One of the scariest things you may encounter when you are considering a bankruptcy or you are in a tough debt situation is the endless calls from debt collectors.
At my peak, I was getting over 28 calls per day from debt collectors. That’s a lot of stress and can cause you a lot of anxiety. Through it all I was able to stay very calm and focused on my plan for getting rid of my debt, which in my case was bankruptcy.
Here’s the strategies I used to keep calm and move forward.
Never Answer a Call From A Debt Collector (Without a Plan)
You should never answer a call from a debt collector. Debt collectors are trained specialists designed to make you feel guilty and to take any and every possible dollar from you. Nothing is to be gained by talking to them. Just let all of the calls go to your voicemail. You may have a misconception that because you have a cell phone, that debt collectors should not be able to call you at that number. That is false. Since you have a relationship with the company that you owe money to, they are certainly allowed to call you to collect the debt owed.
Make sure you set all of your phones to silent mode at all times. There is nothing worse than actually hearing the phone ringing all day. Flip your cell phone over so you don’t see the calls coming in. I remember how many times I would have it flipped over and then an hour later I would take a look and see 7 calls with 7 voicemail messages left. At the beginning, it was a bit stressful, but quickly I learned to just ignore them. They are just numbers on a screen! Don’t be worried – rather – focus on your plan for eliminating the debt in the best way possible.
How to Answer a Debt Collection Call at Work
One of the scariest moments is when a debt collector calls you on your work phone. At work, you may be forced to answer the phone because you aren’t sure if it is a business contact or not. All of a sudden, you may find yourself on the phone with a debt collector. The first thing a debt collector will always do is verify your identity. They will ask you your name, and they will not start talking about your debt until you confirm it is you. For example, when you pick up the phone and say “Hello?” they will usually say, “John Doe?” or something similar to get you to quickly confirm your identity. Once you respond yes automatically, they will go right into debt collection mode.
Here’s how to respond. Once you realize it is a debt collector, say this: “I can’t take personal calls at work. Please don’t call me here anymore.” Then you hang up. Say nothing else. By law, they will no longer be able to call you at work anymore! This is a great strategy. Also, if coworkers are nearby it’s easy to play it off as someone trying to sell you something or someone calling you about some type of home service. (house cleaners, house repairs, etc.)