Debt collection agencies have quite a few tactics, and one of them is trying to force a huge payment so they can close out the account as soon as possible.
Some might paint a horrible picture of what might happen to you if you don’t make this payment, however, the ball is really in your court.
They’re trying to shock you into action, but they’re generally not inclined to take expensive legal action unless they feel other options no longer exist.
You can approach them with a reasonable payment schedule that you can afford.
When a debt collection agency contacts you, the first step is in making sure the debt is real and yours. If you are aware of the debt and wish to make good on it, it is time to start negotiating or taking appropriate debt advice.
Be prepared to negotiate
When the debt collection agency first starts out, they might well put a figure on the table that will eliminate the debt as quickly as possible, garnering them the largest profit.
However, if you were unable to pay the debt in the first place, it is unlikely you will be able to meet their opening demand. Listen to what they have to say and consider making a realistic counter offer. They may not like it, but as long as you are willing to pay, they have to receipt the payment against your account.
If the agency refuses your amount, it might be time to end the conversation and document the call. Get the agents full name and record the time of the day. Keep this information in case you are required to go to court. You might also send a letter with proof of receipt outlining the conversation, making specific note that you offered payment and they refused to accept it.
You can then tell the judge or arbitrator that you tried to make good on the debt, but it was the agency that refused to accept payment.
Be diligent before signing anything
If they are being reasonable, you may wish to agree to their terms. Get the agreement in writing. Many times they will ask for a good faith payment on the debt, which is generally fine if you can afford to pay it.
Over time, if you are able to save extra money and want to wipe the debt completely out, you may want to contact the debt collection agency to see if they have a settlement figure that they’ll provide to you. This is a common practice after scheduled payments have been made over a period of time.
In many cases, debtors are able to settle for pennies on the pound. Again, just make sure everything is in writing and you have an agreement stating the debt is paid in full, or that they’re waiving their rights to collect the remainder of the balance when they receive the agreed upon amount.
Debt collection agencies can be very intimidating, but they understand that you cannot pay money which you don’t have. Working with them, or getting a debt adviser to help you by working with them, is the sensible strategy. Ignoring them makes more serious action to recover the money owed much more likely.