Consequences of Ignoring Debt Collectors

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A persistent myth is that ostriches bury their heads in sand to hide from their woes. The reality is they do so because that’s where their nests are and they’re rotating their eggs to ensure even gestation of their young. 

In other words, no creature in the animal kingdom hides its head in the sand in the hopes its problems will take care of themselves — and neither should we. This is particularly true when it comes to outstanding financial obligations. After all, the consequences of ignoring debt collectors’ attempts to resolve these issues can be much worse than the issues themselves. 

Let’s take a look. 

The Longer You Wait, the More You’ll Owe

Debts — like baby ostriches — get bigger over time. Fees accrue, interest charges build up, court costs can be imposed and attorney fees can accumulate. Long story short, hiding from a debt can be more expensive than dealing with it in the first place. 

Yes, it can be nerve-wracking to talk to collectors when you have no idea how you’re going to pay off the debt. But not talking to them can make it worse. Companies like Freedom Debt Relief could help you negotiate in situations of that nature, and debt counselors may also offer advice. You might even be able to get a consolidation loan if you act before things have gone too far.

They’ll Just Keep Calling

A life comprised of dodging collections calls is fraught with anxiety. You’ll feel anxious every time your phone rings. You’ll find text messages, email messages and even instant messages in some cases — all hounding you to deal with that bill. 

If you take the call, you can get their contact information to which you can send a written request that they leave you alone. This is your right under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. 

However, you have to take that call to put the strategy into play. 

Your Credit Report (and Score) Will Suffer

Debt collectors have the ability to place negative information on your credit report. Granted, by the time a debt hits a collector’s desk, your score has already taken a bit of a tumble. Still, continued delinquency reports will erode your score even more. 

Talking with the collector at least gives you an opportunity to try to reach some sort of an agreement wherein the negative information might be removed from your report upon working out an agreement and following through on it. 

You Could Get Sued

Debt collectors do have the right to sue you in court for payment of delinquent obligations and won’t hesitate to hire a collection law firm. Moreover, if you’re sued and lose — or worse, sued and don’t show up —  they can request your wages be garnished, your tax returns be diverted to them or funds in your bank account be attached. 

If you think talking to a collector on the phone about a debt you owe is unnerving, wait until you’re standing in a courtroom in front of a judge and a gallery full of strangers.

Long story short, the consequences of ignoring debt collectors tend to greatly outweigh the result you could achieve if you just deal with them as soon as possible. The earlier you catch the problem the easier and less costly it will be to resolve it. Oftentimes, imagining the possible outcomes is scarier than just dealing with the situation.

And, oh, by the way — sometimes debt collectors mistakenly go after people for debts they don’t owe. You’ll have no way to know whether you do or not owe a certain balance if you duck their calls. 

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