Professional Debt Collector
August 11, 2016 The history of debt usually starts trite. We take out a loan, then we are unable to pay it back on time, we take another loan to pay back earlier, but further expenses and interest accrue. Until now, we have been able to pay our debts on time, but when fortuitous events occur and our financial liquidity deteriorates, we can easily fall into a spiral of debt. What to do in this situation? Is it worth escaping from the obligation and not paying back the loan?
Everyone feels fear of debt collectors, so how should you talk to them, what to expect?
The most important thing is cooperation. The recovery process usually takes some time, so contact between the creditor and the debtor is inevitable. Any debt collector who purchases a consumer debt is first required to send notice of the assignment and request for payment. The request for payment also applies to debt collection companies operating on behalf of a particular loan company. The first letter informs about the assignment and details of the debt, as well as encourages contact and establishing the rules for paying off the debt. Unfortunately, it is often the case that indebted people use not very wise advice found on online forums about loans, where other users “recommend” incl. blocking numbers, not answering phones and other methods of avoiding contact with the debt collector. Most often this results in a field debt collector’s visit at home.
Even the media are reporting that the debt collector is not a bailiff and has no right to enter the debtor’s house uninvited.
Sure, the debtor is not obliged to let the debt collector into the apartment, he does not even have to talk to him, but this will not lead to anything good. After some time, the debt collector will try to contact the person in debt again. It may happen that he will meet his neighbors and ask for a handover that he appeared under the debtor’s house. According to UOKiK, if the debt collector did not find the debtor at home, he has the right to look for him at work. However, you should not inform your employer of your intentions. Is it worth to lead to such a situation? In my opinion it is neither wise nor profitable for the indebted. Operational activities are intensified towards the debtor avoiding contact. The idea is to finally make contact, and preferably lead to the visit of a field debt collector. If we are in constant contact with the debt collector, we can come to an agreement on repayment of the debt and actually do not feel the debt recovery activities.
In what situation can you count on paying the debt in installments?
The most important is conversation and honesty. My company specializes in the collection of payday loans and loans. Due to the fact that for years we have been collecting for several companies – large and small, many of which are available in your rankings – we are dealing with various consumers.
We have a certain advantage over the competition, but not because we are able to track down the debtors in hiding. We can simply talk to them about their problems. When loan companies ask me what my business is better than others, I always ask them to give me the debt package after serving their best partners, and I will show you what more you can do on it. I always tell my debt collectors that you need to talk to those in debt first. Ask what happened that they were unable to pay back the loan. Maybe there was a disease or some tragedy in the family? Maybe the debtor lost his job? Or the debtor’s spouse? The debt collector, which I write about in my book, must be a bit like a psychotherapist – be able to listen. He should also not be afraid of uncomfortable questions – thanks to this he can learn something about the overall financial situation of the indebted person. Honesty often helps to end the case positively.
Maybe it is enough to be able to cheat the debt collector?
The truth is that neither the debt collector, the consumer ombudsman nor even the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection have any tools to check whether the debtor simply lies. It is very often the case that debt collectors agree to installments, although they should not, and the debtor uses it. Intuition and experience are basic in my profession, but it comes with time. Unfortunately, you have to be fooled several times to be resistant later. If the debt collection company provides services to several loan companies, it is very often the case that the debtor appears in several registers and it is possible to trace his behavior from a year ago when he had another loan to pay. This helps in assessing the reliability and credibility of the consumer. Most often, consumers don’t remember which company they contacted six months ago. They can also forget which debt collector they talked to an hour ago. This leads to funny but also disturbing situations.
And when everything is all right, can you just grant installments to the debtor?
Everyone can get installments if they are credible. Installments are, however, an option for consumers cooperating with the debt collector, not the obligation of the debt collector. Nice debtors are helped, others rather not. Sometimes you can see that those in debt simply lie. However, if someone decides to talk honestly about their situation, the award of installments is very likely. Anyway, even if installment repayment is agreed and someone exceeds the deadline or pays a smaller amount than required, it will be a better solution than not paying and avoiding contact.
It is harder for those in debt to get approval for installments?
It will be difficult for such a debtor to convince the debt collector that his excuses are now true. I assume that even if the debt collector requires an amount that exceeds the capacity of the indebted, you should pay as much as you can bear. I can’t afford 700, but I can pay 500 and ask for extra time to top up the missing amount – it’s always something. Communication and rewarding debtors paying their debts on time are of great importance in my debt collection practice.
On the Internet you can read many negative reviews about the work of debt collectors. How is it really
From the Internet you can also learn a lot about people’s behavior towards debt collectors. There are two popular internet forums where tips on cheating creditors and effectively avoiding paying off debts are published. If there is someone who suggests that debts should be paid back, one can expect insults and suspicion that he is an employee of a debt collection company. Often forum members boast that they are fighting debt collectors and bailiffs. It is difficult to take seriously the entries of those who publicly admit that they managed to extort some small amounts from a loan company, and now they are indignant that someone requires repayment from them.
Does this mean that users give each other advice on how to fool debt collectors?
You can easily find entries and advice on how to write a lying complaint to UOKiK or KNF. There are also advice not to talk to the debt collector and wait for the lawsuit. There are also other, really vulgar suggestions, and often the more absurd they are, the more popular they get.
And what would you advise to desperate consumers?
I always appeal for reason and warn against using advice gathered in forums – it is more than certain that their application will end in a financial disaster. These forum “experts” are always anonymous; they are not responsible for implementing their advice. It’s best to just talk to the debt collector and start paying off your debt. Arrears with payments mean, above all, more letters, e-mails, phone calls and visits, and the final part will be a lawsuit with a payment order. You can postpone and write appeals, but you will have to pay in most cases. In some cases, it may also turn out that, in addition to the debt, there are also costs of legal representation in accordance with the tariff of the Ministry of Justice. Debtors must understand that the debt collection company is conducting debt collection at the expense of the creditor. It is 100% free for the debtor. However, when a bailiff enters the apartment, he first takes his costs, and then deducts a commission from every zloty. What is more profitable?
You raised the issue of advice not to pay debt collectors. What about opinions that instead of paying back payday loans, it is better to wait for court decisions?
Such opinions are given by those who usually have huge debts. They are people who know their rights, but rather forget about their duties and never try to communicate with debt collectors. If someone counts on the fact that the debt will expire, they are simply a trickster. Those who do not pay also act dishonestly against people who, despite low salaries and life tragedies, try to pay back their debts.
Why shouldn’t you avoid paying off your debt?
Postponement is not a good solution because creditors don’t wait long. Debtors prefer to go to war with debt collectors and often provoke them to refer the case to a Bailiff. Only at the stage of amicable debt collection is a private matter of the debtor, so when a court bailiff deals with a case, it can be a real trauma for a family in debt. In addition, avoidance of repayment excludes us from the interest of decent loan companies – those that verify customers. You should also expect an entry in the National Debt Register, where anyone who has a wish to check a potential consumer can find out who they are dealing with.
Is it worth taking a payday loan to pay the installment?
I advise against this solution. It always ends in falling into a spiral of debts. Instantaneous payday loans can be used to pay back a loan only if we are at risk of termination and the associated costs. Short-term loans can also be a great solution if you lack the money for any necessary fees, and even gifts or holidays. You can take it, but only if we are sure of our repayment options. Those who pay their debts on time can be sure of fair contract terms. Consumers can check loan companies on specialized comparison websites, such as the internet loan comparison website – porfel. Many loan companies provide financial support for low amounts – for PLN 0 or with zero interest the first time. If the consumer turns out to be reliable and pays off his obligations on time, then the companies have for him further offers and products on much better terms, and often for much higher amounts.
What about the high costs of collecting payday loans?
Collection costs of payday loans are quite high, but at the same time loan companies do not hide it, which is why everyone can agree to the conditions before borrowing money or not. As I said before, payday pay may be a solution if we are sure that we will be able to pay it back in the assumed time. In many cases, the debtor is treated as a partner, not an opportunity to earn. In addition, the company verifies that the person no longer appears in the registers of unreliable people. Let’s also remember that no one forces anyone to take loans. The media have been alarming for many years not to take payday pay if you can’t afford to pay back. I have professed for many years that payday loans are cheap, but only for those who pay back on time. Complaints about the prices of payday loans come from people who avoid timely repayment. Instantaneous payment is getting expensive, if instead of paying it back on time, we are waiting for a court order – then we actually have to pay a lot of money to the original loan amount. The fact that with the current climate of changes in the regulations governing bailiffs it may turn out that in two or three years it will actually pay off to cheat on creditors and the Polish economy.
Do debt collection companies help in paying off the debt?
If someone fails to pay their debts, they should never hide it. It is even advised to start negotiations immediately. It is known that the creditor must follow certain guidelines, but this does not mean that the debtor cannot be helped. There are plenty of ways to make it easier for the debtor to pay off his debt and to protect him from litigation and then enforcement. Creditors come up with bonuses that allow you to pay off your debt faster, e.g. on holidays, some debt may be written off. Another example is the renegotiation of the concluded contract, you can try to extend the repayment deadline to reduce the installment. The basis of everything, however, is contact and conversation with the debt collector, which people often fear. The time in which the debtor was afraid of the debt collector has long since passed – unfortunately, now we are not treated well. That’s why I always think that the best solution is conversation. In my book ” Professional Debt Collector ” I explain to debt collectors how to negotiate with debtors. Mike decided that my book should be read by all those in debt – thanks to it they will understand the rules of the debt collector’s work. If he uses this knowledge in debt to obtain better repayment terms, it will be a success for me. There will probably be those who use the information from the book for bad purposes, but I prefer to look for rather positive qualities in people and believe in their good intentions.