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Everyone knows that life has many unexpected curves that can take us down paths that are unfamiliar and at times, frightening; a death, loss of a job, a divorce, a sudden illness, whatever it might be that has sent the curve, here are some suggestions as to how you can still walk straight through it. This is not legal advice so please check with your legal council should you have any questions. If a collection agency has contacted you, don’t panic. If you are being consumed with worry about what will happen, turn that negative energy into something much more productive and clear your mind. In order for you to do the proper research to move forward you will need a clear mind. Deep breathing, praying, meditating, shoot some hoops, do whatever it takes for you to calm yourself and clear your mind. 9 TIPS TO COMMUNICATE WITH CREDITORS  Begin by knowing your rights. Read a summary of your rights at  Validate - Ask the collector to validate the debt they are saying you owe. You have 30 days to dispute your debt if you have been contacted by a collection agency. Stop putting if off. Do NOT ignore it – If you’ve been told to ignore the collectors regardless of what they say, or how many times they call you, this is quite possibly the worst advice you can be given. It won’t go away until you can resolve the situation. If you owe more than $1,500 the agency can file a suit against you. Communicate - This can’t be stressed enough. If you can’t pay in full, you can try to negotiate with the collector by starting with 20% of what you owe. If they refuse it, then work your way up as if you were at an auction. They can negotiate and realize they would be better off taking what you can give them rather than having to pay court costs. Removal of report – If the collector tells you they will remove the report if you pay up, don’t believe it unless you get it in writing. The collection exists so they have to report it, otherwise they are not doing their job.

 Get it in writing - What you have settled on should be put in writing

or they can easily change their minds. E-mail is fine, but make sure it states the day of your agreement and what terms were agreed upon. A Word document sent as an attachment to print it out, and put it in your file, as evidence that you have an agreement is best. The document should have the letterhead from the company you are working with on the agreement.  Receipts – Get a receipt when you make your payments.  Report it – Make sure the collection agency updates the account as ‘PAID” on your credit reports.  Check your reports – You are responsible for your credit reports so be sure you know what they say. FOLLOW UP or you might find all your hard work was for nothing. PERSEVERE NO MATTER WHAT! Make a commitment to keep pressing forward until you achieve your financial goals. Do not allow yourself to emotionally shut down if the collector tells you no. Assess your priorities; involve your spouse or other family or friends who can support you if you get down, remind yourself that you CAN do it. Don’t allow your brain to tell you it isn’t possible because IT IS. Life is not going to lift you up emotionally. You need to decide how to do this yourself. Listen to CD’s that stir your soul, find mentors who can guide you toward your goals, seek time alone in prayer or meditation. Make your car your university! If you can do these things, and find you enjoy it, you will know you have found yourself in a much better place than you were in yesterday.

Kellie These articles are copy right protected and written to help anyone seeking information to improve their situations, add personal growth to their list of priorities or coach someone they care about. I encourage you to share these articles, and when you do, please make certain they remain in their full,and complete version. Thank you!

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