Your bill collector may have sent you a letter contacting you about your outstanding debt or called you to introduce themselves.
If you choose to accept a phone call and engage a debt collector in conversation, you may have more negotiating power if you record your call.
You do have the right to record your phone calls with bill collectors, but only some people actually do.
The most important reason to record your call is to have a record of the conversation that is about to transpire.
You may need to use this conversation as proof of a negotiation or agreement at a later date. Informing the bill collector that you are recording the call also informs them that you are serious about the situation and are looking to come to some type of agreement.
Another reason to record your call is to prevent being abused or harassed by your creditor. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, it is unlawful for a bill collector to be abusive, make false threats or otherwise harass you over the phone, or through other forms of communication.
If a bill collector is engaging in these activities and you are able to record the call, you can take them to court for breaking the law.
The courts are most likely going to relieve you of your debts and may also pay you in damages after such an event.
Ultimately, recording a phone call with a bill collector will help to keep them in check. The person is much more likely to deal with you professionally – without harassment, intimidation or any type of abuse – if they know they are being taped. Keep in mind that bill collectors are trained to intimidate you, even if they don’t go to the extreme with harassment or by being abusive.
They may say things in a certain way or use choice words to instill fear in you and prompt you to pay immediately.
Remember that these are all tactics to get you to pay on the spot. You have every right to ignore their statements and choose the best course of action that you see fit, after confirming the debt and making an attempt to negotiate.
It’s always important to document everything and keep track of the date and time of the call, what you talked about, and any terms that were agreed upon.
Recording a call will simply help with this process and can put you at an advantage when you want to negotiate and resolve your case.