If you’re struggling to pay your bills on time, chances are you’ve received calls from creditors and debt collectors. It may cause you stress to talk with them, but you may be surprised to learn that many of them would prefer to work with you rather than not receive any money at all. They may even be willing to settle your debt by accepting less than what you owe.
Remember that settling your debt does have ramifications, often affecting your credit score. However, this is a much better option than simply not paying your debt and potentially having your wages or assets garnished in a worst case scenario. To negotiate effectively with your creditor, consider the following tips:
Maintain a consistent story. The creditor isn’t interested in details as to why you’re unable to pay your debt. However, they do need to be made aware that you’re in a hardship situation and what steps you’re trying to take to get back on your feet. It could be something along the lines of “I lost my job and am having trouble finding employment”, for example. Whatever you decide to tell them, make sure to be consistent with your story when negotiating with your creditors.
Be professional, ask questions, and take notes. Regardless of how the person on the other end of the phone is acting, do not become confrontational. If you find yourself getting angry, simply tell them you’ll call later. If you must deal with someone who is being rude, inform them you would like to record the conversation. If the collector says they intend to sue or you’re going to lose your home, politely ask them for specific information such as when they intend to notify you of the lawsuit. Some threats may be illegal.
Have a physical copy. If you do manage to work something out with your creditors, make sure to receive a debt settlement letter so you’ll always have that as a backup and proof in case you start receiving calls about a balance that was previously resolved.
This information is provided by Miami bankruptcy lawyer Alonso, Perez & Santos, LLP. Our areas of practice include bankruptcy, insurance litigation, debt harassment, credit card defense, foreclosure defense, immigration law, condominium law, business start-ups, and more. Call 305-676-7545 to speak with one of our attorneys and receive a free consultation including a Miami insurance attorney. We look forward to working with you.
This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.