Tips on Negotiating Your Past Due Bills
If you find yourself falling behind on your past bills then your phone is likely ringing constantly with calls from debt collectors and creditors. This can be a very stressful situation that no one wants to deal with. However, you may find that if you take the time to negotiate with creditors or collectors that they will actually work with you. Here are some tips to negotiate a past due bill.
Stick With Your Original Story
The person who is on the other end of the phone does not need to hear all of the details as to why you are unable to pay your due bills. However, they do need to have information about the type of situation that you are in and what exactly you are doing in order to get back on track to being able to pay your bills. It will be helpful to you if you think about a few sentences beforehand that you can use multiple times when talking to the debt collectors or creditors. Additionally, one of the most important things is to be truthful. If you have a different story for each person you talk to then it will likely backfire.
Stay Away From Drama
Try to remain calm even if the person on the phone is being rude. Keep in mind that you won’t get anywhere if you become angry. If you find yourself losing your temper then just tell the creditor that you will have to talk to them at a later date and then hang up the phone. If you must talk to someone again then ask him or her to record the conversation that you have, as this will often keep them on their toes and on their best behavior.
Ask Any Questions That You Have
If a debt collector or creditor says that they will sue you or will take away your property if you do not pay them then ask them for the specifics. This includes asking when you will be notified of the lawsuit and what exactly the process is. Keep in mind that some of the threats that you’re receiving could in fact be illegal, and so the more informed you are the better.
Know How Much You Can Afford
Look over your salary and your expenses carefully in order to figure out what exactly you can afford to pay back. In many cases you can negotiate for a better settlement on your debt simply by coming up with a sum amount that you will be able to pay in order to resolve it. Keep in mind that if you agree to use a payment plan then you will most likely have to pay a larger amount of money over time, and so ensure that you know the total amount that you’ll pay with this method.
If You Can, Deal With Creditors
If it’s a possibility always try to deal with creditors and not debt collectors. While making a late payment can negatively affect your credit scores and reports, getting your bill sent to collections will result in even worse damage.
Get Help When Dealing with Creditors
If you are having difficulties creating a repayment plan that works for you then you may want to consider contacting a credit-counseling agency in order to get help with working a negotiation out with your creditors. You should request a consultation with an attorney if you find it unlikely that you’ll be able repay your bill or if you have debt collectors stalking you. Even if you do not file, you can get help from the attorney in knowing your rights.