Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When dealing with Debt Collectors...

A credit card, the biggest beneficiary of the ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Come with your game face on.  Today, I had to deal with something that I though I would never had to deal with again, a civil lawsuit.  I did not see it coming.  Well, that is not totally true.  Three weeks ago, I kept getting these advertisements in the mail from money hungry lawyers, disparately seeking my case.  I told my parents and asked, "what case?" They told me that these lawyers were probably looking for something that was not true, and I could not agree with them more.  After about a week of this, the ads stopped, and life as I knew it resumed, at least I thought of it that way.   I went to my mailbox today to find an ad (something entirely different) and a summons to appear in civil court on October 9 by unknown collection agency.  "What!!!" I thought, and I wanted to know why, so I called.  It seems that I owe some credit card company, who I never heard of (well I heard of them, I just thought I did not have a card with them), and I owed them $2,000, plus court fees, and something else.  The last payment this credit card company received was in 2010.  Ok, first of all, I could tell them right now that I never received a card, an account, or anything like that.  Wrong according to them. (Of course they are never wrong, after all, it is their word against yours).  I tried to reason with them, they would not budge.  I told them that I did not have that kind of money, they would not budge.  I tried settling with them with a reasonable amount (reasonable for me, but apparently not to them, they want the full amount).  I cried and they hung up on me.  Apparently, they can harass and intimidate you, but if you call them one bad word, suggest what they are saying is wrong, or give them the wrong amount that you can pay are grounds for them to hang up on you.  With me crying on this end, allowed said idiot supervisor to hang up on me, as he cannot deal with adults crying on the phone.

I called them back, after all, this is what I get on a daily basis from them when I do not answer the phone.   I got a nicer person, who is was willing to work with me.  I told her of my situation, and she was really pleasant to talk to.  We worked out a plan to where I can pay $50.55 a month until...2016.  the good news is if I start making more money, I can pay the extra money or the lump sum by giving them a call.   This is what I was hoping for with the first call.  No, this supervisor wanted a down payment of (get this)...$1200, then he would agree to $50 a month.   I was not declaring bankruptcy and I was not going to court over some stupid charge that I did not know I owe.
So what do you do when you are faced with something like this.   First of all, try to work with your credit card company.  They are the best source of working on a payment schedule.  Tell them of the situation.  Do not talk to a supervisor, they only want to do what is best for the company, NOT YOU and the company. If you must talk to a supervisor, thank the rep and hang up.  Call back again to talk to a different rep.  When it get so you have to deal with a debt collector, same scenario, different day.  I did not want to talk to a supervisor, the first rep did, and that is how I got one in the first place.   Supervisors are afraid of losing their job, because they if they are doing their best to keep the company from going under (like my little $50 payments would put them under).  Start the negotiation process.  Think about your other bills.  Worst case scenario is that you have to tell them about everything, and I did.  I am now on what they call a hardship case.  I will except that.  I hate that, but it must be done, but it better than sitting in a courtroom on October 9th, and you know how judges are.  They can make or break you.
So now that is done.  No more calls unless I make it to them, and it is something I have to live with for a while.  The lesson here is face your fears, and you never know, because God will work it out in your favor.  I actually said a little prayer while I was on the phone with the company a second time around, and in fact, God told me to call back when I was on with them the first time.  I am glad I did.  The bottom line is God will work in your favor if you let him.  You may not like it, but things could have been worst. (I would have preferred to wait a little longer, but something told me that October 9th  would come before before that time)

Be Blessed everyday.
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