Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Collection Calls Have Started

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  • Collection Calls Have Started

    I am waiting for the bank or HOA to foreclose to file chapter 7.

    I stopped my mortgage payment in December together with my HOA fees. I haven't heard anything from them yet.

    I did not pay my CC's in December and today my phone has not stopped ringing. I can tell from the phone exchanges they are not calls I normally expect. I read most of the stickies and somewhere I remember someone wrote, "don't bother talking to the collection people. All that will do is raise your BP." With that advice I did not answer.

    I am thinking about getting a separate phone just to avoid the collections.

    Is there any reason why I would need to talk to a debt collector?


    For mail I bought a small file box and labeled folders with the names of my creditors. When I get a letter I immediately file it away. For me, this is better than stressing about it.

    I did a similar thing with emails.


  • #2
    Short answer..... NO!


    • #3
      Answered with a simple "we're experiencing financial difficulty at this time & are unable to say when payment will be made". No more, no less. Seemed to make the calls less frequent.


      • #4
        Originally posted by skyblue69 View Post
        Answered with a simple "we're experiencing financial difficulty at this time & are unable to say when payment will be made". No more, no less. Seemed to make the calls less frequent.
        That's the strategy I chose.

        I said "I am having financial difficulties and am exploring my options". That did make the calls less frequent. Answering one call from each creditor will also let them know they have reached you and may prevent them from calling your employer, family members and neighbors trying to find you.

        If you decide to answer calls, don't let them draw you into conversation. Just be a broken record and repeat whatever line you decide on in advance.
        LadyInTheRed is in the black!
        Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
        $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


        • #5
          Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post
          Answering one call from each creditor will also let them know they have reached you and may prevent them from calling your employer, family members and neighbors trying to find you.
          This is the only reason I did, but I must say, that does not stop them from calling your employer, family and friends. I had a conversation with a collector and 4 days later my sister got a call from the same collector saying they were trying to locate me. Yeah right! Your mileage may vary.
          Case Closed > 2/08/2010


          • #6
            Originally posted by BobMango View Post
            This is the only reason I did, but I must say, that does not stop them from calling your employer, family and friends. I had a conversation with a collector and 4 days later my sister got a call from the same collector saying they were trying to locate me. Yeah right! Your mileage may vary.
            That could be a violation of the FDCPA. Anybody who answers calls from creditors may want to keep a log of when they talk to who in case they need evidence.
            LadyInTheRed is in the black!
            Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
            $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


            • #7
              Hi, nioka. It's good to see that you have chosen to delay filing for bankruptcy until it is actually in your interest to do so. When I quit paying all my unsecured debts (out of financial necessity) back in March of 2009, my creditors started calling my phone 5 times a day or more--EACH. Initially, I answered the phone and told the collection people that I had lost my job and could not pay, but they did not want to hear that, and wasted my time with "helpful" suggestions such as borrowing money from friends/family to pay them, or taking money out of my retirement savings (which I do not have, anyways). Eventually, I got tired of listening to their bulls**t, so I quit answering the phone for them.

              As my cellphone was one of the bills I quit paying, it was eventually disconnected for nonpayment, and that stopped the collection calls! I got a home phone instead, with an unlisted number, and although I got many collection calls for a woman who used to have my phone number, none of my creditors ever discovered my phone to call me. Eventually, I was able to convince this woman's many creditors to quit calling me, so that was fine.

              The bottom line is that you have absolutely NOTHING AT ALL to gain by talking to debt collectors. You will not be able to convince them to leave you alone, and taking their calls does not guarantee that the collectors will leave your friends and family alone. Even when I was talking to the collectors, they started calling my parents' house, because that was one of the phone numbers in my credit report. If you speak to debt collectors, you could accidentally give out information which could harm you, such as the name of your bank or employer, the fact that you plan to file for bankruptcy in the future, the fact that you have assets or other property, etc. It is best to ignore their calls, and even better still to change your phone number, so they cannot bother you!


              • #8
                Lots of us have discovered the blessing of Google Voice.
                It WILL save your sanity. DO IT

                Keep On Smilin'


                • #9
                  My thanks to all.

                  For me, I think the best thing I can do is not answer the calls.

                  I have a prepaid cell phone with 14 days on left. I think I will let that expire and get another prepaid.

                  Incidentally, I find myself blaming the last incident that pushed me off the financial fence and I find I am willing to blast them to anyone who will listen. I am afraid I might do the same with a collections person and end up saying something I will regret. The truth is that my filing for chapter 7 started in 2008 and has been building since. The last "push" is just one of many. I need to get over the anger stage and move onto acceptance.

                  BTW, I do know about goggle voice. Thanks. If allowed at BK, I think that would be a good stickie. Just a suggestion.


                  • #10
                    Many here in the same boat.
                    The banks shoving credit down our throats in the heyday of free money started many of us down this road.
                    Anyhoo.... GV is today's penicillin. Don't let that ringing phone drive you nuts. 14 days of incessant ringing can do that. And the messages they leave will fill up your inbox and embarrass you if company is there. I used to have people say "are you going to answer that?" .... who needs it.

                    BTW... it took 3 years for anyone to sue me.... and then we beat them in court. Just for fun and as a practical exercise It can be done, even with our lovely pals at Chase. We are in the same boat as you... won't be in a better place post filing and nothing anyone can take.... so not doing it til we are.

                    OTOH... the violation LITR mentioned may be a valuable source of income. You may want to consider pursuing that. I love beating the banksters at their own game.

                    Keep On Smilin'


                    • #11
                      I have now read the collections manual. Interesting reading.

                      As a result I decided to answer the phone at least once per creditor. I am going to do this because I don't want one of these collectors to call the police stating they were concerned I am not answering because of my age. I don't want to explain my position to the police or other authority.

                      I answered one tonight and as suggested said, "I am having financial difficulties and exploring my options." The collector was slow to answer but said, "then, what about the balance?. I said, "I am having financial difficulties and exploring my options. Thank you, goodbye." BTW, there was no announcement that the call was being recorded but I did hear the beeps that are required when recording.

                      I decided to buy a second prepaid phone.


                      • #12
                        Debt collectors calling the police out of "concern" for the debtor? Not going to happen. Debt collectors have to meet two quotas in order to keep their job: an activity quota (number of accounts worked in a day) and a monetary quota (payments received from debtors as a percentage of their queue). They aren't going to waste their time calling the police, or looking up your address to find neighbors to call. What they will do is call the heck out of any phone number(s) in your credit reports, which could include the numbers of people whom you gave as a reference when applying for credit or signing a lease.

                        That being said, if you talk to debt collectors, NEVER assume they are your friend, no matter how friendly they may seem, and NEVER give out any information at all. ALWAYS dodge their questions and say that you lost your job and cannot pay. DO NOT elaborate further!


                        • #13
                          Never, ever, say anything to a debt collector that sounds like an 'affirmation' answer.


                          Debt collector: Is the weather outside nice?
                          You: Yes, it is.

                          You will have just entrapped yourself. These phone calls are recorded, and the recordings can be edited to make it sound like you are acknowledging the debt, and are reaffirming it. You may reset the clock on the Statute of Limitations.

                          I vote with the other who said to NOT talk to any debt collector.
                          "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

                          "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."


                          • #14

                            It wasn't concern but harassment. The elderly man would not answer the collector's phone calls and the collector called police pretending to be a concerned party.


                            I have also read cases just as you mentioned.

                            I appreciate both your advice. I will get another prepaid phone and allow my current phone to expire.


                            • #15
                              I now have a new prepaid phone.

                              I am getting slammed with phone calls on the old phone now and even on Sunday morning.

                              I was going to let the old phone expire but somehow I think I should pay the monthly charge, $30, to keep it going.

                              Any opinions on this?


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