News & Resources

Manage debt collection early on

Jul 25, 2013 Philip Burgess

While few people want to carry debt, it remains an important part of the economic process. Students typically need loans for college and many new businesses require assistance long before they ever make their first sale. They form an important part of future economic success. Additionally, brief troubles occasionally necessitate short term lending to help businesses and consumers alike.

These arrangements are typically mutually beneficial for the borrower and lender. However, unforeseen circumstances can turn what was a short term benefit for the borrower into long term trouble. Deseret News recently reported about Salt Lake City resident Jessie Paige, whose identity was stolen in 2010. Multiple credit cards were created in her name by an identity thief, who proceeded to amass more debt than she was able to afford. Rather than immediately seeking to resolve the situation with collection agencies, Paige held off on contacting her creditors until after they started calling her three or more times per day.

Act early
Since borrowers are not always aware of their rights regarding debt collection, debt collectors can ease their burdens by discussing their payment options when first contacting them. As the source noted, most debt collectors are reasonable and should be willing to resolve the problem amicably. Marquelle Bogh, president of Mountain Land Collections, noted to the Deseret News that treating debt collectors in a professional manner can lead to greater cooperation. Rather than taking a confrontational tone, debt collectors can avoid potential legal hassles by giving borrowers a similar treatment.

Collection agencies also want to give people "an opportunity to take care of the account before [the worst case scenario] takes place," said Bogh to the news provider.

The Associated Press recently reiterated the advice not to ignore a debt, as these situations only make the matter worse by potentially forcing the issue into court after too many payment notices have been ignored.