Talking to Bill Collectors: What Can You Do?

Too many Canadians run from their debt and try to bury their head in the sand. It’s not because they are losers–it’s simply because they just don’t know what to do. They think by not communicating and not answering those letters the debt will somehow just disappear, but that isn’t going to happen. One of the worst things that a debtor can do when a debt collector calls is to avoid the phone, or trash the letters. It leads to a very bad place–especially with regard to credit worthiness. The truth is, it’s very important to speak to your creditors as soon as possible. If you make an initiative to work through your credit problems your creditors or more likely to work through your financial difficulties with you. You simply have to take action and do something about your problems.

So, just how should you talk to collectors when you do answer that phone? It depends on what kind of outcome you want to achieve!

Talking to Bill Collectors the Right Way


We all want to be talked to with a level of respect and understanding, no matter what the situation might be. When you’re talking to bill collectors, no matter how frustrated you feel, keep this in mind. Think about how you want to be treated. Your positive attitude will get you the results you want far faster than being confrontational. Even though the bill collector will test those waters, keep your cool. Let’s take a look at a few tips.

  • No matter what you can’t lose your temper as it won’t get you what you want
  • Don’t just tell the bill collector you don’t have time for them. Arrange a new time to call and talk
  • You need to be ready to ask questions and answer theirs as well
  • If anything seems inaccurate bring it up in an intelligent manner, not belligerently
  • Have a defined plan on how you’ll catch your debt up and stay on top of it
  • Be willing to follow the advice of the collector
  • If you’re having a bad experience with a collector ask to speak to a supervisor, and request a new collector to speak with. Explain exactly why. No matter what, you still have consumer rights.

 Work Out a Feasible Plan With the Collector if You Owe Some Money


Even if you don’t owe all of the debt, but some of it, you need to work out a plan that is right for you. You have to negotiate. Most will want something upfront to show you are sincere, and then devise a plan following a first payment. So, if you know for a fact that you’re liable for some of the debt owed then you should:

  • Be honest with the collector and own up to some of the debt, but make it very clear you’re disputing a portion of it
  • If you’re disputing a portion of debt then you need to pay what you owe immediately. However, if it is a substantial amount most collectors will arrange to have payments made
  • It is wise to write to your original creditor and explain why you are disputing some of the debt
  • Always keep copies of any correspondence
  • When paying on a portion of a debt always include your account number, the amount and the current balance

Honesty is always the best policy, and when Canadians are upfront with collectors there is more flexibility provided. The benefit of the doubt is actually given. Once you get on top of your debt you need to stay on top of it and don’t make the same mistakes. Develop a well thought out financial plan and stick to it to avoid those same pitfalls.





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