When debt collectors call your phone, it’s usually because you may have defaulted on a payment you were due to make. This is generally the case, however there have been cases where debt collectors have called individuals with the aim of scamming them out their hard-earned money.
This is why consumers need to have a clear understanding of what debt collectors do as well as their consumer rights.
How to handle calls from debt collectors:
Keep a level head and make sure that you have enough time to talk.
Make a note of the date and time of the phone call, the name of the collector and everything discussed in the phone call. This is a good way of keeping record of conversations and what was agreed to.
Don’t make a payment until you’ve confirmed that the debt is yours. It’s essential to make sure that the actual debt in question does belong to you.
Don’t say anything that makes you liable for the debt.
Keep in mind that anything you say regarding the debt or your willingness or ability to pay will probably be used against you.
Debt collectors cannot call before 8am and after 9pm. They also cannot call you over and over again during a relatively short period of time. This is tantamount to harassment and is against the rules set by the Consumer Act.
It’s important to find out if your debt collector is registered with the Council for Debt Collectors and for them to be able to provide proof.
In terms of prescribed debt, if you acknowledge the debt either verbally or in writing then the debt can no longer be prescribed.
You can negotiate a discount with a debt collector, so take their calls.
If the debt collector is rude or harasses you, you can report them to the Council for Debt Collectors.