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Friday, September 23, 2011

12 Ways To Outfox Bill Collectors

1.If they threaten to have you arrested, use profanity or call before 8am or after 9pm, then they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. So report then to your state attorney general at http://www.naag.org/ and the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/

2. When they leave a message on your phone, its just a message from a made up person. When you call back and ask for him or her, they will say they are out to lunch and offer to help you instead.

3. When a bill collector makes unreasonable demands,  never ask for a manager since he or she won't  help you. Just call back and get another collector on the line.

4. Bill collectors love to call you at work because it puts extra pressure on you. However, if you specifically ask them not to call you at work, by law they have to stop.

5. If you decide to settle, collectors are trained to "take your application" in a bored voice. They'll the ask for your spouse's work phone, and other personal information. But it's  they're way of getting more info out of you in case the debtor rejects your settlement. So if you want to settle, don't give them an more info to harass you.

6. Always check whether your debt has passed the statute of limitations. You can check for info about your state at  http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-state-statute-limitations-1282.php
If your debt has passed the statute of limitations, they can't sue you or put it on your credit report. But if you make any kind of payment or even acknowledge the debt, then that starts the clock ticking all over again !

7. Debt collectors always lie when negotiating and say they have to get a manger involved. Then the other collector becomes the "bad cop". The theory is that just having another voice on the phone may get you to open your wallet.

8. A lot of collection agencies buy debt for pennies on the dollar. So when you negotiate, start low at about 25 cents on the dollar. Then say, "I have $200 I can apply towards this debt.. Will you accept that as payment in full?" If the collector says "no", then ask what they will accept. When you reach a deal always make them put it in writing. Then pay the bill.

9. Collectors won't tell you , but most accounts have a one time settlement fee of 15% to 35% that's pre-approved.  This is especially true with credit card debt. So always negotiate hard.

10. The more money a collector can get out of you, the bigger bonus he or she will get. Top collectors routinely get bonus checks of $10,000 or more each month. So always negotiate your debt down to pennies on the dollar.

11. All collectors have heard every tale of woe in existence. They may seem sympathetic when they talk to you, but they just don't care.  So make sure you always negotiate your debt down.

12. Debt collectors are trained to believe that all debtors are compulsive liars. So no matter what you tell them , they are trained to keep pushing. So they ask you if you can borrow from friends, your 401k or another credit card. Don't do it. If the collector won't negotiate the debt down, hang up.

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