|Updated: 11/19/2009 4:54 pm
||Published: 11/18/2009 9:16 pm
M.A.R.S is a collection company based in Tulsa with a perfect record of business with the BBB after being in business for more than 30 years. President Dale Rodolph says the number one mistake people make is avoiding the call from the bill collector.
Rodolph said, "No one likes to be ignored. I think people have to communicate with the people who are collecting from them. Return their calls and try to deal with the situation. It's the most important thing."
Rodolph says, collection companies want a find a way to collect, even if that means negotiating, working with a payment plan or calling back later.
He said, "We do have the ability to negotiate on some of them. I think most collection companies in this environment today want to work with people. Historically we've tried to collect payment in full and I think more agencies today nationwide are looking to take the payments because they know people don't have the ability to pay the full amount at one time."
"I think that in this day in age you just have to level with them. Say, I just don't have the money. Then, I hope my people will say I'll put you on a future call list."
There are some rules debt collectors must follow about when to call. They can't call before 8 am or after 9 pm. Federal law prohibits any harassment, false statements, or threats.
Many debt collectors earn a commission on the debt they collect.
Rodolph said, while he is proud of his company's reputation and code of ethics, he knows there are some shady collectors out there who aren't telling you the truth. He said you always should ask the collector to prove your debt with documentation. They can't call you until they prove that.
Rodolph said, "If a collection agency cannot prove that, then they have to remove that from the collection forward. That's how you get rid of some of these companies that give the collection industry a bad name. we're all just normal people here, trying to make a living."
If you think you've been contacted by a bad collector who is harassing you or breaking the law, you need to report that collector to the attorney general's office and the Federal Trade Commission. To contact the FTC and file a complaint, you can call the toll free number: 1-877-ftc-help, 1-877-382-4357.