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Remember: You have all the control in your debtor negotiations.

Phone calls

Speak to somebody in a position of authority:

Credit Union / Bank branch manager
collection supervisor
collection manager
Finance Company branch manager
Retail Store collection supervisor
credit manager
Collection Agency If you have problems you may call the creditors you owe the money to.
  • If the person that you talk to is not helpful, ask to speak to his or her supervisor. Do not get angry.
  • Always keep a record of the person you spoke with, company name, date, time, phone number and what was said.
  • Keep in touch with that person until the problem is solved.
  • Avoid making promises you can’t keep.
  • Keep your temper and always be polite. Ask for your creditor’s help, rather than telling them what to do.
  • If you feel the collector is harassing you, report them to your local authority.

Written communication

Remember, an agreement or a contract over the phone is not binding unless you make a payment or put in writing your acceptance of the debt.


Keep a receipt/copy of all of your cheques or money orders.

If you choose to write a letter, outline the following:

  • Your reason for the letter;
  • Your employment status;
  • Your intentions regarding the debt;
  • Your reduced repayment terms;
  • Your reason why you cannot make a payment;
  • Your request for interest relief;
  • Your request for the creditor to pull the account back from collections;
  • Your offer on a settlement amount;
  • Your request for the termination of the debt (medical reasons) be prepared to provide proof.

More tips to put into practice

  • Photocopy pay stubs etc. Remember, you are letting the creditor know where you work or at the very least what you earn.
  • Create a monthly expense sheet (show creditors where your money is going).
  • Be accurate, it is your budget, there is no right or wrong, but it must balance.
  • Be realistic. If you offer to make a payment make sure you can afford it. Missing any payment could jeopardize your proposal. If you cannot stick to an arrangement don’t offer one.
  • Be reasonable. Creditors want to get paid back within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Be specific. Tell the creditor when you will contact them in the future. Tell them which month or which specific day. Do what you say you will.

The creditor has a right to expect to be repaid, if you cannot make a payment you should explain why.

Do not allow anyone to bully you. You have rights!

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