More For Your Money - University of Illinois Extension

Dealing with Collection Agencies and Others

At some point, your bill might be turned over to a collection agency.  There are federal laws that specify what collection agency personnel can and cannot do when they contact you about collecting what you owe. 

Collection agencies aren’t the only ones who might try to collect payments from you.  A member of the creditor’s staff is more likely to contact you first.  Federal laws don’t apply to creditors.  So, if you have a creditor who calls you before 8:00 a.m., that’s not against federal law.  Only collection agency staff may not call you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.

When dealing with anyone trying to collect a debt, it’s important to stay calm.  Let the person know that you sincerely want to repay your debt.  If you negotiate with the creditor and agree to a repayment plan, you must follow the plan or the creditor won’t be willing to work with you in the future.  If you find that you cannot follow the plan, contact your creditor immediately and explain.