The phone is ringing and the last thing you want to do is find a debt collector calling on the other end, trying to collect on a debt you can’t pay. The harassing phone calls are becoming more frequent, warning notices are piling up and there is no way you can even make the minute payment on your credit card bill. So what now?
First, in order to get the phone calls to stop, you need to face up to and deal with the situation. If you dispute any part of the amount they say you owe, you have the right to respond in writing within thirty days of receiving notice from a collection agency or the debt collector. If you do owe the amount stated but want the phone calls to stop, send a letter to the collector who has been calling to tell them to stop contacting you by phone. Once you have made the collector aware of your request, they can only utilize contact by phone or mail to tell you about legal action they are taking or if they are going to stop collecting the debt. If any debt collector calls you at your place of business or during a time not in between 8 in the morning or 9 in the evening, you can file a complaint with your state’s attorney general’s office.
When attempting to negotiate repayment of an overdue credit card debt, do all of your talking on paper and send it using registered mail to ensure the company has received all of your correspondence. Keep accurate records of the information you have sent and received, including copies of all letters. Keep your cool as you try to work through a payment negotiation. When you do reach a unanimous decision, make sure you stick to your word and follow through with your commitment to pay off your debt. Take on a part-time job or find odd jobs in the neighborhood to help supplement your minimum payments and pay off your debt faster.
It can be easy to get off track with your finances, especially when something unexpected comes up and throws off your budget. If you find that you are falling behind again at some point in the future, you can save yourself a lot of aggravation and ringing phones by contacting your credit card company first and explaining your situation. Most companies will work with you if they trust you are sincere about your efforts to pay and get yourself back on track with on-time payments. At that time, you may be offered a customized plan that works better with your financial situation and budget.
Don’t give up on or ignore your credit card crisis or you will end up paying for it for a long time to come. Do take responsibility for what you owe and work hard to put that debt behind you.