One of the things we all hate the most is someone calling and harassing us about money that we might owe. It's true that we shouldn't be in a situation where they are starting to call us, however, there are just some times in life where things simply aren't going the way you planned or hoped. So, that is why it is important that if we find that we are in financial difficulty that we know how to deal with debt collectors, whether for a bad credit loan or some other sort of bill especially if you've actually paid it off. It is important to note here that rules for collectors have changed over the years and more and more people are finding themselves being harassed by collectors even when they no longer owe a dime. Here are a few things you can do to try and deal with this situation.
If you discover that through your debt problems that have been taken care of, that you find you are being harassed by creditors for money you no longer owe, you should sit down immediately and write up a “Cease Communications” letter. This will need to be sent to the collection company as soon as you can. When you write this letter you need to include an explanation that you no longer owe this money or in some cases it's money that you never owed due to identity problems. Whatever it might be explain that you don't owe the money. Once this letter is filed with them, and you should send it certified and signature being required, the company by law can no longer legally call you or send you anything by mail.
If the debt was yours but no longer is within the statute of limitations on the debt, here again, sit down and write a “Cease Communications” letter. This letter needs to point out that the debt falls outside of the statute of limitations. If the creditor insists upon suing you then you will need to show up for court and again state that your statute of limitations on this debt has expired. Unfortunately, you may have to repeat this procedure if the creditor sells it to another collector. Make sure that you contact a lawyer or do research on statutes of limitations so that you are correct about this matter.
If it turns out that the debt is not paid, is yours and it is still in the statute of limitations and you simply can't pay it for one reason or another, it is vitally important that you keep in touch with the creditor and answer their phone calls. You also should never make any kind of promise that you can't keep. When you stay in touch make sure not to say much. If you can't pay them simply tell them that and don't go into any great detail. Just give them a short reason for not being able to pay and you'll get back with them in a bit.
One of the worst things you can do is to get into your savings, retirement funds or insurance policies to pay one of these creditors off. These things are secure from all creditors and they cannot legally access them under any circumstance and you shouldn't willingly give them any of it either.
If you can pay something on the debt, but not what they are asking for try and negotiate some sort of settlement. This might be one of your best options. Remember, a creditor would rather get some of their money back instead of none of it. Once you come to a settlement and you finally get it paid off, make sure that they send you a confirmation letter that the debt is paid so that you don't have problems later on down the road.
Final Note: If a collector becomes verbally abusive or even tries to threaten you with saying they will have you arrested if you don't pay up, you need to stop them in their tracks and ask to speak to their supervisor. If that doesn't work then talk with a consumer lawyer about what your options might be in this type of a case.