If you have been experiencing calls from a debt collector you have likely experienced the doubt that can often come with repeated phone calls from a third party. One of the worst things you can do when facing a debt collector is ignore their call. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t proceed with caution and investigate thoroughly.
Debt Collection Don’ts
Don’t ignore the call — The reason you should never ignore, at least the first, debt collection call is that you need to know if there is a legitimate debt in delinquency. Some lenders push collection of missed payments into the hands of collectors after only 30 days. What if you didn’t know you owed money on that medical or utility bill? Ignoring the call is only going to make matters worse.
Don’t comply with payment requests right off the bat — With so many debt collection scams circulating you need to be sure the alleged debt you are being contacted about actually exists. Because you have a right to have the debt verified, hold off on making a payment and request a written verification of the debt from the collector. Confirm this debt with your lender directly before doing anything else.
Don’t give out personal information over the phone — Some debt collectors will ask you to verify your personal information such as address and social security number. You do not have to provide this information over the phone. Even more importantly, do not give out payment or banking information over the phone until you have verified the debt and confirmed it with your lender. Even after verifying the debt request to pay the debt through check or money order.
Don’t forget about your lender — There is no requirement for you to resolve your debt with a third party. You maintain the right to pay debts directly to your lender. Instead of negotiating and paying a third party, get in touch with your lender to resolve your debt liability. If you are settling a debt or negotiating payment terms, always be sure to get a copy of your lender’s approval in writing to keep in your records.