March 23, 2012

These guys (and gals) really make the hairs on my neck spike!

I have heard it all - every ugly story where the creditors of this world try to intimidate, control, frighten and even threaten people into making debt payments. You have rights!

How To Handle the Phone Calls

Always 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.

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

  • 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 Debtors Assistance Branch - Department of the Attorney General.

Written Communication with Creditors

Remember, an agreement or 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.

NEVER MAIL CASH.

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 debt settlement amount
  • Your request for the termination of the debt (medical reasons - provide proof)

More tips to put into practice:

  • Photocopy pay stubs
  • 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.

Remember, if you are experiencing financial difficulties do not wait. Call Solutions Credit Counselling at 1(877)588-9491 or fill out our Debt Consolidation Questionnaire and get your Free Credit Counselling Advice today.

For more information visit Debt Canada - your Canadian credit education centre.

If you are a woman in debt, speak with Women and Money first. We specialize in helping women with their personal and business financeMoney management advice you can count on!


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