Things a debt collector won't tell you

Reader's Digest posted an article last week titled 13 Things a Debt Collector Won't Tell You. It's a fascinating peek inside the world of debt collection and it gives some insight into how debt collectors are trained. Here are some of the most revealing, along with my comments:

  • Debt collectors are trained that all consumers are compulsive liars. Let's face it, collecting debt is an unpleasant job, especially if you have a conscience. It's much easier to aggressively push for payment when your training demonizes all consumers as irresponsible liars.

  • Debt collectors don't care about why you can't pay because they've heard every hard-luck story there is. There's nothing to be gained from explaining to the collector why you fell behind on paying your bills. Collectors with a conscience don't last long, so chances are that the collector you're dealing with doesn't have one.

  • Collectors are trained to get as much personal information as possible. Never tell a collector where you work or where you bank. If you're unable to settle the account, the collector will use this information to garnish your bank account and wages.

  • The more money the collector brings in, the bigger his bonus. Most collectors are paid a very small salary, plus a commission on the money that they collect. Collectors know that their ability to make ends meet is largely contingent upon how much money they can squeeze out of you. And collectors that consistently fail to meet their monthly collection goals routinely get fired. It's no surprise, then, that this immense pressure causes collectors resort to ruthless and illegal collection tactics.