Remember: You have all the control in your debtor negotiations.
Speak to somebody in a position of authority:
|Credit Union / Bank||branch manager|
|Finance Company||branch manager|
|Retail Store||collection supervisor|
|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.
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.
NEVER MAIL CASH.
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!