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The Dirt on Debt Collectors

MoneyWise

Christian talk radio with Rob West

September 29, 2021

It’s a phone call no one wants to get, a debt collector bugging you about a bill you may not even remember. Hi, I’m Rob West. You may legitimately owe the debt, but maybe not. So, it’s important to know your rights. We’ll talk about your options and how to deal with debt collectors first today then we’ll take your calls at 800-525-7000. In most cases the debts that debt collectors are trying to collect are legitimately owed and they’re within their right to collect them. And as Christians, we never want to be the guy who dodges his debts. Proverbs 3:27 says,"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act." We should do everything in our power to pay our debts, and not run from our creditors, but toward them. Don’t be afraid to work with them. In many cases, you can work out a payment arrangement with your initial creditor. Many debt collectors are honest folks playing by the rules and just trying to make a living. But you know what they say, it just takes one bad apple to give the barrel a bad reputation. If you are contacted by a debt collector, first, make sure you’re the right person and that you actually owe the debt. If you get a call in error, be polite. Calmly explain that you aren’t the person they’re looking for and you don’t owe the debt. But, do not give them any personal financial information like your Social Security number. You can then tell them not to contact you again and that if they do you’ll report them. Debt collectors can’t call you at all hours of the day or night. They’re restricted to the hours of 8 am to 9 pm unless you give them permission to contact you outside those times. You have the right to tell the collector verbally that you’re not allowed to take their calls at work and they should immediately stop trying to contact you there. If they continue to call you at your place of work, again, you can report them. Debt collectors aren’t allowed to lie, mislead, or use deception to collect a debt from you. Debt collector can’t give false information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company. And finally, they can’t use a fake company name to collect a debt. Romans 13:7 is a good reminder about meeting our obligations. "Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed." For help paying down your debt contact our friends at ChristianCreditCounselors.org. On today’s program we also answer a few of your calls: --We paid off our home and have been contributing to our IRA's. Our advisor told us to invest in long term care. What is your opinion on this? --What are the main reasons why your credit score will drop? --I am retired, 71 and am about to pay off my mortgage. I receive social security and have little in savings. What is the best way to handle the money that I do have? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions 24/7 at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can listen to past programs, connect with a MoneyWise Coach, and even download free, helpful resources like the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for the very latest discussion! And remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website or in our app.

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