According to the most recent news, majority of Spaniards are still struggling with their personal economies. According to studies released by Urban Institute, 35% of Spaniards do have a debt which has already been reported to the collection agencies. However, the collection methods have not changed despite the overall credit card debt decreasing in recent years.
In case you are among the several people who are being dunned for the delinquent hospital, credit card or other bills, you can easily be intimidated by most of the debt recovery agencies to an extent that you get confused on the repayment plan and process. Here are five great ways you can always ensure you have an upper hand during negotiations with the debt collectors.
1. Never Get Emotional
Whenever a debt collector calls, he or she will be trying to assess your ability in paying or may be trying to get you to agree or say things which you should not. It is always advisable that you keep the first call short and business like. The debt recovery in Spain are usually required by the law to send you a written the total amount you owe them five days after they have contacted you. You should always wait to engage them after receiving the letter.
2. Always ask for Proof
Contact the debt collector immediately you get a written notice. In case you are disputing the debt due to an identity theft or an error, ensure you send a letter to the collector using certified mail within the first 30 days after you have received the notice stating why you will not be in a position to pay. Remember to also notify each of the three credit bureaus by mail clearly explaining the type of error and including documentation to help remove the problem from your report. In case you are not sure about whether you do owe the money or the total amount you owe, always request the debt collector to verify the debt using a certified mail.
3. Resist the Scare Tactics
There are collectors who are known to try a number of tricks that will ensure you pay up. However, it is important that you also know your rights. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practises Act, any collector is not allowed to use obscene or abusive language, call before 8am or after 9pm, harass you with repeated text messages or calls, talk to a third party about your debt, call you during work hours even after you have requested them not to, claim to be an attorney or threaten to seize property or garnish wages. Ensure you file a violation with the FTC and the state attorney general whenever the agency commits a violation.
4. Be Wary of the Fees
The contract you signed when you signed up for the line of credit or the loan you took out clearly states the total amount the debt collector can charge on the debt. Most of the states are known to have laws which cap on the interest amount agencies can tack on. Always check the original balance the creditor listed as “charged off” on the credit report. In case there is a huge increase in the amount the collectors wants, always confirm with the original contract.
5. Always Try to Negotiate
Most of the debt collection agencies will always push you to pay the whole amount at once. However, if that is not possible with you, always inform them of the amount you can afford then and request them to settle for that amount promising to finish the repayment later. Ensure you get a confirmation in writing in case they agree to the terms before you make any payment.