Chased by creditors? Ask a debt collector!

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#1
Okay so I've been working as a debt collector for about half a year now so I figured I would help anyone out that is looking for advice on how to handle creditors or if they're just curious. That and I learned a lot of stuff I never knew so I like sharing. The best piece of advice:

READ AND LEARN THE FDCPA (FAIR DEBT COLLECTIONS PRACTICES ACT) FRONT AND BACK!

So please, ask some questions! I was going to just post a big ass article but I figured I'd just let people ask if they felt like it.
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#2
One big thing that I notice more and more each day and just proves that people are idiots when it comes to handling shit is this:

DON'T HANG UP ON CREDITORS

Nothing says "Hi I'm the person you're looking for and I'm busy being a deadbeat so call me back ASAP" than someone who picks up and hangs up the phone. Ignore the call if you must but the quickest way to to get anything done is to just answer, explain your situation and rag them to the lowest number you can manage.
 

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
#3
This is a great topic. Its something that I spent a lot of time researching but could never get a handle on because so much is guarded. I'm out of my hole now, but I still have a ton of questions. I'll start with a few:

How much do creditors buy charge-offs for and what is a low number? I could get most creditors to go 60% without even blinking, so I know the number must be lower.

Whats the best strategy to get bad info removed? Currently I send a letter about once every six months saying please verify all of the info on my credit report or delete it from the report. I am about 15% successful with this strategy. Is there a best time of year to do it? What the procedure behind the doors of the collector?

Is there physiological training for the job? I began to notice a pattern. Call #1: I am your friend, here to help you out. Call #5: You've disappointed me and now I'm in trouble with the boss and I'm mad at you. etc...

Do you get paid commission on closed accounts?

I told a collector to never call my work again or else I would file a suit against him. I then realized it would be my word against him and I would lose that case. Are the calls recorded on your end? If I record them on mine, is that legal evidence? What's the best way to get the point across.

Can I by-pass a creditor and go directly to the account holder?
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#4
How much do creditors buy charge-offs for and what is a low number? I could get most creditors to go 60% without even blinking, so I know the number must be lower.
First off, not all collections agencies buy debt. The one I work for is also a law firm. If we don't get the debtor to pay within a time frame, our lawyers sue them.

Secondly to answer the question, it depends on the bank. The one whose accounts I work have very high standards. But basically any bank that can afford TV commercials can be beaten down to about 10-30%. The important part is documenting a hardship. If you don't have a difficult enough situation, they may not budge. Work them over, it's not hard.

Whats the best strategy to get bad info removed? Currently I send a letter about once every six months saying please verify all of the info on my credit report or delete it from the report. I am about 15% successful with this strategy. Is there a best time of year to do it? What the procedure behind the doors of the collector?
Data is a new area in terms of farming. On a daily basis, I'd say at least 60% of the numbers I call are wrong or disconnected. This isn't because we like harassing people, contrary to popular belief, it's because our data comes from sources which don't get updated by their customers. If someone calls an old number and they're told it's the wrong number, make sure they know. If they call it back, threaten them with the FDCPA and remind them of the previous conversation. A lot of consumers are fighting collection agencies nowadays so the regulations have tightened a lot.

Is there physiological training for the job? I began to notice a pattern. Call #1: I am your friend, here to help you out. Call #5: You've disappointed me and now I'm in trouble with the boss and I'm mad at you. etc...
In all honesty is depends on the collections agency and the person calling. It may shock some people here but I'm actually one of the nicer people in my office when it comes to calling people. I'm not kidding you, I get thanked at least a few times a week (I even had a Spanish lady bless my family for helping her, she was thrilled to say the least :lol:). When I make a phone call, I always start nice unless there's something in the notes suggesting otherwise.

For example, the biggest assholes are people that make payments, stop paying, and then get pissed when they find out two months later they've been sued. They act like it's our fault they don't answer the phone calls or return messages and trust me, we call as much as we legally can (that's how the business stays afloat). People yell, they get angry, upset, they cry, everything. Some people just pick up the phone say, "HAHA I'm not paying, fuck off!" and hang up . . . . then call us after they've been served their summons crying (that's not an exaggeration, we've currently seen three calls like that this month).

Talk to a manager to get all your options. If a collector offers managerial assistance, take it. Those guys can get you better deals and can offer you things the collectors can't.

Do you get paid commission on closed accounts?
If an account is closed, what is there to collect?

I told a collector to never call my work again or else I would file a suit against him. I then realized it would be my word against him and I would lose that case. Are the calls recorded on your end? If I record them on mine, is that legal evidence? What's the best way to get the point across.
Unless you're dealing with Uncle Lester's Collection Agency, you're going to be on a recorded line. It's for the safety of their company and for you. I know where I work, if we're told not to call them at work, we abide by it. We're not trying to get people fired but we will always ask for a better number in return and if you refuse one and just hang up, expect the calls to start again in ten days. You're most welcome to record calls as well, there's no laws against that (but probably will with the rate people are getting locked up for recording cops, right? Sheesh) and I would suggest it. Just simply tell them you can't be contacted there and that your job will be in jeopardy if they do. If they take this as an invite and call again, get a lawyer and sue their dicks off, they won't win especially if you have recordings and a polite demeanor on the phone.

It's easy enough to be angry and get mad at these people, but that will just make it harder for you.

Can I by-pass a creditor and go directly to the account holder?
It depends if the collection agency owns the debt or not. If a company retains a collection agency to resolve an account, that company still owns it and yes, you can go to them. However, most of the time they may refer you right back to the agency they hired to collect. If it's a debt that has been bought (the shadier companies like to buy debt for nickels on the dollar and collect what they can) then you can only deal with the collections agency. So make sure of the status of your account before discussing anything.

The bottom line with all of this is work with them. I don't suggest this to better my pay or amount of calls, but people would be surprised at what they're missing in terms of payment options. If you can't do anything, what are they going to do? Mug you over the phone? Give 'em the story and the facts, tell them why you can't pay or the size payments you need. This always makes the process move along much easier.
 

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
#5
First off, not all collections agencies buy debt. The one I work for is also a law firm. If we don't get the debtor to pay within a time frame, our lawyers sue them.

Secondly to answer the question, it depends on the bank. The one whose accounts I work have very high standards. But basically any bank that can afford TV commercials can be beaten down to about 10-30%. The important part is documenting a hardship. If you don't have a difficult enough situation, they may not budge. Work them over, it's not hard.
fantastic.


Data is a new area in terms of farming. On a daily basis, I'd say at least 60% of the numbers I call are wrong or disconnected. This isn't because we like harassing people, contrary to popular belief, it's because our data comes from sources which don't get updated by their customers. If someone calls an old number and they're told it's the wrong number, make sure they know. If they call it back, threaten them with the FDCPA and remind them of the previous conversation. A lot of consumers are fighting collection agencies nowadays so the regulations have tightened a lot.
We may be on 2 different pages. I said it wrong. What I mean is I send a letter to equifax saying: I pulled a credit report and found Cons collection on it. Verify that I have an account with Cons collection, the dates and the amount of the bill or else delete it from my credit report. Then they contact you for verification. I want to know what happens on your end and how to maximize my success.

Another related: I have heard some people doing pay-for-deletes. In this case, I contact you directly and offer to pay you $50 to take it off. Never had success with this. Is it possible?


In all honesty is depends on the collections agency and the person calling. It may shock some people here but I'm actually one of the nicer people in my office when it comes to calling people. I'm not kidding you, I get thanked at least a few times a week (I even had a Spanish lady bless my family for helping her, she was thrilled to say the least :lol:). When I make a phone call, I always start nice unless there's something in the notes suggesting otherwise.

For example, the biggest assholes are people that make payments, stop paying, and then get pissed when they find out two months later they've been sued. They act like it's our fault they don't answer the phone calls or return messages and trust me, we call as much as we legally can (that's how the business stays afloat). People yell, they get angry, upset, they cry, everything. Some people just pick up the phone say, "HAHA I'm not paying, fuck off!" and hang up . . . . then call us after they've been served their summons crying (that's not an exaggeration, we've currently seen three calls like that this month).

Talk to a manager to get all your options. If a collector offers managerial assistance, take it. Those guys can get you better deals and can offer you things the collectors can't.
lol. great.



If an account is closed, what is there to collect?
No, do you personally get paid more if you collect the debt. Just curious.


Unless you're dealing with Uncle Lester's Collection Agency, you're going to be on a recorded line. It's for the safety of their company and for you. I know where I work, if we're told not to call them at work, we abide by it. We're not trying to get people fired but we will always ask for a better number in return and if you refuse one and just hang up, expect the calls to start again in ten days. You're most welcome to record calls as well, there's no laws against that (but probably will with the rate people are getting locked up for recording cops, right? Sheesh) and I would suggest it. Just simply tell them you can't be contacted there and that your job will be in jeopardy if they do. If they take this as an invite and call again, get a lawyer and sue their dicks off, they won't win especially if you have recordings and a polite demeanor on the phone.

It's easy enough to be angry and get mad at these people, but that will just make it harder for you.



It depends if the collection agency owns the debt or not. If a company retains a collection agency to resolve an account, that company still owns it and yes, you can go to them. However, most of the time they may refer you right back to the agency they hired to collect. If it's a debt that has been bought (the shadier companies like to buy debt for nickels on the dollar and collect what they can) then you can only deal with the collections agency. So make sure of the status of your account before discussing anything.

The bottom line with all of this is work with them. I don't suggest this to better my pay or amount of calls, but people would be surprised at what they're missing in terms of payment options. If you can't do anything, what are they going to do? Mug you over the phone? Give 'em the story and the facts, tell them why you can't pay or the size payments you need. This always makes the process move along much easier.
I've dealt with Uncle Lester's before. lol. There are some gems in the industry.
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#6
We may be on 2 different pages. I said it wrong. What I mean is I send a letter to equifax saying: I pulled a credit report and found Cons collection on it. Verify that I have an account with Cons collection, the dates and the amount of the bill or else delete it from my credit report. Then they contact you for verification. I want to know what happens on your end and how to maximize my success.

Another related: I have heard some people doing pay-for-deletes. In this case, I contact you directly and offer to pay you $50 to take it off. Never had success with this. Is it possible?
I've never heard of any of this, you may need to ask someone with a stronger financial background about this. Once an account is satisfied, I don't believe there's any trace of the account being in collections. I get to see peoples' credit reports as well when I pull up their account and I do see accounts that have been placed for collections but accounts that have been satisfied don't retain that label.

That "pay for delete" thing sounds sketchy though.

No, do you personally get paid more if you collect the debt. Just curious.
Another variable here. In the place I work, yes, I get credit for all the money I collect but I don't earn commission until I reach my quota.

I've dealt with Uncle Lester's before. lol. There are some gems in the industry.
They actually make it a lot harder for places like mine where we don't buy the debt but just handle it instead. A lot of people we talk to just think we're bottom feeders (a lot of agencies are). I've actually incorporated that difference in my talk off (my little speech to the debtors I talk to).
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
#7
FYI no matter what, things stay on your credit history for 7 years. If you settled, paid it off, or if it was a charge off (remains uncollected) it will be there. You have the right to make sure it is reported correctly. You don't have the right to have it deleted. I'm no expert, that is just my understanding of how it works.
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#8
Yeah I wouldn't know too much on the credit reporting side since we don't actually report to credit bureaus, only our clients do.
 

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
#9
FYI no matter what, things stay on your credit history for 7 years. If you settled, paid it off, or if it was a charge off (remains uncollected) it will be there. You have the right to make sure it is reported correctly. You don't have the right to have it deleted. I'm no expert, that is just my understanding of how it works.
Admittedly, this is something I've walked a thin moral line on in the past. I'm always careful not to lie to the 3 credit bureaus when I request items to be deleted and I always find something that I'm not sure about to dispute. So, Discover says I was late between Jan-Mar in 2007. I don't know for sure if that's true and I will word a letter in a manner where Discover will need to validate it or delete it and say it never happened. Is it probably true? Yeah probably so.
I have no credit cards and no debt. I paid off everything I owed without resorting to Chapter 13, even though every adviser said that's what I needed to do. I also have zero respect for credit card and collection companies and its shaped how I deal with them.
------
Although Cons, I do believe the profession can be a noble one and I respect the way you handle your job. There are many of us that want to settle our debts. The industry is full of just scum as I'm sure you know.
 
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Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#10
Like I said, it really does depend on the agency. Some of them are notoriously bad and all of them have to deal with shit on both ends: the company that harps on us to stick to their rules and the debtors who knowingly dodge calls and then complain when they get caught.

EDIT - Oh I know there's a lot of scumbags, I work with 'em. It's one of the reasons I can't stand my job. Like I said in the initial post, just know the FDCPA and you'll be golden.
 
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