Greg Cowart on Zillow
Greg Cowart - Mortgage Broker or Lender at The Securus Group
Greg Cowart - Roseville Loan Guy

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Top 10 rules for handling collection agencies

1. Realize that Credit collection agents are usually working on commissions. This is a JOB to them and the more they get you to pay, the larger their paycheck. They will be persistent and more often than not MEAN, be prepared.

2. Don’t argue with the agent, because you will lose. This is what the do all day, every day and they have heard every excuse in the book. They are prepared with an answer to everything. State your case but don’t argue.

3. It usually doesn’t help to ask to speak to someone’s boss. In this case, talking to the supervisor normally won’t help (in fact it could be worse). Remember, he ended up with his job because he was good at what he did and was able to squeeze every dime out of past consumers who had disputes.

4. Never give information out over the telephone to a collection agency. This includes your driver’s license number, social security number, debit card numbers, check numbers, credit card numbers, or bank account numbers. For the most part they should already have this information.

5. Use a money order or certified funds to make all payments. Make a copy of it and staple it to the bill.

6. Keep records of everything (including dates of phone calls and what was said), and make sure that anything sent through the mail has a return receipt.

7. Make sure you get written confirmation of any deals or negotiated payoffs. Make sure you have something that says the collection has been satisfied.

8. Never take their first offer when negotiating a lower payment as they will always call back with a better offer.

9. Use powerful sentences like, “This is all I can afford to pay,” rather than “this is all I am going to pay.” This is a much better negotiation tactic when you are trying to lower the payoff with the collection agent.

10. When repairing your credit, it is a good rule to keep copies of all your credit reports. That way you can track the process of what has been repaired and make sure that what you negotiated is coming to pass.

While it would be impossible to include everything there is to know about dealing with collection agents, these 10 tips will almost always result in more money in your pocket and less in theirs. I help all of my clients through this process as needed, don’t hessitate to call or e-mail if you have any questions…

~Greg

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