We have found that most people that we work with are not trying to avoid their obligations, they are simply unable to pay their debt because of some hardship. If that describes your situation, we recommend that you work hard to minimize your expenses and make a plan to deal with your delinquent debt. (And if your house payment is a major source of increasing debt – give us a call. A short sale may help you!) But if, after reducing your debt load and making a plan with your creditors and during the period when you are paying off the debt, you begin to be harrassed by debt collectors – there is a professional way to deal with them. Simply ask the person who calls for their fax number or mailing address. Then, fax or mail them a letter that requests them to stop calling you.
Here is some sample language you can put into the letter.
“Under my rights in the Fair Lending Law and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, I hereby request you stop any and all phone calls to me or any other person. At this time, I do not wish to speak with you, anyone at your company, or anyone representing you concerning this matter. Do not contact me by phone regarding this matter. I demand that you stop calling my at home, on my cell phone, at work, at my relatives house, or any other location. Please make any future communication with me in writing. I am aware of my rights under section 805(b)2 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and am willing and able to exercise them. I am keeping track of all all calls from your company and may consider recording calls.”
Make sure that when you mail the letter, you send it return receipt requested. If you have access to a fax machine, then fax it out. It’s much easier and stops the calls quickly. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a creditor or collection agency that calls you after you request them to stop may be liable for statutory damages up to $1,000 plus any actual damages suffered, plus attorney fees.
Another tactic you can use to stop any debt collector is buy an inexpensive call recorder from Radio Shack or Amazon and record the calls. They often suddenly become more professional when they realize they are on tape. Just hook the recorder up to your phone and you’re ready to go. In addition, you may want to keep a log of all phone calls from debt collectors. This can be useful if you ever have to go to court.
Dave Ramsey is a financial planner that has helped lots of people get out of debt. If you are struggling to make ends meet, consider taking one of his classes, but as a basic rule of thumb, he suggests
Step one – Save $1000 which you can use as an emergency fund!
Step two – List all your debts from smallest to largest and start paying them off, smallest to largest, no matter the interest rate from each.
Step three – When the smallest is paid off, use the money that you were using to pay off the smaller debt and pay off the next largest debt. Continue that process until you are completely out of debt.
Step four – Build an emergency fund that contains enough money to pay for 3-6 months of your regular expenses.
Thanks for reading!
Your Kalamazoo Real Estate Short Sale Team
Jason Veenstra, Kalamazoo REALTOR
David Veenstra, Kalamazoo REALTOR
Phone: (269) 350-5514. CLICK HERE TO EMAIL US.
Providing Solutions for Home Owners in Distress
View Our homes for sale at www.VeenstraTeam.com.
The Veenstra Team specializes in helping homeowners STOP Foreclosure, and short sales in Kalamazoo Michigan and Portage Michigan.
Contact the Veenstra Team to STOP Foreclosure and short sales in any of the communities surrounding Kalamazoo; including Kalamazoo short sales, Portage short sales, Mattawan short sales, Oshtemo short sales among others. Of course, we are also able to help home buyers in the greater Kalamazoo area and home sellers in the greater Kalamazoo area purchase or sell any Kalamazoo homes, Kalamazoo income property, Kalamazoo Lake Homes, Kalamazoo Executive Homes, or Kalamazoo resort homes. We offer specialized services for Kalamazoo senior citizens and children with aging parents seeking Kalamazoo real estate information. We also offer free Kalamazoo relocation packets, Kalamazoo tours and specialized services for people who are moving to Kalamazoo. For families moving anywhere else in the US or Canada, we offer Free Nationwide Relocation Services and free REALTOR referral.