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What a tough job…
Debt Collectors Ask to Be Paid a Little Respect
Poor debt collectors. Why would they be looked down upon when their trade routinely harasses people at work, phone-bombing people in the middle of the night, threatening people with jail, lying, etc, etc.
For anyone being harassed by a debt collector: it pays to know your rights. Tell them all communication must be in writing and to never call again (they must comply with this). Block their phone number(s) through your phone company. Don’t agree to pay anything, don’t admit the debt is valid, etc. Get everything in writing, then make a payment only if the debt is valid. Also: old debts are NOT valid — there is a statute of limitations (varies by state — look it up).
You could just pay your bills (unless it’s an error).
JLP) absolutely! But I doubt people would go out of their way to ream a debt-collector if the debts were valid and the debt-collector is also acting respectfully.
We had a debt collector phone bombing us, apparently for some guy who used to have our phone number. Middle of the night calls, accusing us of lying when we said we don’t know a Larry (or whomever it was that owed the debt). Thank goodness AT&T makes it pretty simple to block numbers via their website. If I were the litigious sort, I’m sure I could’ve gotten a settlement from this particular scum-bag.
I didn’t know you could threaten someone with cutting off their arms and legs and not get arrested? Have I been needlessly reigning in my desire to threaten people all these years?
It’s fine to be glib, but I had a long interaction with debt collection that was due to an error, numerous errors in fact. It was a royal pain, and knowing your rights is very helpful. But I’ve posted about that here before.
Want respect? Get another job.
I am a debt collector and I collect on federally guaranteed student loans. I love my job, I don’t expect people to like me because human beings as a species, including me, hate to be wrong. When someone is calling you on the phone holding you accountable for something that’s your responsibility it’s your natural response to be angry at them. BG is a genius, just like everyone else that you find on the internet of all the things you should do if a debt collector calls you. The hilarious thing that none of these sites ever tell you, is that you should pay your bill. You should answer and be respectful and tell the collector about your situation and see if they will let you settle, or let you initiate a payment arrangement. When people tell you that you should tell the collector not to call you anymore, that is correct. By law, we cannot. What do I do when someone tells me that? I don’t call them again and I don’t care. I never open their file again, because they obviously don’t care—if they don’t, why should I? When their tax return gets seized, they get denied their FAFSA and asked to leave the college they’re currently attending, and their employer gets an order to garnish 15% of their wages until the balance is paid in full—all the sudden they call in and they want to talk—and guess what, they’re just as angry as they were on that first call when they cussed me out and told me not to call anymore. In reality, my job is not to harass you; it’s to give you an opportunity to move your loan from a status of default back into a good standing. Call me names, I don’t care. Tell me that you want a copy of your promissory note to prove that you owe the debt (when you know very well that you owe the debt)—great, but during two weeks that it takes for you to get that, you’re accumulating daily interest. Threaten to sue me—like that doesn’t happen every day. Tell me you’re going to come here and kill me—you’re not really going to, so don’t even embarrass yourself by saying it. I am a person who has a job to do, and if you are angry that is understandable—it sucks to be in the wrong, but you are just that. I know for a fact that I am not in the wrong, I am not violating the law, I am just doing my job. You owe a debt, and have broken a promise to pay the loan back. You should be apologetic that you lied on an official document when you signed, promising to pay the loan back, but do you think that anyone ever thinks of it that way? Of course not. I am the bad guy, not you. Right?