It is never fun to deal with a debt collectors. It can be even more stressful when you’re sitting on a pile of debt. There are times a debt collector may fail to follow the rules outline in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If that is the issue you’re facing, it may be best to file a complaint. However, if you’re personally making the following mistakes, your debt issue could go bad to worse.
What Not to do With Debt Collectors
- Ignoring the debt collectors. Screening calls and avoiding collectors won’t help control your debt. While debt generally has a statute of limitations, it does vary depending on your state. Once it expires, the collector may not be able to sue you, but you could still be responsible for paying back what you owe in addition to any interest. Letting an old bill pile up can destroy your credit score. Any unpaid debt can remain on your credit report for up to seven years.
- Watch what you say over the phone. Once you’ve decided to no longer dodge your bill collector, it is important to avoid sharing certain details over the phone. You never want to say that you’ll pay a specific amount by a deadline or give access to your bank accounts. Anything you can say can be used against you. By agreeing to make a payment can even extend the statute of limitations. A collector’s main goal is to collect missing funds. Stay calm, keep the call short and keep your comments to a minimum.
- Verify the debt is yours. When talking to a collector, it’s important to make sure they’re legitimate. Debt collection scams are common. Before you send over any money, confirm that the debt belongs to you and not someone else.
- Keep proper documentation. Whenever you communicate with a bill collector, it’s a good idea to take notes. Jot down the details about who you spoke to and what you discussed. If you’re forced to appear in court or report a collector this will help.