Anytime you don’t meet the minimum payment requirements on your unsecured credit card debt you may be subject to annoying, or worse, threatening phone calls, demanding payment from creditors or debt collectors representing the original debtor from a collection agency. You have undoubtedly received unwelcome calls if you have fallen behind on your credit cards. They sound like, “we demand the you make at least the minimum payment this month” or better yet, “we will sue you or garnish your wages if we don’t receive your payment today.” My advice is to welcome those “unwanted” calls.
Yes, I know receiving tons of unwanted calls from debt collectors can make you crazy. Creditors tend to call you at all hours of the day and night. I also know it can be embarrassing as well. Deal with it head on. The reason is simple. If the creditors are still calling you and “harassing” you that means two things. First, debt collectors want a dialogue with you to negotiate a settlement or reduced payback terms. Second, debt collectors have not litigated against you. It’s when the phone stops ringing that you should worry. Typically, the calls will last several months followed by letters for several more months giving you up to at least a year to work out a favorable settlement arrangement.
Debt collectors are normally paid on a commission basis. They will call you endlessly, not because they care so much about helping out Bank of America, Chase, American Express, or Discover. They harass you because they get paid a percentage of the money that you send in to satisfy the original debt that you owe.
Do not be fooled. You can still maintain a significant amount of leverage although you may be behind on your credit card payments and still struggling financially. I read somewhere a wonderful slogan that I will share with you. “Bad things sometimes happen to good people.” Remember that slogan when a creditor or better yet a collection agency calls you to collect on the debt.
The most important thing to understand is that from a purely negotiation or business standpoint it is to your benefit to have your phone continuously ringing from creditor calls. The longer they call the more time they are really giving you to get your act together and get the money necessary to speak to them and negotiate successful settlement that works out in your favor.
In summary, here are SOME HELPFUL TIPS ON HOW TO STOP ANNOYING CREDITOR CALLS. First tip, don’t get upset or angry when the phone rings. Second tip, answer the phone. Answering the phone and having an empowered intellectual dialogue with the caller will usually lessen the calls. Third, speak truthfully and honestly to the creditor, telling them your hardship, so that they can notate it in your file, and lessen the harassment. Fourth, always remain calm on the phone, and have a pen and paper handy to document if they are calling you during hours that would violate national telemarketing rules. If they are, report the activity to the FTC. Lastly, if the calls are just too much to bare, disconnect your home phone, and turn your cellphone to mute or vibrate. In short, welcome the calls, and set aside some money in the meantime for a potential settlement later on. Good luck.