will need the entire agreement in writing. If they agree to this, you are probably on your way to paying off the debt legitimately. If they stall and say you must agree today as well as making a payment immediately, consider that to be a major red flag. The debt collector may lead you to believe that this is an emergency that must be handled now, but obviously they’ve waited a while already—and they can take time to give you terms in writing.
If they can’t send you an agreement in writing, then offer to send one to them yourself. In the end, it’s all about them getting their payment—and you having fulfilled your responsibility with as little damage to your credit as possible. Be certain that any agreement you make fully details payments to be made, how they will be made, and that once the agreement has been fulfilled, they will release you of the debt as outlined.
Contact Us for Help
If you are experiencing financial difficulties of this sort, now is the time to consult with an experienced attorney from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC. We can review your case and discuss all the available options with you, to include debt settlement options. Our attorneys have decades of experience in serving clients as they navigate through challenging financial situations, to include bankruptcy and other debt management processes. Let us review your case and discuss what would work best for you. We are here to help!