What to do when you have already given out too much information?

Today someone contacted me on my job about a debt that I do owe. I gave the young lady some of my financial information such as my monthly salary and that I made a car payment but we could not come to an agreement on what I should pay. They want me to make payments that I can really not afford to make, they are willing to settle for 2,000 but want 5 payments of 400 taken out of my checking account.

I did not give them my account number which now I am glad that I did not after reading your book, Debt Collection Answers. The most I can do is 100 a month. When they contact me again I know that I can tell them not to call me on my job but if they are not willing to take what I can afford to give them what are my options?

The lady kept asking me to transfer her to my human resources department so she could start garnishing my check but according to what I read am I correct in assuming that I will need to go to court before that can happen. The past due debt is with a finance company.

Comments for What to do when you have already given out too much information?

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Aug 23, 2009
Information for debt collectors
by: Gerri

The debt collector has requested information from you in order to try to assess whether and how they can collect. If you cannot afford to resolve the debt on their terms, then they will either put the debt on the bottom of the pile, continue to keep contacting you to try to get you to pay, agree to let you pay what you can afford, and/or try to pursue legal remedies to collect. What they will actually do in your situation is anybody's guess since many factors are involved, including whether they own the debt and how aggressive they are about taking debtors to court.

It sounds like all you can with this debt is to continue to reiterate that you will pay what you can afford. If $100 a month is all you can afford, then stick to that. It makes no sense to agree to pay more than you can actually afford, and making agreements you can't keep will only backfire.

Since you read Debt Collection Answers, I trust you are also using our free debt collection worksheet to write down notes from your conversation with the collector. I am concerned that the debt collector may be making false threats by implying that she can have your wages garnished without first taking you to court. (Typically that is not allowed for most types of debts, in most states.)

I would recommend you consult with a consumer law attorney to clarify what the laws are in your state, and whether the collector has violated them. If the collector is making false statements, and you call him or her on it, at a minimum you'll have some leverage for coming to an agreement you can afford. In addition, you may have a case against the collection agency.

Let us know what happens OK?

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