How Consumers Should Treat Debt Collectors

by Adam J Krohn on September 25, 2013

(US Law & Generally) When consumers fall behind on their payments, it can be expected that they will start to receive collection calls, regardless of the size of the debt.  These calls can make a consumer’s life miserable.  For this reason, the law has imposed certain restrictions on what a debt collector can and cannot do under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

The FDCPA was enacted to stop abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collectors from harassing consumers.  The penalties for noncompliance by a debt collector are steep and aggressively enforced.  If you or a loved one has been subjected to an aggressive debt collector, make sure to contact one of our trained and experienced attorneys today to protect your rights.

This is particularly important because debt collectors may employ trickery to extend the life of the debt.  If consumers are not careful, they could be persuaded to agree to do something that is not to their benefit and as a result, make their situation worse.  Therefore it is important to know the right way to talk to and deal with debt collectors.

While you should also contact one of our experienced attorneys when dealing with a debt collector, here are some basic tips that you can employ:

Collection Calls

When dealing with collection calls, consumers need to have the right attitude.  Consumers need to understand that even though there may have been factors that contributed to the debt, the debt is still under the consumer’s name.  The only time a consumer is not responsible for paying off the debt is if they are a victim of identity theft.

When debt collectors call, here are some suggestions on how to deal with them:

  • Be Polite: Debt collectors are determined to get consumers to pay what they owe.  As a result they can be very rude.  Despite this, consumers should still be polite then they start the conversation.  Some debt collectors will respond with the same courtesy that is shown to them.  They may even become cooperative in helping the consumer pay of their debts.
  • Be Patient: The longer a consumer can drag out the debt collection the better it will be for them.  The debt collector will become more desperate to get money from the consumer.  Additionally, once the debt is past the statute of limitation the debt collector cannot take the consumer to court to sue for a particular debt.
  • Be Consistent: When a consumer is not able to pay their debts because of a financial crisis or illness, be sure to stick to story.  It is not necessary to embellish the story.
  • Be on Guard: Consumers need to be on guard and check if the debt collector is who they say they are.  They should details and make sure to take note of who is calling, the company the debt collector is working with, and the original creditor of the debt.  Consumers should also have the debt collector verify that the debt is really theirs.  Additionally, consumers should call the creditor as well to ensure that the debt collector has the right to collect on the debt.
  • Be Prepared: There are ways for consumers to prepare themselves for collection calls.  These calls should not be taken lightly.  Being prepared will help consumers from being too intimidated by what the debt collectors say.

Preparing for Debt Collection Calls

  • Know your rights as a consumer: As soon as a consumer is not able to afford making their payments, they should know what the FDCPA has to say.  This law tells consumers how debt collectors can and cannot collect from them.  The FDCPA will help consumers determine when debt collectors are bluffing or violating the act.
  • Know your debts: Some debt collection agencies buy out old debts from creditors.  In order for consumers to avoid being tricked into paying something they should not, consumers need to know their debts.  Consumers need to identify debts that are past the statute of limitations or if debt collectors are harassing them for debts that the consumer did not make in the first place.
  • Know your debt relief plan: Consumers should start considering a debt relief plan, no matter how difficult their financial situation is.

A consumer’s knowledge of the whole situation and their rights will help them deal with abusive debt collectors. We drafted an extensive overview of the FDCPA and relevant provisions.  Please print this out and use it as a guideline if you, a loved one, a friend, or a colleague is dealing with a debt collector.  These are provisions that typically apply in most situations.

If you believe that you, a loved one, a friend, or an acquaintance has otherwise been subjected to a debt collector who has violated these laws, please contact us today and speak with one of our qualified FDCPA attorneys. We have been successfully representing those abused and taken advantage of by debt collectors for years, and have a long list of successful stories to share with you. We offer a FREE CASE REVIEW for you to assess whether we can assist you with your matter. Please do not hesitate to contact us toll free at 1-800-875-3666 if you prefer to talk to a trained professional over the phone instead, or of course, visit our website at

Adam J Krohn
Adam J. Krohn is one of the founding partners of Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® He has been admitted to practice law in Illinois, Missouri.
Adam J Krohn
Adam J Krohn

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