Nobody wants a letter from a debt collection agency. We associate them with burly men and lost belongings, while the family disintegrates into chaos and stress. After all, that’s the way these things play out on television.
[This post contains ads] Luckily, the reality isn’t quite the same. In truth, a letter from a debt collection agency merely shows an unpaid debt has moved to a higher level. As this stage, the agency isn’t threatening to knock your door down. They’re reminding you of the money you owe and giving you a date by which to pay it. It’s only after that date that you’re at risk of things like repossession.
Of course, none of that stops you from feeling panicked. Thoughts about what could happen may start racing through your mind. In extreme cases, you may even fail to take action through fear. But, that’s never a good idea. That inaction could be the thing which leads you to your nightmares. Instead, then, keep your head about you and deal with this in the following ways.
Call Debtors As Soon As You Get The Notice
If your debt has gotten to this stage, there’s a chance you’ve become adept at ignoring ‘final warning’ letters. Many of us stick these in a drawer without opening them. But, sticking your head in the sand is the reason a debt collection agency has intervened. And, the bailiffs will soon knock on your door if you continue along this vein.
Instead, it’s crucial you take responsibility the moment you receive that letter. Phoning the company in question as soon as you’re able can go a huge way towards helping your case. Often, communications like these are all it takes to smooth things over.
You’ll be able to find out where you stand and what your options are. The fact you’ve made contact also shows the debt agency that you’re cooperative. It’s also worth noting that fast contact is also essential if you feel you shouldn’t have received a letter. If you send a letter claiming you don’t owe money within 30 days, the debt collection company cannot contact you further. Be sure, too, that you send your letter by certified mail, so debtors cann’t deny receiving it.
Get Comfortable Negotiating
It’s also worth noting that you may not have to pay a debt in its entirety once it gets to this stage. The fact is that debt collectors want as much money as they can get from you. They already know you can’t afford the full amount. As such, opening up communications early also enables you to make the most of your negotiation skills.
Most people in this situation only end up paying 30-50% of the amount they owe. As such, you may want to start negotiations with stating you are only able to pay 15% of the total and see where you end up. Honestly, collection agencies expect you to at least reduce that bill a little, so take advantage of it.
Look For Ways To Get Cash
If you don’t even have enough to afford that reduced bill, it’s essential you consider ways to get cash fast. One of the best ways is to take on a side hustle or to sell items on Facebook marketplace or other such local selling apps. Another great idea is to start a business, such as becoming a virtual asistant. This will give you long term income and will help you get over the immediate debt problem.
In extreme cases, you could even turn to house buying companies who can pay you in cash for your house in as little as two weeks. These steps may seem extreme, but you stand to lose your assets anyway. Surely it’s better to earn from them? Note that, if you do take this path, it’s important you let the debt agency know. If they can see you’re making efforts to get the cash, they’re sure to grant you extensions for the cause.
Know your rights
If you’re unable to make the cash in time, the reality is that bailiffs WILL get involved. But, even that isn’t as scary as you might think if you learn your rights ahead of time. The fact is that these people are doing their jobs, and should be treating you with understanding and professionalism. Make sure that legally all the debt was caused by you. Note, too, that you have a right to remain silent, and you should take it. If this matter goes to court down the line, your words will be used against you. Keep interactions short, and the process will be much less painful.
No one said that this would be easy. Debt destroys lives for a reason. Still, a letter from a debtor doesn’t spell the end. Keep your thoughts positive, and address this head on to get out the other end is as little time as possible. Here are some amazing resources from Amazon to help you get back on track for dealing with your debt.
Yes, I include affiliate (ad) links in all my blog posts, however it is only with companies and products I highly recommend. I receive a small commission if you buy through my links, so thanks in advance! Lydia Y-S