Perhaps nowhere is the fine art of negotiation more crucial than when dealing with creditors as you attempt to settle your debt. At the end of the day, almost everybody gets behind on their bills at some point or another. However, convincing a creditor to cut you some slack, whether it’s giving you more time to pay, settling for less than you owe or any other arrangement, can be extremely difficult. There are, however a few tips you can employ that will make the negotiation process easier as you attempt to get a little more breathing room.
Honest Is the Best Policy
The truth may very well set you free. You may have heard the message “this call is being monitored for quality assurance purposes” that means that your creditors are making a record of the phone call and if you tell one person one thing one day and another the next, you’re setting yourself up to get caught in a lie. This will severely weaken your bargaining position.
Mutual Respect is Key
Would you feel inclined to help someone if they were on the other phone screaming at you? At the end of the day, debt collection representatives are people who have a job to do just like anyone else. Don’t count on them to be helpful if you lose your temper, curse at them and call them names. Be respectful, concise and appreciative when dealing with creditors. You catch more flies with honey.
Creditors operate in a big environment where one person doesn’t always talk to the other. In such situations, it’s very easy to play a game of “he said, she said.” Take notes during every call and document everything that is said. Get names, employee numbers and have the person read back to you the notes they have made in your record. This way, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel each time you call.
When you are in over your head in debt, emotions run high. Don’t make the mistake of trying to negotiate with creditors on your own. In the end, it may cost you more money. When you’re looking to start negotiating your debt, look to a qualified and experienced debt management attorney who will guide you through the process.