It’s happened. You are busy with a client and a debt collections agent is suddenly on the line.
Embarrassing though this may be, you are not alone. According to reports, 28% of Americans have a line of credit that has gone to collections.
If you are having to deal with receiving a collections notice in front of a customer, it can feel as if the image of your business is in jeopardy. What if the customer thinks that your business isn’t reliable because you can’t pay the bills? What if they retract their business and tell others that debt collectors are coming after you?
Fortunately, there is a way to avoid these scenarios. What’s more, there are also a couple of methods you can use to get collection agents off your back (and away from your business) for good.
Read on to find out how to deal with a collections notice, as well as how to start freeing yourself from embarrassing collection efforts.
Stay Calm No Matter What
Debt collectors can have the knack of calling at the worst times. What’s more, having a collection agent phoning you out of the blue can be both stressful and embarrassing.
However, no matter what you are feeling, you must stay calm. If you are with a client, the best thing to do is relax. By handling the call in a relaxed, calm, and assertive manner, you will indicate to your customers that you have the situation under control and that it’s nothing to worry about.
This will leave them with a much better impression than if you respond to the call by sounding nervous or agitated.
If you find it hard to switch into a calm, assertive mode when debt collection agents come calling, you might want to try diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing, both of which are scientifically shown to help the body calm down.
Tell the Agent That You Will Review the Situation and Get Back to Them
The best response to give to a debt collection agent is that you will review the debt they are collecting and get back to them about the specifics. This is a reasonable response and it gives you time to clarify amounts, terms, and to come up with a plan for dealing with the debt.
It also allows you to end the collection call civilly and professionally. The last thing you want is for other people to hear you bickering with the collection agent.
Request All Future Communication via Letter
If you are being hounded by debt collection calls, you can choose to request that the collection agents only contact you via letter. Controlling collection communications in this way allows you some privacy and ensures that you won’t have collection agents calling you up in the middle of important meetings with clients and other business transactions.
To request this, you will need to send a letter to the collection agency. Ensure that you send the letter via US Certified Mail so that you can have a return receipt as proof of its delivery, should the agency continue to attempt to phone you.
Review Your Debt
The next thing to do is to review the collection demand. Debt collection agencies often purchase debts from the original creditor for pennies on the dollar. After this, these agencies often tack on fees and interest.
This is prohibited by the FDCPA. A debt collector may not levy fees or charges which aren’t contained in the terms of your original agreement with your creditor—unless specifically permitted by your state’s laws.
Respond to the Collections Notice
If an unpaid debt in your name has gone to collections, it is always best to respond to collection attempts. By communicating with the debt collector you may be able to set up terms that are suitable for you.
Communicating and negotiating with collection agents also lowers the possibility of receiving a summons for the outstanding amount.
Consider Consolidating Your Debt and Waving Good-Bye to Debt Collectors
If you are unsatisfied with the terms laid out to you by debt collection agencies, and you want to be rid of debt collection calls for good—you may also want to consider consolidating your debts.
This is particularly useful if you have multiple unpaid debts that are with collections or multiple debts that you are struggling to make a payment on.
The way consolidation works is that you combine your total debts into one new debt. You can do this by taking out a business debt consolidation loan, using a balance transfer card or going with a specialized debt consolidation company.
This last option is ideal if your credit record won’t allow you to qualify for loans with reasonable rates of interest.
When consolidating your debt, the new line of credit or loan that you take out must have a better interest rate and terms that your existing debts. If this is the case then you will save on interest, gain better terms, and have all of your debt in one place with only one monthly payment to make on it.
What’s more, by consolidating your debt through refinancing you will also be free of debt collection agents, as your debt(s) will no longer be at collections. This is because once you refinance, your debt at collections will be paid in full with your new loan or line of credit.
Need Help Getting Your Debt Under Control?
Getting a collections notice is never fun. If you have a business to run and a professional reputation to maintain, it’s even less fun. However, there are ways to free yourself from overdue debt and collection efforts.
One of the best strategies is debt consolidation.
If you need help getting your debt under control, take advantage of our online matching tool that will instantly pair you with consolidation solutions tailored to your specific needs.
We take all of the grunt work out of hunting for debt consolidation solutions. Additionally, our matching process will not place an inquiry on your credit score.