A creditor-debtor relationship is rarely friendly. The business aspect will nearly always take precedence over any other aspect of your relationship with an acquaintance, much less a bank.
The point, though, is not to give advice about how to handle debt issues with personal relations. Rather, the concern is your relationship with corporatized creditors: banks, mortgage servicing companies, credit card companies, credit agencies, and, of course, debt collectors. The best guide is that the less you have to deal with them the better, because when you do have to deal with them, it’s almost always adversarial. One thing worth doing is corresponding with them by certified mail and choosing the “return receipt requested” option. There are six reasons.
- Mailing the letter alone creates a hassle for the courts. Sure, there are legal doctrines for handling whether someone sent or received a letter, but often they work against you, and by the time you have to prove you corresponded to a bank or debt collector, you’re way past wanting to lean on legal doctrines to save your case.
- The same goes for phone calls and faxes. Fax machines might not work, fax confirmation sheets don’t always prove your recipient got your fax, an intern may have thrown the tray’s contents out, and answering machines get deleted or wiped.
- E-mail is cheap, but so are spam-filters, and sometimes they screen innocuous, contextually accurate terms, like “mortgage.” Also, some e-mail systems allow confirmation protocols, but they’re almost always optional. If you ran a debt collection agency, would you voluntarily tell a debtor you got their e-mail?
- Certified mail, return receipt requested means the recipient must sign a small green card to acknowledge receipt and take possession of the letter. If it refuses, the postal service must return the letter to you. You will know what happened to it.
- If your debt problem goes to litigation, creditors can take the position that they didn’t receive your correspondence, and you will have the green paper to prove it. Unlike other forms of communication, courts explicitly trust the United States Postal Service, so once you prove you sent the letter, creditors will have to claim the USPS mixed things up. That will not fly in front of a jury or judge.
Successfully dealing with creditors requires organization. If you want to best them and prove to a court that you’re right, or more likely, you want to use some piece of tangible evidence as leverage in a negotiation, then that green paper will be well worth the extra few dollars.
For more questions about bankruptcy in Las Vegas, please feel free to contact an experienced Haines & Krieger Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney for a free initial consultation by calling 702-880-5554.