Business & Finance Bankruptcy

How to Deal With a Collection Notice

    • 1). Respond to the phone call as professionally as you can. Collection agents spend all day calling people who are not happy to hear from them. As a result, the agent may be grumpy or curt with you. A calm, polite attitude on your behalf -- even if you're upset or shocked -- will help disarm the agent and make the process more agreeable.

    • 2). Ask the agent to explain the exact details of the collection notice. In the event you have received a collection notice by mail, rather than by phone, call the listed number to talk to an agent. If you're unsure of the circumstances regarding the collection notice, ask to have the situation explained. The agent will be able to tell you to whom you owe the money, when it was due and the amount owed.

    • 3). Query how to make the payment either in full or by establishing an affordable monthly payment arrangement so that this matter is resolved as quickly as possible. Most collection agencies will take a credit card payment over the phone. If you have a credit card and can afford to make this type of payment, give the agent your number to pay the notice immediately.

    • 4). Seek funds from another source if you cannot afford to make the payment. Though borrowing money is never ideal, see if a trusted friend or family member will loan you the necessary funds, especially if the collection agency is threatening to take further action against you if the debt is not paid. Promise to pay the money back promptly and, if necessary, explain to the person who is loaning you the money how you will be able to pay her back, such as by picking up additional shifts at work for a period of time.

    • 5). Request that the collection agency sends you a notice saying the matter is resolved, either by mail, email or fax. If the agency cannot do so, ensure you get a confirmation number from the agent as proof of payment. In the event of future issues, you can cite this confirmation number as proof of your payment.

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