When you contact creditors (or debt collectors) for negotiation to resolve your debt problems, it's better to have everything in writing. This is to make sure that you have a written proof of any communication you have with the creditor or collector. Moreover, negotiations in writing help to reduce the chances of miscommunication.
Checklist for mailing creditors and debt collectors
Here's a checklist for you to use when writing and sending letters to creditors and/or collection agencies:
- Address the letter to the specific person or department.
- Explain your financial situation including the reason why you couldn't stay current on payments.
- Mention a possible solution to your debt problem.
- Sign your letter.
- Make sure you include your correct contact information in the letter.
- Mention the correct address and return address on the envelope.
- If you can't find the creditor's address, do some research online, look at a letter you've received from the creditor recently, or check out the company's website.
- Attach copies of documents that can act as proof of your financial situation.
- Enclose your letter along with the attached documents in one envelope before you send the mail.
- If you fax your letter along with the attachments, keep a fax confirmation sheet as proof.
- You may use certified mail with return receipt requested. You'll come to know who has accepted the letter and on which date.
- Keep copies of your letter and the supporting documents as proof of what you've sent to your creditors and/or debt collectors.
Keeping hard copies of letters to creditors or collectors can be helpful if you're sued by your creditor and you need to attend the court hearing or reply to a court summons. Written records of what you say to your creditors/collectors protect you from future creditor claims and help you avoid problems while you negotiate with creditors/collection agencies.
- When can creditors contact your references?: Find out when your creditors can harass your references and how to deal with the situation.
- What to do if your creditor files a lawsuit against you: Find out what to do when your creditor files a lawsuit against you.
- Judgment - How to deal with it: Know how to deal with the situation when your creditor obtains a judgment against you.
- Wage garnishment - How and when it can happen: Know how and when your wages can be garnished by the creditors.