How to handle the stress of collection calls

If you’re like my clients, you might be suffering from the stress, the embarrassment of sleepless nights of aggressive collection calls. I am Joe Jeppson, consumer bankruptcy specialist in Kansas City, Missouri.

Collectors aren’t calling you and saying terrible things and harassing you and calling you over and over day and night, because you’re a bad person. They’re doing all that because they want you to feel like you’re a bad person, because they know that you’re more likely to pay in that situation. So don’t let them make you feel bad. No, that they’re just playing a game and they’re trying to get paid, stay focused on your long-term goals and you don’t, you don’t want them to control your spending. If you’re in a situation where you’re getting collection calls, it’s very likely that you’ve got more bills than you have money, and you need to prioritize. Don’t let them convince you to spend your mortgage money on the payday loan. Because then you’re looking at a foreclosure, which is much more pressing than looking at more collection calls. And when they call tell them you can’t afford to pay. You’re not going to pay.

And please stop calling. The only reason they have legitimate reason they have to call you is to get paid, not to harass you. And so if you make it clear that you can’t pay and you won’t pay and ask them to stop calling, there’s supposed to stop calling. If they don’t, there are other things that you can do that we’ll talk about in later videos, but for now focus on priority. Prioritizing those payments, the house, the car, the utilities, some of them will threaten to stop working with you. If you don’t make payments, if it’s the power company, take it seriously. You need to keep the lights on. If it’s a phone company, switch phone companies, you know, if it’s a medical collections, no that, for the size of the building

Sort of controls or influences whether or not,

Your payment status is going to make any difference. What I mean by that is the orthodontist. And the little strip mall building stays late to do the books, and they’re going to get mad if you don’t pay and they’re going to stop helping your kid with the braces. If you’re going to tall St. Luke’s building and you see your doctor there, and she just sends everything to the billing department, she doesn’t know what’s going on with the billing department. She just shows up and there’s a chart on the door. So at the tall building, doctors are much less likely to be effected by the status of your payments and you should focus your efforts to pay on things that are going to affect you again, like the house and the car and the utilities.

A lot of them also threatened to ruin your credit if you don’t make payments. Well, unfortunately, if you’re receiving those collection calls, the damage is probably already done. And there are things you can do to improve your credit. But the person on the phone collecting from you is not the one to help you do that. Your credit score is made up primarily of two big things, your debt utilization and your history of timely payments, debt utilization. How of your available that you’re using. If you have a $1,000 credit card and a $600 balance, they see that as a, 60% utilization, that’s bad, really anything over about 40% is going to start hurting your credit score. Weirdly they don’t care how much you borrow. It’s just the percent. If you have borrowed $4,000 on a $10,000 car card, that’s 40%. And that’s good, even though 4,000, is way more than the 600 on the other card.

So keep the use of your credit down to 40%. But if you’re already above that, the damage is already done. If you’re behind on the payments enough to go into collections, that damage is already done and nothing you do right now with the person on the phone is going to change that. So focus on your priorities, the house, the car, the utilities, and the things that are going to support the health and wellbeing of your family. A lot of the collectors on the phone also threatened to Sue you. They threatened a lot because the threats again are almost as, effective and frequently more effective than the actual lawsuits. Their goal is not to do things. Their goal is to threaten, to do things and to make you feel bad and to make you feel scared because that’s when you’re going to make the payment. So if they file a lawsuit, then the debt becomes a priority. But until then, I can’t afford to pay you. I’m not going to pay you. Please stop calling. If you have additional questions, anything else we can help with, please give us a call. We’re happy to set up a free consultation and walk you through the details of your situation. Thanks a lot.