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Dealing with debt collectors

25th January 2022 · 4 minute read

Published by The Real Debt Guy

  • Communicating with Debt Collectors
  • Communicating with Creditors
  • Managing debt
  • Financial problems

Should I ignore the debt collector

Creditors & Debt Collectors – Why you should always communicate in writing

If you are feeling confused about the best way to handle your debt, you might feel like the only way to get true peace of mind is to just pick up the phone and speak to the Creditors or Debt Collectors. However, the phone isn’t necessarily the best option.

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Yes, it is important to keep communicating, but you will see why writing is a much better approach. Having a verbal dialogue can, at times, seem a much quicker way to resolve a problem. However, in circumstances when you are dealing with a Debt Collector or a Creditor, there are legitimate reasons why communicating in writing is so important. Let’s look at why it’s so important to always communicate with your Creditors or Debt Collectors in writing....

Let's meet Faye...

Faye is really struggling with debt. She doesn’t have any children or a partner. She’s renting a flat by herself in Greater Manchester. She facing problems with employment and now finds herself trapped in a web of borrowing which is now in the hands of a Debt Collector.

Problem one: Your frame of mind

Faye comes home from her shift late in the afternoon and all she can think about is her debt. So she picks up the phone and calls the Debt Collector, hoping she can reach some kind of agreement to help her situation. The problem is she is feeling anxious and she isn’t thinking straight. The phone starts to ring and someone answers, directing her call to the correct department.

Faye doesn’t realise but she has been put through to a trained call handler. The key outcome they are looking for is to arrange for a payment or secure a plan that recovers the money as quickly as possible. To do this, they start gathering as much information as possible to maximise the amount that is agreed, rather than what Faye can realistically afford.

Problem two: You have no evidence

It doesn’t occur to Faye to record the phone conversation; she just wants to get it over and done with. On the call, the Debt Collector agrees to a partial settlement which will relieve some of the financial pressure on Faye. Faye is delighted, however, there’s a problem, Faye has left the call with no proof of the agreement made.

Faye thought she had agreed to a partial settlement and made the payment thanks to a kind family member who helped her out. The problem is she has no proof that a partial settlement had been agreed.
No phone recording and no written confirmation.

A few months down the line another Debt Collector sends her a letter demanding payment for the remaining balance of the debt she thought she had paid off! Faye argues that she has already settled the debt as a partial settlement agreed with the previous Debt Collector. The Debt Collector asks for...... you guessed it...... proof. Faye doesn’t have this.

Always communicate in writing

So, how would putting everything in writing have helped Faye?

Well, keeping everything in writing would have given Faye a documented trail of all the conversations she had with the Debt Collector. She would have something to refer to, so she knew exactly what had been said, and in her situation, agreed to. More importantly, she would have had proof of the partial settlement agreement.

Writing would also have given Faye time to review what she wanted to say and read any responses thoroughly to really understand what has been said. When speaking on the phone Faye felt pressured to answer quickly, not giving her enough time to think about the information she is sharing.

Faye thought she had agreed to settle her debt at a reduced amount, instead she ended up just paying a lump sum towards it, the rest of the debt has been handed over to another Debt Collector to pursue. Faye’s intention was to put the debt and the whole stressful situation behind her, but instead she ended up in the exact same position, with the remaining balance still to pay.

Corresponding only in writing, would have allowed Faye to feel more in control, giving her a stronger state of mind.

Don't forget to read The Real Debt Guy's final thoughts below!

The information in this article is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication.

The Real Debt Guy's final thoughts.

It’s important to communicate with Creditors and Debt Collectors to prevent risk of more serious action. Do understand that speaking to them on the phone, benefits them, not you. It makes their life easier and gets the result they want quicker.

They have automated systems in place that churn out generic letters and they try to avoid having to physically deal in written correspondence where possible.

You’ll notice their auto generated letters always encourage you to pick up the phone, but a written record means everything is crystal clear and protects you.

If you have unsecured debts and you want to take back control, look at our Budget Planner and the Token Payment Method.

Simplifying complicated matters.

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