Ways to Save - Coping With Collectors
If you’re too late for some of the advice given here, do not panic. However, do be prepared for a new phone mate - the bill collector. There are 6,300 bill collectors in the United States, and they all say business is booming. The borrowing binge has increased consumer indebtedness to over $1 trillion. Creditors who can’t handle all that debt have turned to collection agencies to do the job for them.
When you can’t deal directly with your creditors, it helps to know what their hired guns can and can not do. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which became law in 1977, protects you from unfair collection practices. The following are some key provisions:
It is a good practice to keep a journal record of the dates, times and names of creditors who call. If they violate the rules, use your journal as documentation and consult a lawyer or state consumer protection agency for assistance.
There’s only one right way to cancel a credit card, and one additional but little-known reason to do it: too much credit may limit your chances of being approved for any new credit, including mortgages and auto loans. A cut-up credit card doesn’t mean a closed account, and potential lenders may deny you new credit, if they fear you might run up all those unused but still open credit cards. To close an account the right way, call the card issuer and ask them to close it. Follow-up with a letter stating that the account was closed at your request, and ask them to acknowledge it in writing and note it on your credit report.
Whether you go directly to your creditors or cope with collectors, you can survive, recover and prosper. Accomplish this and you’ll feel ready to negotiate world peace or the federal budget. However, managing your own life is the priority here.
It is difficult to destroy credit cards, but you have got to do it. Learn to "Just Say No" to credit card use. When the mail arrives, don’t even think about opening those envelopes that announce your pre-approval. Tear them up and throw them away!
Discipline will get you out of debt. It took a long time to get there, so expect a long road back. Once you make it, once you regain control of your finances, you will feel great.
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