How to Handle a Call from a Debt Collector

Your cell number is your cell number, and you’re not changing it. You’d lose contact with too many people you care about. Unfortunately, everyone else has it, too. If you’re getting debt collection calls, you may have other things to think about in terms of your overall financial picture. But here’s how to handle a call from a debt collector.

How to Handle a Call from a Debt Collector -- DC VA MD -- Lee Legal

Be calm, take it easy.

Do not get crazy just because a debt collector calls you. Crazy doesn’t help. Just calm down. It’s two people talking on the phone. Remember, you’re being recorded. Don’t become yet another YouTube fail.

Be your usual placid, easy-going self. Don’t let a debt collector ramp you up. Take it easy and remain calm.

No matter how quickly the agent talks, you don’t have to speak quickly. The collection agent can lose his marbles if he wants. You should keep your cool.

Tell them your story.

The reason that you’re not paying them is not simply because you don’t want to. The reason that you’re not paying them is because you can’t.

You don’t have the money, and you have no one to borrow the money from. You have no other sources of income. The creditor is not getting paid today.

The problem with telling one agent your story is that tomorrow you’ll have a new agent. It can be fun, sure, to try to find new ways to say the same thing, day in and day out. But eventually it becomes frustrating. Remembering to remain calm can become a struggle.

Tell them to go away.

Debt collectors are required by law to validate your debt in writing. Have them do that first.

They also can’t call you at work if they know your employer doesn’t approve. In fact, debt collectors can’t continue to call you at all, if you request, in writing, that they only communicate with you by mail.

The problem with telling a debt collector to stop contacting you is this: that doesn’t make the debt go away. Debt collectors can and will still attempt to collect on the debt. That includes litigation, garnishment, liens and forfeiture.

How to handle a call from a debt collector? Talk to an attorney.

If you’re getting call from a single, harassing debt collector, talk to an attorney. You may be able to turn the tables and sue the creditor for FDCPA violations. Debt collectors can’t call you before 8AM or after 9PM. They can’t use foul language or threaten you. There are lots of other prohibitions on debt collection activities.

If you’re getting calls from multiple debt collectors, talk to an attorney. You should consider addressing your debts through debt settlement or bankruptcy.

Stay calm, explain your story, or just tell them to go away. But don’t let a debt collector throw you off your game. Get your entire financial outlook straight despite their effort to collect on a single debt.

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