Dealing with Nasty Debt Collectors

By Nora Dunn. Last updated 30 March 2008. 46 comments
Photo: Dan Esparza

You may (or may not) be delinquent with a debt payment, but debt collectors don’t have carte blanche with regards to how they can hustle the money from you. Some can be rude, make idle (and illegal) threats, and just plain be a pain. But they can only go so far, and it pays to know your rights.

 

Why is a Debt Collector Calling You?

If a creditor believes you owe them money and they have been unsuccessful in getting it from you, they pass your file on to a debt collector, who in turn receives a percentage of your debt for bugging you to pay it back.

And in an attempt to get you to repay those debts (and consequently receive their commission), some will go too far.

How Far is Too Far?

Debt collectors are expressly not allowed to:

  • Call you before 8am or after 8pm
  • Threaten to sue you (creditors have the right to sue, not debt collectors)
  • Threaten to throw you in jail
  • Say they’ll contact your boss
  • Call you at work if they know that you’re unable to take calls at work (for example if you are a school teacher)
  • Call you at work if they know your employer prohibits incoming personal calls
  • Threaten to garnish your wages
  • Use any deceptive, unfair, or abusive techniques

 

 

They’ve Gone Too Far. What do I Do?

If you have a cowboy debt collector on your back, you don’t have to take their crap. Here’s what you can do:

  • Hang up. You don’t have to talk to or reason with them, return their phone calls, or even answer the phone when they call.
  • Ask them to sop calling. If you tell them they are causing you distress and that you will resolve the matter directly with your creditor, they are supposed to stop calling.
  • Write to them. As usual, it always pays to substantiate something in writing. Get the name and address of the collection agency, and whip out the pen and paper. Reiterate in your letter that they are causing you distress and request them to cease all contact. State the account number of the debt they are trying to collect, that you will resolve the matter directly with the creditors, and threaten to call the Federal Trade Commission if they don’t comply. Once debt collectors receive this letter, they are obligated to stop contacting you.
  • Get a Lawyer. This will cost you, but if you are truly in distress it may be worth the piece of mind. Settlements are usually around a thousand dollars plus expenses, but if you can prove that you lost your job or suffered mental trauma as a result of the debt collector’s practices, you may be able to get more.

 

 

They Shouldn’t Be Calling me! What now?

If you believe that you are up to date with all your debts, then contact the credit reporting agencies for a copy of your credit report. In it you will find out what the situation is, and if it’s a mistake you can take the necessary measures to fix the problem.

 

There is nothing worse than being harassed for either a debt you know about and are trying to pay off, or a debt you don’t believe you owe. In both cases, exercise your rights and make sure inappropriate practices are not invading your home.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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Guest's picture
Guest

I just don't answer the phone. I made a contact on my phone called 'ignore' and added all the assholes who keep calling me to it.

Guest's picture
Guest

why dont u just pay your bills and then they stop calling. does it excite you to get all those calls probably not the way to make them stop is to pay your bill. Collectors have a job to do so do you. Do you understand wht impact u have on our economy by refusing to pay your bills, your salary is lower and the cost of living is higher.

Guest's picture
Guest

I'm sure if each of us had the money to pay the bill or bills in question we would. The fact of the matter is each debt collector is different, and the ones who may contact each consumer may or may not be unethical. However, when you are in no position to compare the cost of living to the salaries of consumers, please don't, or at least make some grammatical sense. Debt collectors do have a job, however, when they abuse their methods of collection, consumers have the right to fight back. At the end of the day, the bills still need to be paid, but when someone is threatening to throw you in jail, I'm pretty sure you would agree that you would be just plain p***ed the f*** off.

Guest's picture
Guest

If you know you owe it, don't hang up. It'll just look like you've refused to make payment, etc, and it won't stop them from escalating the tactics. Stay calm and polite, ask for their name and a callback number, and say that you're at work right and so you can't talk, and ask not to call again at that time/number. If they keep with the rudeness, then use the "mommy voice" (I'm not getting into an argument over the phone, etc.) and then politely end the call.

Guest's picture
Guest

If you owe it, pay it. As a former debt collector I got to see a side of people that is terrible. Debtor lie cheat and are stealing. They write bad check and then change their phone number to hide from their obligations. Taking something and not paying for it is stealing. Everyone make bill collectors out to be the bad guys. They are keeping the economy going. If you have a medical bill that is too big to pay make an arrangement with the Dr. before it goes to collections. I am sure they will take $20/month until you get back on your feet. Debt collectors are the good guys and if they contact you and you do not owe it then they will ask for proof and try to resolve the matter with the client. The burder of proof is on you. Do not hide because they will find you. They can call a neighbor to give you a message or a relative if they have not located you. If you take care of you matters before it gets this far then you will be fine. Stop being a scum bag and deal with your bills!

Guest's picture
Guest

No wonder you were a debt collector - read your fragmented sentences and incomplete statements. All I could do when reading your comment was correct all your errors.

"Debtor lie cheat and are stealing."

What?

"They write bad check and..."

How about they write "a" bad check

I can't go on. I'm sure you readers out there get my drift.

And yes, I pay all my bills - on time and in full.

Guest's picture

I somewhat agree with you. People put off their bills because they don't want to deal with it, or don't have the money, so they keep putting it off with the pessimistic view that they'll never be able to pay it off. but that is the WORST thing you can do! Seriously, people need at least TRY to pay the minimum on their bills or set up some kind of payment plan instead of putting it off for so long that it just builds up and up until the stress is so much that it suffocates you.

Guest's picture
Guest

Obviously you have never been deathly sick or lost your job.. Had your car repossesed because there was no work.. Or been on the end of being unmercefully tormented...by unfair debt collections practices..Your attitude is harsh and legalistic.. Not every one is out to stiff their creditors..Did ou know that 40% of all Bankruptcies are due to catastrophic illness..Even good people in the Bible had credit problems..It's all there in the book.. but Ill bet you don't read that..

Guest's picture
Guest

Debt collectors are parasites. They do not care about the circumstances behind why people don't pay. They convince themselves that most of the people they go after are irresponsible to assuage their guilty consciences. They make money off other people's misery.

Guest's picture
Not gonna take crap

Hey, skimbucket..guess what? A debt collection company can be sued for calling a neighbor, a relative and harrass them for information...I should know...I am in a lawsuit right now with a collection agency that would not stop calling me about my niece who I had not seen in over 7 years. Called several times a day...using local numbers. Caused me to lose my job...Guess what....consumers have rights and if they can do a little research...most collection companies would be out of business Bro!

Guest's picture

Great to see an article on debt collector harassment here! I am an attorney who sues out-of-control collectors and I have just a few corrections/additions to make.

First, if you tell a collector to stop contacting you, they are required to do so. However, this will sometimes make the creditor file a lawsuit against you sooner then they otherwise would.

Most consumer attorneys cost the client (you, the harassed person) nothing. Sometimes if a lawsuit is filed, a client may pay the filing fee up front. In California where I practice, that is between $180 and $300 dollars.

The best place to find a consumer attorney to give you advice on your situation is www.naca.net

Finally, do not automatically reject the solution of bankruptcy to get a fresh start and back on your feet. It is not appropriate for all situations, but at the right time it can be a huge help.

Guest's picture

I just realized my post may not be wholly correct. When I said most consumer attorneys will not cost the client anything, I meant there are few if any UPFRONT costs.

Usually the attorneys fees for the individual consumer's attorney are paid by the debt collector when the lawsuit is either settled or won. In that case, the only costs to the client are the costs of the litigation -- the filing fee, maybe some postage charges, etc. These are taken out of the settlement money or award.

Sometimes the consumer's attorney is paid on a contingency fee arrangement. This would be where the attorney gets a percentage of the settlement money or award.

Sorry to be unclear in my other post -- I was trying to keep things brief, but I figure accurate is more important!

-- Amy Kleinpeter

Guest's picture
Tina Marie

One thing that no one mentioned: just because you tell them to not call you, that doesn't stay stuck on your record forever. Every 6 months or so, the debt is eligible to be resold to a new collection company, and even if they don't sell it, they get to wipe the do-not-call list.

I know this because an ex of mine had an accident that got him hospitalized. I put my name on the paperwork as an emergency contact - and when he didn't pay the bill, they came after me even though I wasn't responsible in any way for the bill. The first few times were really bad - they said I'd signed something that made me responsible for the bill, that I had to get them a credit card number that day or they'd go after my credit report, and worse. Then the next time I didn't get upset, just said that that was fine - if they paperwork that I'd signed that made me responsible, they could mail it to me in a certified letter, and I'd be glad to pay them, otherwise, they should stop calling me.

I didn't hear from them again, until 6 months later. I repeated myself, and they went away. They still call, every 6 months on the dot (without ever producing said paperwork), and I tell them to go away, sigh, and tell myself it's just a reminder of one reason why I left him to begin with.

Guest's picture
E.T.Cook

Come on guys. This is a site that is supposed to speak about frugality, and wise financial decisions. The last thing we should be doing is rationalizing or defending the abhorrent practice of running up debts on someone else's dime.

Sure, debt collectors can be nasty, but you owe the money. The ratio of fallacious to legitimate debts are painfully minute, and shouldn't be used to determine your stance on debt collection as a whole. As the saying goes, one swallow does not a summer make.

You are doing your readers a disservice by acting like people who have debts being collected on are a wronged group of people. What about the company that is out money because the debtor is too irresponsible to pay their debts, or knowingly racked up the debt even though they couldn't pay for it.

Let's stick to the topic at hand, and assist people in being MORE responsible, rather than less responsible.

Regardless of whether the debt collector called you a name, or harassed you on the phone...your refusal to pay your debts amounts to one single thing...theft. We have no problem labeling thieves with pejoratives, why not egregious debtors? It is the same thing.

Guest's picture
T.J.

I've never paid a bill late in my life, and I have no debt, but for the last six months I have been getting calls from bill collectors every single night. when I moved, I inherited the phone number of someone who owed a lot of people money. The worst thing about the bill collectors is that they assume you are lying. I tell them repeatedly, there is no one here by that name and they need to remove me from the list. They are nasty, condescending, and sneaky. I know they are trying to do a job, but there is no excuse for being rude.

My favorites are the ones who call with an automated dialer, and then a computer asks you to hold for an agent. I wait patiently and then explain the situation. Usually it takes a minute or two to convince the. I hope they get the message soon, or I may have to request a new phone number. Maybe I can try some of your tips.

Guest's picture
Guest

"I hope they get the message soon, or I may have to request a new phone number. Maybe I can try some of your tips."

I understand completely! In fact, after explaining to one caller that it was a new phone number, and I had no idea who they were talking about, I was told (and I still remember the exact phrasing!) "Well, that's a great story. I hope you have a good lawyer because you are going to need it." And then they hung up. I had no idea what was going on - I didn't have caller id, and the caller wouldn't give me her name, or her company's name. So as soon as I got off the phone, I called the phone company, explained the situation and was very specific that this was causing me distress, and I needed a new phone number immediately. And that was that. Because of the circumstances, they didn't charge me to change it or anything. That's my advice - it's not worth the time and aggrivation.

Guest's picture
jeannette

With Cell phone numbers being changed they recycle them really quick. I receive a number from Verizon and it belong to a dead beat woman who owed so much money. So what I started to do is I ask the companies for their information and I started filling police reports. One place didn't get it so I filed a small claim suit and asked for the maxium of $1,500. I always win.

So start making police reports and file suits. they will get the picture.

Guest's picture
Guest

I was the victim of identity theft - my checkbook was stolen and some woman got a fake id and wrote checks on my account. Now, no money was taken from my account because I closed it right away. However, the companies she wrote the bad checks to are calling me. I don't want to deal with them. I used to answer their calls and explain myself but I'm sick of it. Now I don't answer any 'unknown' numbers that call me. I don't listen to their messages. Am I going to get into trouble?

Guest's picture
Guest

When checks are forged on your account it is a whole different matter.

Contact your bank imediately.

In most states if you do not file a seperate afidavit for each and every check that was passed, the merchant can file on you for passing a worthless check (theft by sight draft) or passing a check on a closed account.

Depending on the amount of the check it might be either a felony or misdemeanor.

Does not seem right, but the attitude that they take is if you did not pass them why did you not file the afidavit?

When they contact you tell them you need their assistance in filing the afidavits.

You need the details that they have regarding what is on the check and the details regarding the passers identification used.

If they refuse to coperate contact the law enforcement agency where the check was passed.

Inform them that you are trying to fill out the afidavit but the merchant will not coperate.

Provide their information to the law enforcement agency.

This should stop the calls cold in their tracks.

Guest's picture

This is a great post. We wish we knew about these details early on. Once we had to go through a collection agency though we had paid off one of our creditors. It was a mistake on the part of the merchant. But it was a harrowing experience for us which took weeks to be sorted out.

We cited this article in our Sunday Review #14 as one of our favorites. Keep up the excellent blogging.
Cheers,
FIRE Finance

Nora Dunn's picture
Nora Dunn

Thanks for all the great comments, folks!

I too, once inherited a phone number that I guess belonged to a delinquent spender (or the delinquent spender gave a bogus phone number which happened to be mine), and trying to explain to debt collectors that they have the wrong number was a losing battle. 

And thank you for the link, FIRE Finance! Cheers...

Guest's picture
carriebell

Yesterday I recieved a call from a collection company about my mother's overdue charge account. She is the only person on the card, no other person signed the contract. The woman stated that were going to put my mom in litigation. She wanted to know if I would pay the $5000 balance to stop the litigation. When I said no, she knocked it down to $2200. She stated that my brother had given her my number and said I take care of her finances. I have been astranged from my brother for 2 years and do not pay my mom's bills.
Now here's the kicker.... My mom has been in a nursing home for four years!! She has dementia and is wheelchair bound due to sever arthritis. My nephew took her to live with him but she became too hard to care for and he was forced to put her in a home. ((I have arthritis too and am handicapped myself).
My mom is 84 years old and will spend the rest of her life in a nursing home. She recieves Social Security which is gobbled up by the nursing home fees.
I explained that the nursing home takes care of her money ( my nephew was removed because of some shady stuff) and she is a ward of the state. I live in WV she is in OK and my brother is in CON.(she is being well cared for and is very happy where she is).
I don't understand why they would call myself or my brother and ask us to pay her bill. If they put her in litigation what can they get? I mean, are they going to reposess her wheelchair?
Thank goodness I am smart enough to know that unless my name is on that contract, I am in no way liable for her account.
Boomers beware. I am sure this is happening across the US. I have fretted about this all yesterday and last night, only because they have called my mom and now she is in distress. I have told her not to worry but she thinks she is going to jail.
My question is, can I prevent them from calling her at the nursing home?

Guest's picture
jeannette

Yes You can stop them from calling the nursing home. Use the Attorney General. They violated the law number 5.

Also you can sue them for harrassing you.

Guest's picture
Guest

Hi

Have a similar problem except the problem here is that she died and has nothing. We are getting a great deal of horrific calls and we keep telling them that both Mr and Mrs are dead. They don't want to hear that they only want their money due.

Good luck on your end. I know that I have a lawyer at my end.

Guest's picture
Guest

Hi

Have a similar problem except the problem here is that she died and has nothing. We are getting a great deal of horrific calls and we keep telling them that both Mr and Mrs are dead. They don't want to hear that they only want their money due.

Good luck on your end. I know that I have a lawyer at my end.

Guest's picture
Guest

Hi

Have a similar problem except the problem here is that she died and has nothing. We are getting a great deal of horrific calls and we keep telling them that both Mr and Mrs are dead. They don't want to hear that they only want their money due.

Good luck on your end. I know that I have a lawyer at my end.

Guest's picture
Guest

Hi

Have a similar problem except the problem here is that she died and has nothing. We are getting a great deal of horrific calls and we keep telling them that both Mr and Mrs are dead. They don't want to hear that they only want their money due.

Good luck on your end. I know that I have a lawyer at my end.

Guest's picture
consumer advocate

I represent several clients who would love to pay their bills but can't. Some have lost their entire savings to unexpected medical conditions. Other's have lost a spouse and thus 50 to 100% of their income. To label these people as "dead beats" is wrong. The real criminals here are the companies that show no mercy or willingness to help. Washington Mutual for example will gladly extend you a card at a decent rate only to jump that rate to 30% if you miss three payments. Ford Credit will violate federal law and call you after 8:00 pm. I have had several clients who tried to negotiate with them only to have their vehicles repossed in the middle of the night. I have no pity for companies who add to the already mounting burden that some of these people face. How can it possibly help to triple the interest rate on a card you are already having trouble paying. Banks have no incentive to help the consumer because they know they can write the debt off, receive a tax break and federal bail out assistance. The average taxpayer receives none of these perks. My advice to debt collectors...get a real job that your mother can be proud of and stop bullying people who need help, not attitude.

Guest's picture
AJ

I am not a deadbeat, nor am I poor, I make great money, however, my spouse got extremely injured (on the job) and was out of work for over a year due to the many surgeries he needed. I had to put my electric and other bills on the credit cards. Going from two incomes to one is hard! It has been two years, and we are still trying to get caught up. The people that call are rude and only worry ablout your commissions. It should be easier to set up a payment plan, but if you do not have the hundred dollars or what amount they want right there, then you are out of luck! I have had some very rude people that I have dealt with. I try to stay calm, but after awhile it gets rough. I even went as far as to tell one man that his actions and tone is the reason people commit suicide. I felt horrible that I stooped to their level. With the economy the way it is, it is part of the business. If you do not like the fact that people are "stealing" as one person put it, then change your job. You pick the job, the job does not pick you. Creditors must like pushing people to the limits.

Guest's picture
Guest

There were several posts that were insinuating that we're avoiding the problem. I would love to pay all of my debts but I can not do so right now. I make money but with the rising cost of everything and my significant other's loss of a job, its been tough to try and keep up with rent and car and utilities. When I try to talk with the debtors they don't care. They just want money...money that would have me living on the street if I gave it to them. I'm sorry but when it comes to paying a bill or my apartment...I would have to choose the roof over my head. Unfortunately I'm trying to struggle and find a second job to try and work out a debt management plan to at least make the calls just stop. I go to work everyday with a headache because I know I can not pay the debt I owe. And with every collection call, my headache seems to ache that much more.

Guest's picture
Guest

I ran into some terrible financial trouble about 7 months ago, and like many, fell into debt with my credit card. They increased my % rate to 30% and I could no longer even keep my head above water! I tried to work it out with them, but nothing seemed to help. So, eventually i went 3 months with no payments. The credit collectors began calling and my stress level went through the roof. I am working 2 full time jobs now and trying to get out of this terible mess. Anyay, the other day, they came to me with a setttlement agreement. The cut what I owed in half if I could pay like 7000 over 90 days. I gave ti some thought and I have sorted out how I will be able to do this. I have agreed and I am wondering if I have done the right thing? It is going to be ridiculus to get through the next 3 months but i will still be able to pay mortgage, I will just have to cut back on stuff. So, we will have a terrible quality of life for a little bit, but I am hoping it will pay off. The stress is too much and I really want my credit back.
Has anyone done anything similar....did it work out alright?

Guest's picture
jeannette

Be Honest with them and tell them that you cannot pay what you agreed upon.

My husband put me in some terrible debt and he wasn't paying the bills. I hated to do this I let the unimportant ones go. which was the two credit card ones.

I know this is going to sound terrible, it only stays on your record for 7 years after 7 years if they have not taken action against you it will be removed from the credit. However, you have to stop paying on it.

Especially if its a credit card. A bankruptcy lawyer told the credit card ones let go. However, pay your bank loans such as your mortgage. Or any other bank loans. Those are the important ones.

I turned things around, I do not have bad debt and I took charge of the finance and all our debts are paid.

However, I do have one credit card, it is well paid for and I have manage to save lots of money.

Guest's picture
Debtor

Debtors win, creditors and collectors lose. hahaha you rude bitches! debt collectors wouldn't be so aggressive to your face, they hide behind the comfortable anonymity of their war dialing machines. the best way to deal with the pussy ass losers is to initially be calm and nice and say you would like to make a payment ASAP and that you just need the name, phone number of their office, and address to make the payment to. then change your attitude and let them know that for every call beyond ONE CALL that make to you per day, you will call them an UNLIMITED number of times until they get the message to remove you from their list. then simply call their office over and over and over and over again. they will have to answer every time because you could be a legitimate caller.

And to the creditors and collectors on here who say "pay your bills and be responsible" I say **** you and mind your business. you don't know my circumstances and i don't have to explain them to a stranger. basically you should have been smarter about who you give money to. you won't be paid back, and i will forever laugh at my win and your loss, bitches.

oh and if i'm supposed to worry about my sullied credit report, why should i? i don't need good credit when i have PILES AND PILES OF CASH that i will never pay you with HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

fuckin faggots....

Guest's picture
EDWARD A.

I've been on both sides of the fence.

I have had financial difficulties several times due to a medical condition that my daughter eventually lost to. I became very sarcastic and antagonistic towards debt collectors. They have no right to be rude to anyone, nor do they have the right to threaten anybody. It came to a point where I filed a complaint against the collections company for harassment.

I have had to struggle after I lost my daughter since I was left with so many debts (my wife passed away a year before due to a car accident). In trying to get back on my feet, I (ironically) landed a job as a debt collector. I did make sure though that I would collect within the boundaries of the law.

Surprisingly, it's true that many people would blatantly lie about their ability to pay. It's also true that many collectors become rude.

Debtors feel harassed by the number of calls and are pushed into screaming at collectors and getting very stressed. They can sue if they feel that their rights are violated. On the other hand, collectors have a job to do and goals to mee (if they want to keep their jobs). Unfortunately,they cannot sue a consumer if they are at the receiving end of profanity and threats.

My message to debtors: If you owe it but do not have the ability to do so right away, be honest and try to work with them. The only reason collectors become rude is because many a time they are shouted at and hung up on. Imagine how that must feel.

My message to collectors: people will work with you if you are nice enough and genuinely try to help them. you're not going to get anything if you are rude or abrasive.

Guest's picture
Guest

Debt collectors can be very nasty and rude. With the economy in shambles my business went belly up. My husband and I are both out of work. As you can immagine our finances are a mess. My car got repossesed by Chrystler in the middle of the night, and no they will not negotiate. Prior to the repossetion, I asked them to please lower the payments. Thier answer was always no. Yet the banks cry thier blues to congress and recieve billions in bail outs. I got sued by a creditor, they won because I didn't go to court. They have a jugment, Now my minor son is being sent qustionairs from the creditors lawyer asking for my personal information. The qustionair state if he does not answer he would be held in contempt of court, even though the document is from the lawyers office and not the court. My question is how did he get my sons name and can he even leagaly send him the questionair? I don't want my 17 year old to be stressed. I wonder who this lawyer will contact next, he has already sent my parents the questionair.

Nora Dunn's picture
Nora Dunn

@Guest #32: I feel for you, what a tough situation to be in. I don't know the answer to your question, nor can I give any sort of legal advice. Other commenters - feel free to weigh in with any recommendations for our friend if you have them.

Guest's picture
gay

my 20 year old daughter is being hounded by a collector. now that's part of the problem. i called representing my self as her because she is so sick from all of this. the guy was joe and said he was with the fraud dept. i told him i didn't think this was my card. but have since found out that it is a card i used 2 times in my freshman year 2007 to buy books. with all the confusion and paper work of being new at college. it got pushed aside and forgotten. so when the bills started coming i was dealing with roommates from hell. working. and had a full schedule plus some. we thought it was a fraud and called the company asking for paperwork on what was purchased. and they refused to sent anything to me. i ask if i could have my mom handle this and they said no. they are calling up to 15 times in one hour. now my mom/me contacted them and asked the calls to stop. that i'm in class and this all was making me sick. i told them i would go thru mounds of paper work to see what i could find. at least this time when my mom asked they told her it was from the book store. which jogged my memory. now i want to call them and set up payments and take care of this. i guess my question is if he is with the bank after 3 years of letters can he/they keep calling me and harassing me if i have agreed to make payments? i can't take this anymore. i've been to my doctor several times because of the stress from all of this and all most dropped out of college. any ideas/help would be most grateful. thank you cassie and mom. gaygaysa@yahoo.com

Guest's picture
gay

i have learned a lot from this site. not enough yet but this is the best site ever. thank you. gay

Nora Dunn's picture
Nora Dunn

@Gay - Sorry for your troubles, that stress sounds tough to deal with. Assuming you have made the arrangements to repay the loan, you shouldn't receive further calls from debt collectors, from what I can gather. The banks pay debt collectors to chase up unpaid debts; once the customer starts paying back the loan, it would behoove the bank to pull the account from the debt collector's desk.

Guest's picture
Lori

Nora,

Having had experience with debt collectors, I no longer make arrangements with them cause all they want is your checking information. I simply send them all a certain amount every month and the calls still come 24/7 - starting at 8am. You would think that these companies would be happy that many of us are trying to pay our debts. Go figure!

Guest's picture
Jackson

I am facing FEDERAL PRISON time. You read that right. I'm headed to one of the roughest prisons in the United States, all because of unpaid debt. I thought not paying was NOT a criminal offense. What happened to that? The collectors and the judge are on the same side and are both "fed up with people thinking they can stop paying their bills and get away with it". Listen to me, the LAWS about debt are changing. It's getting so that they can send you to prison. And when you come out, you still owe. My lawyer is busting his butt trying to keep me out of the federal penn. Heed my warning. They are getting tougher on people who don't pay up. Get a job flipping burgers if you have to, but don't fail to pay, because I'm only 38, and my life stops here. I will never see the outside world again, all because I didn't pay my bills. Now, I'm not completely innocent. I do not work. I am always unemployed. that's my fault. But, who issued me 10 different cards when I had no income? Yea, see my point? They didn't even bother to check my background. To see that all my life, I have never held a job longer than a month, never made more than minnimum wage. Once again, that's my fault. But,I think 25-life in prison is, well, over-the-top. I am not a murderer, for crying out loud. But, I made my bed, so time to lie in it.

Guest's picture
Julianne

There is something very odd about this particular posting. This "Jackson" is claiming he's being sent to federal prison for 25-Life for not paying his bills. C'mon! We all know this isn't true. Nobody goes to prison for simply owing debts. My inkling is that this is some low-life who works for a collection agency and he's trying to scare the masses into believing this heap of crap. Jackson, you're well suited to write fiction!

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Guest

I am recently trying to deal with some debt that has been unpayed due to unemployment. When I talked to the debt collector trying to find a way of paying at least a small amount of what I owe a month she told me I had no options and I had to pay the entire amount of a student loan of $8000. I explained that clearly I could not pay the whole amount and could I give a smaller monthly payment. She told me I absolutely had to pay the whole amount and I better go and find friends and family to give it to me. She even told me I should get my parents to take a loan against their house! I was previously paying about 120 a month but could no longer afford it now I have been sent to collections and they are demanding the whole amount. If they would allow me to pay about 30 a month now and about 200 a month when i get a job that would be reasonable. But she keeps insisting she wants the entire amount and there is nothing I can do. Well I can tell you right now I do not have the entire amount. Even scratching 30 a month is a challenge! I dont know what to do I am having a temporary bad financial state but I passed my boards and will have a job as a nurse soon. I fully intend to honor my debts, but I can not give the entire amount even then. It has been awful. I have always payed my bills on time and had decent credit until the last year and a half and I am doing my best to improve my situation and honor the debts I owe. But she made me feel like dirt. I wish she could live in my situation for a while and see how she feels. I think I am just going to send some payments in to the collection agency and stop trying to reason with her. At least if she takes me to court the judge would see that I was trying my best to deal with the debt.

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luciyahelan

I know this because an ex of mine had an accident that got him hospitalized. I put my name on the paperwork as an emergency contact - and when he didn't pay the bill, they came after me even though I wasn't responsible in any way for the bill. The first few times were really bad - they said I'd signed something that made me responsible for the bill, that I had to get them a credit card number that day or they'd go after my credit report, and worse. Then the next time I didn't get upset, just said that that was fine - if they paperwork that I'd signed that made me responsible, they could mail it to me in a certified letter, and I'd be glad to pay them, otherwise, they should stop calling me.
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Credit Card Tips

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Guest

I would add to the letter you write to just type your name, don't sign your name. It is very easy for someone in the electronic age to use a scanner and forge your signature.

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Guest

I have a problem with debt collectors calling me because my son lost his job, I have calls all the time and I even have them on the weekend, I pay my bills! I pay my phone bill, and I have a perfect credit score. I simply tell these people my son is 30 years old I do not have anything to do with his bills, and I tell them this is my phone I pay the phone bill, it is in my name and you calling me is bothering me. I am on the no call list and should not be bothered with these calls, some caller will say we will take your number out of our system, and then others want to become aggressive with me and we have it out on the phone, but after a few repeated calls I email the number to the attorney general and they stop calling