The Dun Letter – part 1
Ever get a phone call, out of the blue, from a Debt Collector, demanding you pay them because you owe a debt? I have, and many of my clients have.
You start asking questions, you get defensive, the Debt Collector raise their voices, start yelling at you, calling you a dead beat, threaten you with legal action, threaten you with garnishment, threaten to take away your first born child (please), or threaten to take you to jail. In order to get the Debt Collector off the phone, you agree to pay over the phone, especially since they say they will cut you a deal. You agree to the deal and give the debt collector your checking account information over the phone. Or you give them your credit or debit card.
Whew! It is all done and over with. Or is it?
There is so much wrong in the above scenario it is scary. What is it about us that we will not hang up on someone like this? We do not. Stop being nice – and start protecting yourself!!!
Yes, this did happen to my family. My wife received a call from a Debt Collector stating we owed money on a medical bill. They started out nice and got rude very quickly: “What are you, dead beats? You don’t pay your bills?” The Debt Collector then demanded my wife pay over the phone and would not hang up until she did. So she gave them our VISA debit card number. They were happy and my wife was glad, as she could get on with her day.
A client of mine (we were working on restoring her credit) received a phone call from a debt collector stating she needed to settle up on a bill TODAY or they were going to garnish her wages. (By the way, this was a threat – a debt collector cannot garnish wages: Only an attorney can, through a court order.)
Another client of mine told me she was abused by a debt collector who falsely claimed to be an attorney and threatened to have child protective services take her child away. She told me that although she didn’t actually owe the debt, the collector bullied her into giving him the number of her bank account—and she lost $900.
(There is a recent book I wrote entitled Debt Collectors: Lies, Damn Lies, And Deceit. Recommended reading.)
These are horrific stories. What can be done to stop it? In the next few blogs I will go over what the law is and how to protect yourself.
Let’s start a conversation.