In theory, the collection agents are seen as untouchable people whose orders must be executed without fail, but in reality they are people with whom we should negotiate and who we should not be afraid of. Do not delegate the negotiation process to a company because you can do it yourself. In fact, it may seem scary and impossible to do, but with a little courage you can save a lot of money in the long run. Here are 6 tips to negotiate successfully with your debt collector.
If you are planning to negotiate with your collection agent, then you must be well prepared and you must have a good understanding of your current financial situation. For example, you need to know what your monthly income is, what your monthly expenses are, and how much debt you have at the time of the negotiations. The knowledge of these three amounts is important because it will tell you whether you have to repay your debt collector by monthly payments or by a single payment. Make a budget that will allow you to clearly see how much you owe to all monthly expenses. By having an exact amount in mind, you will know exactly which path to take during the negotiations and will avoid finding yourself in a situation where you will not be able to assume the cost of the payments.
Have a hard skin
Although it may seem difficult to implement, strength of character can be your main asset during negotiations. The laws in place prevent collection agents from being violent or harassing towards you, which does not mean that they will be nice to you. The job of the agents is to collect the money you owe them, so be prepared for them to insult you and your financial situation. Malice is one of their strategies. By treating you as incompetent and useless, they want to make you ashamed and encourage you to repay the money as quickly as possible. However, do not take these words too much to heart. Have a hard skin and negotiate wisely.
Find out about legislative constraints
In Canada, the federal government and each provincial government have different laws in place for collectors and the debt collection process. For example, if an unsecured debt is not repaid within a certain time, then no legal action can be taken. It is important that you find out about the legislative constraints in your province. Perhaps, the repayment term is exceeded, which would mean that you no longer have to repay your agent.
Do not make partial payments
Although partial payments may seem beneficial for the repayment of your debt, they can hinder your repayment process in the long term. If you plan to make partial payments, this could therefore restart your period during which the agent can sue you. It is important to obtain the legal opinion of an expert before committing to make partial payments. By being informed of the potential risks, you will certainly stand out as a winner.
Bargaining does not seem like the best option, but in fact it’s exactly what you need to do when negotiating with a debt collector. Do not forget that your debt has been sold to collection agencies that have surely inflated the balance of your debt to make more money. Make sure you know the exact amount of your debt and do not skip on their first offer.
Even if your collection agent offers you monthly payments, do not accept them. What you need to do instead is to negotiate a single payment, which would allow you to get a better discount on the original debt. The collection agents work on commissions, so it is in their interest to get the refund as quickly as possible. Do not hesitate to negotiate.
Everything must be written
If you plan to reach an agreement, then you must absolutely get everything in written form. If you accept your agent’s offer, you must require a paper copy of the contract. Make sure you do not make any payments until you get all paper documents. Also, check if the contract is clear, ie if it clearly states that once the payments are made, you will be debt free.
The collection agents want your money and will do anything to get it. Although negotiating with them may be unpleasant, following our advice, you will be able to stand out from the situation and pay off your debt so they never bother you again.
For more extreme cases, please consider the consumer proposal or personal bankruptcy