Understanding your consumer rights and working to protect them is a very important step when speaking with any collection company. All collection company call center personnel have a playbook and script which dictates every question they asked you.
Does this sound familiar? “We are calling you on a personal business matter.” We need to verify your identity; can you please tell me what your home address is?” “We are just trying to help you, get this taken care of for our “CLIENT”.” We would like to offer you a 50% discount, if we can get this settled today.”
If all this sounds familiar, it’s because these are questions contained in the collection company’s script and “playbook.” This is also why, it is extremely important that you uphold your consumer rights to the highest extent possible. Your consumer rights are at their highest level to protect you in the first 30 days that the collection company has the account.
Following these three steps while speaking to a collection company will throw the call center person you are speaking with off their script. This typically causes one of two reactions; either that collection individual will become very defensive or extremely polite. So be prepared, if that individual becomes very defensive, do not allow them to draw you into a conversation past the following three steps. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! Remember, every question a collection company asks is designed to eliminate as many of your consumer rights as possible while strengthening their ability to collect money from you to the highest extent possible.
It is important to note that you should always be polite and professional, remember most of them are just people trying to do their job. This will also make it easier to get through the conversation. Additionally, if you have the ability to do so, record the conversation. Most cell phones have an app that you can download to do this.
Upholding your consumer rights when a collection company calls can be as simple as the following these three steps:
- When the collection company calls, don’t ignore the call. To stop the calls and enforce your consumer rights you need to answer the call. When they ask, “Is this John Doe?” Confirm your name and say, “how may I help you?” They will introduce themselves and tell you they are calling on a personal business matter. Then they will ask you to confirm your address.
- Force the collection company agent to verify your identity through the last four numbers of your Social Security number.
- Dispute the validity of the debt! Once they confirm the last four of your Social Security number they will tell you what debt they are attempting to collect and how much the debt is.