In October 2011, the Reader’s Digest [http://www.rd.com/slideshows/13-things-a-debt-collector-wont-tell-you/#slideshow=slide9] ran a slideshow titled, “13 Things a Debt Collector Won’t Tell You.” For those who are familiar with debt collectors, there’s little new. Debt collection agents cannot use profanity, call between 9:00 P.M. and 8:00 A.M., call you at work against your permission, and threaten to have you arrested. The article does tell readers a few things they might not know.
- Debt collection agents receive bonuses based on how much they collect. This makes sense given that debt collectors want to extract the most they possibly can from their debtors, especially given that they paid so little for the debts (pennies on the dollar).
- In keeping with the astonishingly low prices they paid for the debts, debt collector’s agents are often authorized to settle for as low as 15 percent of the debt’s total value. If the debt is still valid, this sounds like an excellent deal for debtors. Just remember, the debt collector is making a massive markup on your debt, so start by bidding low. Don’t be afraid to open in the single digits and insist on it.
- Don’t give debt collectors more contact information when settling debt. They’re not collecting this to complete a form; they’re doing it as a backup plan in case the settlement falls through. By giving them this information, they can argue you gave them permission to contact those individuals. This is probably something you don’t want.
- Debt collectors use good/cop bad cop tactics. This isn’t surprising, but remember that unless you exercise your rights, the collector is in a position of strength at all times. Similarly, managers won’t help you, so don’t ask to speak to them.
Many debt collectors may run legitimate businesses, but even the “good guys” often still cut corners and try to dupe people into paying debts they don’t owe or use dishonorable or illegal tactics. If you don’t have the situation firmly under your control, or you think the debt collector has broken the law, then it’s in your interest to hire an experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer to handle your case. It will give you some needed negotiating power, and filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate the debt entirely.
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. Call us at 702-880-5554 to set up your free consultation.