Debt collections is often much more mentally and psychologically challenging than the actual collections themselves. Let’s take a look at a variety of ways to handle this mental challenge.
Take a Long Term View
The first step to realize is that your debt situation is a passing thing. It WILL be resolved someday. It is not a permanent situation. You always have a way out. Try to step out of the immediate situation and acknowledge the simple reality which is:
- I have a lot of debt that I can’t pay
- I need to create a plan that will resolve the debt
Breaking it down into simple steps will allow you to focus on taking the needed action to resolve your debt issues.
Ignore the Debt Collection Calls and Letters
Pay attention to this one – when you know the status of all of your debts, you should start ignoring the debt collection calls and letters. All they are are pieces of paper and words on your voicemail. There’s no need to read the same debt letter for the 8th time or listen to the same voicemail for the 20th time. Once you have a plan in place, simply follow your plan to resolve the debt and ignore all the noise around you.
This is not to say that you should not understand how much you owe and who you owe it to, or that you should simply ignore debt collectors with no plan. Rather, that once you have a plan, such as a plan to file bankruptcy in 2 months, you no longer need to pay any attention to debt collectors.
Turn Your Phone to Silent
This is an easy one. Turn all your phones to silent so you don’t have to hear them ring 30 times a day! Keep focused on your plan.
Discuss Your Plan With Your Attorney or Debt Counselor
One great way to not have so much stress is to put that burden on your lawyer or debt counselor. Let them handle your situation and help you make the right decisions. Although the situation may be very emotional for you, lawyers see these tough debt situations every day. By giving your professional the stress of the situation, you can keep your peace for yourself.
Take It Easy On Your Loved Ones
Your family members and loved ones don’t need to bear the burden of the stress as well. Discuss it with your spouse and create your plan, but don’t allow your debt to turn into fighting and yelling. I know, it’s easier said than done, but it’s something you need to strive for. The best way to avoid fighting is to create a plan! If you have a plan in place with your spouse to get out of debt you can focus on just working your plan rather than fighting. One good way to do this is to go to a bankruptcy attorney together so you can look at your finances realistically and get a good plan going.
Most Importantly – Go Easy on Yourself
Once you’ve gotten into a difficult financial situation, go easy on yourself. This means that there’s no use beating yourself up now. Accept that you made mistakes, and then move forward to correct them and resolve not to make those same mistakes again. If you beat yourself up too much you’ll be too filled with anger at yourself to analyze your situation with the patience and calm attitude that is needed. So, keep your focus on the goal – resolving your debt – and go easy on yourself!