Previously, on this blog …
I urge you not to conduct a negotiation on the phone. Simply take in what is said and offer to think it over and reply – but in writing.
Always respond both to written correspondence and to phone messages and do so Promptly, Politely, Professionally – and Persistently (i.e. sticking to your guns). In the resources section at the end of my book (see below for link) there are some examples of letter formats you could customise to your situation.
NOW READ ON …
It is illegal for creditors to harass debtors. The following official definitions of harassment are taken from the website of the UK’s Office of Fair Trading.
Physical/psychological harassment: putting pressure on debtors or third parties is considered to be oppressive. Examples of unfair practices are as follows:
- contacting debtors at unreasonable times and at unreasonable intervals
- pressurising debtors to sell property, to raise funds by further borrowing or to extend their borrowing
- using more than one debt collection business at the same time resulting in repetitive and/or frequent contact by different parties
- not ensuring that an adequate history of the debt is passed on as appropriate resulting in repetitive and/or frequent contact by different parties
- not informing the debtor when their case has been passed on to a different debt collector
- pressurising debtors to pay in full, in unreasonably large instalments, or to increase payments when they are unable to do so
- making threatening statements or gestures or taking actions which suggest harm to debtors
- ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment
- disclosing or threatening to disclose debt details to third parties unless legally entitled to do so
- acting in a way likely to be publicly embarrassing to the debtor either deliberately or through lack of care, for example, by not putting correspondence in a sealed envelope and putting it through a letterbox, thereby running the risk that it could be read by third parties.
Source: OFT (Office of Fair Trading, UK) website, “Debt collection guidance: final guidance on unfair business practices.”
(However, I know from my own experience that many of the practices referred to above are used by many creditors.)
To be concluded in my next post …
The above is an extract from Chapter 2 (“Mind Over Matter”) of “Back to the Black: how to become debt-free and stay that way”. [LINK]