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Debt Collectors: Men or Mice?

Who are these people anyway? They viciously harass you and call you bad names. They embarrass you beyond belief by leaving detailed messages with your neighbors and at your workplace. In extreme cases, they have been known to stalk you!

Debt collection agencies are hired by your creditors to do their dirty work. If they get you to pay, the debt collector usually gets a percentage of what you owe, plus added fees. Some debt collection agencies buy your debt from the creditor for a low fee and attempt to collect double and sometimes triple what you owe on your original debt by attaching high penalties, interest and other processing fees.

Basically, debt collectors make a living trying to scare and intimidate you into paying your bills. They don't care that your finances are in limbo because you have recently divorced or that your employer informed you in the eleventh hour that you were being laid-off. All debt collectors care about is that they will get a slice of the pie-if you pay.

Debt collectors convince themselves that you are a deadbeat, sitting on a stack of cash and refusing to pay. By painting a negative mental picture of you in their mind, they feel justified harassing you into paying a delinquent bill. Most debt collectors are just downright mean, nasty, heartless individuals who make a living scaring "the pants off" of people who are simply broke and trying to survive.

One lady reported that after she vehemently tried to explain to an unrelenting debt collector that she was recently divorced, underemployed and didn't have the money to pay the $12,000 credit card bill her ex-husband left her, the debt collector replied, "Look, fat lady, it's obvious that you could stand to skip a few meals. Just send me your food bill for one week to wipe out this debt!" The lady was horrified-not so much by his remarks because she was accustomed to the debt collector being rude to her on the phone-but by his comment regarding her size. How did he know she was overweight? Had he been stalking her?

Debt collectors use many tactics to research you, especially if you owe a large debt. Remember, their livelihood depends on how many people they can get to pay overdue bills-the bigger the debt, the bigger their payoff.

Despite what debt collectors believe, most people are not faced with buying a ticket to Tahiti versus paying their credit card bill. People who are broke find themselves faced with real-life problems like putting food on the table versus paying a credit card bill!

Keep in mind that debt collectors are no different than you are. As the saying goes, "they put their pants on one leg at a time." They cannot physically harm you and the mental abuse they throw at you can be easily avoided (visit www.brokemansurvivalguide.com)

A.M. Harris is he author of The Broke Man's Survival Guide: 50 Clever Strategies to Use When You Are Unemployed, Underpaid or Just Dead Broke and Can't Pay Your Bills. Visit http://www.brokemansurvivalguide.com for more information.

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