Hi, my name is Adam Stewart, Debt Collection Expert and owner of ADC Legal Litigation Lawyers.
Following on from my previous blog: “Don’t be Afraid of Debt Collectors”, we can now talk about some practical things you can do to prepare yourself to deal with your debts. Remember, there is always a way out and your debt collector is actually there to help you. However, there are other tools you can use to help you negotiate with your debt collectors.
So here are some more tips on what to do when the debt collector comes calling:
Have all your facts and figures available and ready, so you can begin your negotiations. Get everything in writing. If you have signed any contracts, read them again and make yourself aware of exactly what the debt is about and what the penalties are for late payment. Check any interest and penalties that have already been added.
2. Check your Credit Score and Credit Report
You can do this instantly, online and for free at either Get Credit Score or Credit Simple. Your credit score will give you a realistic snapshot of your financial status. It will show you any other overdue debts or judgments you may have against your name.
3. Get a Financial Counsellor
Search for a counsellor online at Moneysmart or call 1800 007 007. Financial counsellors can sometimes negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. You might also be eligible to get free legal help from various community legal centres around Australia, or Legal Aid agencies.
4. Communicate Immediately
Once you have done your preparation. It’s important to communicate with your debt collector straight away. This is so you can avoid further interest and/or legal action against you.
5. Communicate in Writing Only
If you can’t afford to pay in full and want to negotiate either a reduced lump sum or a payment plan, this is where you will need to document your negotiations. Ask your debt collector to respect your wishes and communicate by email or mail only. No phone calls. This way, you can negotiate and communicate at your pace and in your own time, without the pressure and stress of waiting for the debt collector to call again. Even if you’ve previously made an agreement on the phone, get the company to confirm it via email or post. This will ensure you always have a record.
Above all, remember that the best thing to do is face your debt collector fast and head-on. They will respect you for it and you will be surprised how cooperative they can be! You’ll have much less stress in the long run, and get yourself into a better financial position.
ADC Legal Litigation Lawyers is a legal practice specialising in commercial advice and litigation, debt recovery and insurance claims recovery disputes. For more information, email us at email@example.com or call 1300 799 820. Talk to us about your litigation or dispute concerns via Skype at adclegal.