Dealing with Debt Collectors

Debt comes in all shapes and sizes and while there may be good debt, such as financing your mortgage or taking out a loan to fund your small business, there is also a great deal of bad debt. This debt can add up and before you know it, you’re getting those collection calls asking for the money you borrowed. In this article, you’ll learn a little about how to handle those calls and what you should do to minimize the damage to your pocketbook.

Know the Laws

Assuming your debt was sold to a third-party collector, you’re not in for the easiest time of your life. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector cannot lie about legal documents, make up a document to look legal when it isn’t, and they certainly can’t say you’ve committed a crime. They also can’t impersonate a government official or an attorney. If you feel harassed by their phone calls, tell them so. Under no circumstance are they allowed to harass you.

Under the FDCPA, threats and dishonesty such as the following are not allowed:

● Threats of a lawsuit without actually having the intention of doing so.
● Claims of garnishing your wages if this is not legal.
● Lying about the amount you owe.
● Saying you will be physically harmed.
● Telling you that you will be arrested if you don’t pay.

Handle Your Debt and Don’t Panic

Hanging up the phone, missing collector calls, or just “waiting it out” are bad ideas. If a debt collector calls to inform you that there will be a lawsuit against you, you should consider getting an attorney. You’ll want someone who has a proven track record of success and extensive knowledge of the FDCPA. Once you have proper legal representation, it’s a smart move to direct debt collectors to your lawyer instead of handling them yourself.

Take the time to ask your collector for a breakdown of the amount you owe such as the principal, the interest accrued, and any sort of fees you may have been charged. After you discover the exact amount you owe and why you owe it, you can face the music and pay it immediately, or you can wait. It’s not recommended that you wait due to the possibility that a debt collector could take legal action, though there is a statute of limitations.

Some statutes can be as short as 3 years and others as long as 10. Until then, you run the risk of being sued and will continue to have debt on your credit report.

Am I Being Scammed?

Don’t automatically assume someone is an actual debt collector and give them your personal information. Remember that they are required to tell you who they are. Scammers often ask for your bank account number, social security number, or credit card number in an attempt to plague off your fears and trick you into paying a nonexistent debt. These criminals are known to pose as law enforcement agents and threaten their victims with jail time if they don’t pay.

What Other Steps Can I Take?

Debt collectors can only contact you between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. If you still find yourself annoyed by their constant calls, send them a proper letter describing your wishes. You can reduce how often they call or eliminate communication entirely. There are also letters available for you to request official documentation of what you owe on your debt. Also, be sure you purchase delivery confirmation and only send the letter through certified mail.

Don’t ever admit you owe the debt in any capacity. Should you come to an agreement to pay the debt, ask them to send written acknowledgement of your payment terms. Don’t pay without getting this confirmation to avoid any future issues involving misunderstandings or missed payments.

Conclusion

Keep your cool, choose your course of action, and stick to it. Remember to do continuous research if you plan to settle the matter on your own and understand how the system works to achieve the best possible outcome.

Courtesy of CashNetUSA.

Increasing Wealth by Going Back to School

Many people recoil at the idea of going back to school. The cost of tuition coupled with chronic unemployment and unpaid student loans among graduates has, for many would-be students, caused them to reconsider a pursuit of higher education. In some ways, this is understandable. Avoiding debt and financial instability is a major priority for many people. However, if you look at your life in the long run, going back to school may actually be the more shrewd endeavor, as it can prepare you for many careers that will simply be unattainable without formal training, careers that will be around for a long time and may open the doors to still more lucrative ones. These include increasingly ubiquitous career paths such as medical billing, web development, and financial advising. Let’s take a quick glance at the relative strengths of these paths for prospective students considering a return to school:

Medical billing. This is an increasingly important job in the healthcare industry that is responsible for submitting claims to insurance companies. It is essentially the facilitation of the relationship between a health care provider and an insurance company. Medical billers reduce the burden of paperwork and the administrative stress put on medical practitioners. Considered an important part of the insurance process, medical billing is expected to continue to carve out a fresh slate of jobs for medical graduates.

Web development. Web development is, in many ways, the equivalent of manufacturing in the 40s, its the fresh face on a near infinite new economic infrastructure that may eventually usurp the revenue generated by industrial sectors. There are a wide variety of career paths in web development: web design, SEO, social media, programming, web hosting, CMS, etc. The list goes on and on. An aggressive pursuit of a web development career is a strong step toward future job stability—and hefty paychecks as well.

Financial advising. Financial advisers are always in demand, by variety of suitors—government agencies, businesses, individuals. Their tools are generally stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and insurance. Whether you’re “fee-based” or “fee-only”, a career in financial advisement is not likely to be outdated any time soon. A college education in this field will also prepare you for the new electronic frontier of financials that involve heavy online sophistication.

These are just three of the many careers that analysts say have strong job stability moving forward. For students who are considering returning to school but are weary of accruing more debt, it is worth looking at career paths such as these that will lead you into a flexible yet stable future with long term financial benefits.

The rise of Enterprise Social Networks

As social media impacts our personal lives, it also affects us at work as well. It also offers opportunities for the workplace, particularly in larger organizations.

We see everyday what’s possible with social networks for improving customer engagement and experiences? Can the same be done with internal social networks for improving employee engagement and experiences?

In the many years of helping businesses align business objectives with social and new media strategies, there is one thing that always introduces difficulty into the equation, employee engagement. At some point in the development of any strategy, employee and stakeholder input is critical to ensure relevance and ultimately success. While social media may more often than not live in the marketing department, it affects the entire organization and as such, requires a centralized approach to leadership and management combined with a distributed platform for communication and learning.

Enterprise social networks (ESNs) are on the rise as they can deliver an immediate solution for aligning stakeholders around activity streams with the familiarity of Twitter or Facebook. These internal social networks are not only validating and useful to power users, but also friendly and easy to participate in for those who are new to the platform. While the promise of ESNs is significant to the future of how employees interact, learn, and ultimately work, challenges exist around adoption and overall measurement. And, like social media in general, businesses often underestimate or altogether miss the true potential of social networks and the role they play in bringing people together to do something incredible…over and over.

Read the whole article as it lays out the many benefits for connecting your team through an internal social network.

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