Author Doug Constable on How to Respond When You are in Debt

By December 7, 2016Doug Constable

 

What To Do When You Can't Pay Your Debts Doug Constable

Dealing with debt often leads us to feeling guilty and debt collectors and creditors play on this, they firstly try to humiliate us into paying. This is normally a lot cheaper for them than paying a solicitor to take you to court (giving you the time to organise your assets) only then to be advised you don’t have anything. It’s a lot better to string you along collecting little bits at a time knowing one day if they embarrass or humiliate you long enough you might pay.

#DougConstable #tactics #DebtCollector

Dealing with debt often leads us to feeling guilty and debt collectors and creditors play on this, they firstly try to humiliate us into paying. This is normally a lot cheaper for them than paying a solicitor to take you to court (giving you the time to organise your assets) only then to be advised you don’t have anything. It’s a lot better to string you along collecting little bits at a time knowing one day if they embarrass or humiliate you long enough you might pay.

Blocked Numbers and Sneaky Tactics Used by Debt Collectors

When someone is under financial duress, they are going to be stressed. They might be vulnerable at an emotional level. It seems to be common practice by many operators in the debt collection industry to make these people feel guilty and hound them. If you have ever been in debt beyond the normal credit terms of the creditor, you may have experienced what I call the ‘blocked number tactic’.

I don’t understand why you receive a blocked phone call from a person who identifies themselves as calling from the tax office, yet they have called you on a blocked number. They then proceed to ask you to identify yourself and you are expected to divulge personal information. Yet, they are the ones who have called you and they have called on a blocked number!

The fact is, it gets people cranky. Yes, some people will not play fair when they owe money to creditors which need to be paid. When called they might say “I’ve got money coming in next week.” But f you’ve lied then the debt collector may ramp up his hounding activities. They will put you on the guilt trip – for sure.

Handling a Debt Collector

In my view, the best way to handle a call from the debt collector is to apologise that you still owe the money and say, “I can’t pay it. It will be three months before I am able to pay it.” Then, at least, the creditor or the debt collector knows where they stand. You are making it clear that it’s not a case of you not wanting to pay; rather it’s a case of not being able to pay. Legal action may ensue, but then we can work with the parties concerned as we set out in this book.

To illustrate how far a debt collector will go, I worked with a single mum some time ago; she had debt collectors hounding her. She got to the stage where she no longer answered the phone for fear of it being a debt collector. One day, her neighbour came to her door with a hand held phone saying there was someone on the phone wanting to talk to her – the debt collector! In this case it was from one of the telecommunications providers: they are very effective at hounding! I don’t understand the blocked phone concept but I do know that you should never get to a stage where you feel guilty.

Can’t Pay so We Will Fine You

I believe most people want to pay their debts. One of the things I don’t understand why the tax office would compel you as a business person to collect their taxes on their behalf then leave it up to you to report it and pay them and the when you are faced with a decision to send them the money or pay your staff and feed your family for the weekend and you choose to feed your kids and fix up the tax next week (which only means your business is in trouble and you need to make changes).

I can understand that as a business person you need to be an optimist but this works against you because catching it up next week never comes and, ultimately, you get fined; sometimes doubling the debt that you can’t pay. How do they think you are going to pay the fine and the debt when you can’t pay the original amount? Pushing a person too far only leads to them giving up or putting their head in the sand which only increases the interest being charged that ultimately can’t be paid.

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