Nothing is worse than receiving a phone call that a debt you already know you cannot pay has been sent to collections. If these calls continue to pile up to the point of harassment, you can be placed under severe pressure. You can try to negotiate a settlement with the debt collection agency. Just note that this will not always stop creditor harassment.
Developing a settlement offer
If you have debt that is in collections, you may be able to negotiate a settlement. The first step is to develop your settlement offer. Consider your budget, and how much — if anything — you can afford to pay back. This may mean deciding to offer a lump sum payment or deciding to offer a monthly repayment plan or a partial repayment.
Negotiating your settlement offer
Once you know where you stand on repaying your debt, you can contact the collection agency and try to negotiate a settlement that is agreeable to all. Offers and counteroffers can be volleyed back and forth until an agreement is reached.
One strategy is to let the collection agency make the first offer, and you can then counter with your offer if you do not like their offer. Another strategy is to start with a lowball offer. After all, there is the lucky chance the collection agency will find it acceptable.
Watch out for debt settlement companies
While it may seem like a good idea to employ the services of a debt settlement company, this can be risky. Keep an eye out for tactics debt settlement companies may try to employ to their advantage, such as charging you money before agreeing to settle your debt or making broad statements that they can settle all your debt.
Also, if a settlement offer from a debt settlement company seems too good to be true chances are it is, and you should not accept it. Debt settlement companies can be predatory and will try to take advantage of you during a difficult time.
Negotiations do not always work
In an ideal scenario the collection agency that has been harassing you will agree to discuss a settlement. And who knows? It is worth a shot. However, if you are concerned about harassment by debt collectors, you will want to make sure you know your legal rights. Discussing your situation with an attorney can be a good first step.