Debt collectors can be persistent and intimidating. Sometimes, they lie. Receiving a call from one can make you flustered and nervous.
However, regardless of what tactics the debt collector uses, it’s essential to stay calm and be very careful about what you say. Let’s look at a few examples of things you should never say on a call with a collector.
Don’t confirm that you owe the debt they’re calling about
They could have your debt confused with someone else’s. They may not have a record of some of your payments. The debt may have expired because it passed the statute of limitations and is longer collectible. If that’s the case and you agree to make a partial payment, you could restart the period in which your debt is still collectible.
It’s best not to acknowledge any debt or agree to any payment unless you’re absolutely sure you owe the money. It’s best to ask for a written statement showing details of the debt, including the original creditor, the amount and the collection agency.
Don’t give out your bank account information
It’s best to make your payments with a regular or cashier’s check. Send it via certified mail or a provider like UPS or FedEx so that you can verify that it was received. Never give your bank account and routing and transit numbers over the phone. You’re giving the caller the information they need to deduct whatever they’d like from your account.
Don’t provide additional contact information.
Some debt collectors ask for a work number. Don’t give them the opportunity to call you on your work phone or contact your employer. They don’t need a number beside the one they reached you on.
It’s generally fine to confirm your address if you’re sure who you’re talking to. Don’t give them any other personal information, like your Social Security number.
If your credit card debt or other debt has gotten to the point where you’re receiving collection calls, it may be time to consider debt relief options, including bankruptcy. An experienced attorney is a good source of information and assistance.
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