Try to Settle for as Little as Possible. The one thing you have working in your favor with a debt collector is that you can negotiate with them.  They only paid pennies on the dollar to buy your debt so you typically can negotiate them down to sometimes half of what you owe or even less.

Get it in Writing. Whenever you come to an agreement on how much they are willing to take, payment arrangements, and so forth, make sure to get it in writing so that you will have proof later on if they suddenly decide to deviate from that agreement.  Getting it in writing helps to keep them honest.  When you finally do get the debt paid off, make sure to get it in writing that the debt is paid in full and the account is closed.  Keep that piece of paper FOREVER!

If You Get Sued for the Debt, respond to the court immediately, and on the court date take every bit of documentation you have so the court can work something out for you that is fair.  If you don’t respond or show up in court you may end up with a default judgment that could mean your wages would be garnished and bank accounts frozen.

Find Ways to Make Extra Money. There are many ways to earn some extra income that can help you get your debts paid off.  I won’t go into the details here because it could take all day, but you can read this post about how to do that.

Ever had to deal with a debt collector over an unpaid bill? Share your experience below!

Article originally published on Celebrating Financial Freedom. Used with permission.

Dr. Jason Cabler is a Christian personal finance blogger, author, and speaker.  He teaches how to get out of debt and live a debt free lifestyle through his Celebrating Financial Freedom blog and self study course.  His new book How to Budget- The Quick and Easy Guide to Making a Budget That Works is now available.  He can be reached for interviews or  speaking engagements by email (jasoncabler@cfinancialfreedom.com) and can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Google +.

Publication date: November 7, 2012