"The Lord touched their eyes, saying, "It shall be done to you according to your faith."
Nothing is more unnerving then being harassed by a debt collection agency. It's a noose that forever tightens making you cringe when you look at your alternatives. The gullies of life are not paved comfortably and at some point along the way you'll probably be facing some sort of financial strife.
For some reason when that first mailed letter is open, we'd like to magically think it will be written off especially if it is a small debt. Sometimes, though, these small collections can be sold to larger legal corporations trying to find an advantage to increase that original request in the way of attorney fees, court costs, and interest. Of course, once you open a letter from a legal debt collector who contains a law firm, you're in a whole new ball park.
This type of legal representation firm knows each line of an already instituted law system to use as their leverage that you don't. After all, they outright purchased the debt for an initial sum that they are forced to make revenue on. This revenue will come out of just one mistake on your part.
With a prayerful heart, through the eyes of faith, there are a few things you can do. First take a moment and sit quietly speaking to the Lord. Open your heart and mind to that inner voice you hear. There are often incidents that may have been swept under the rug and forgotten. God will help reawaken these thoughts to help you. Second, don't despair, place it right at God's feet. Don't allow an unlawful law firm to take advantage of you, making you panic. There are things you can put in place right now at this moment.
When dealing with debt collectors, you have plenty of rights, thanks to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Here are six things to know when a third-party debt collector contacts you.
- Get the information in writing. Within five days of contacting you, a collector must send you a written notice telling you the amount of money you owe, the name of the creditor and what action to take if you believe you don't owe the money, according to the debt collection act.
- If you don't believe you owe the money, dispute the debt in writing. If you send the collection agency a letter within 30 days of receiving the written notice stating you do not owe money, a debt collector cannot contact you. Make sure you keep a copy of the letter as part of a paper trail on your debt, says Gerri Detweiler, the Sarasota, Fla.-based co-author of "Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights." Furthermore, make sure you send your response certified mail.
- Keep records of phone calls and messages. Keep a file with notes from phone conversations and copies of all written correspondence to and from the collector. Write down the day and time of every collection call, the collection agency's name, the amount it says you owe and a summary of the conversation, Detweiler says. "That paper trail could be essential if it turns out the debt collector breaks the law," says Detweiler.
- Debt collectors have many restrictions. When it comes to collection calls, the debt collection act says there is a lot collectors cannot say or do. See FTC practicing act above.
- Say little and stand firm. If a debt collector calls keep the conversation as short as possible. And stay focused and calm, no matter what a debt collector may say. "Stick with the facts," Detweiler says. "Be a broken record."
- Don't be afraid to negotiate. Times are tight and debt collectors are looking for whatever payments they can get. There is a good chance you can work out a deal to pay less than the full amount. "Start right out of the gate offering 10 percent to 15 percent of what they say you owe," Ulzheimer says. "Then, probably settle somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 percent to 50 percent." Detweiler says before you pay, be sure to get details of the deal sent to you in writing. Once you've gotten written confirmation of the agreement, you can send your payment. Be sure to pay with a cashier's check rather than a personal check.
Remember, when we close our eyes, and open up God's shield to protect us, we will see great things. Be a big dreamer, see those initial litigation plans drying up, believe the grace of God has your back. Don't make little plans. Take a few minutes each day to envision this case being closed. Envision yourself out of debt. Envision rising to better financial recovery in the future. If you establish this picture in your heart and mind, God can begin to bring it to pass in your life.