When Logic Meets Ridiculous

When you’ve dealt with bill collectors for as long as I have, you eventually run across just about every collection scenario in the business. In one such scenario I received a call from a collection agent who was for the most part very nice and surprisingly a perfect gentleman throughout the entire conversation. The conversation went pretty much like this:

The collection agent tells me that my visa account was in collections and in order to settle the account, it would cost me just over $1000.00. I informed him that the credit card limit was only $300.00 and that I would be willing to pay the $300.00 to settle the account, as I was trying to clean up my credit.

He then informs me that the extra $700 was due to collection fees and interest. I remained calm as to not escalate the situation and kindly informed him again that I would gladly pay the $300 past due amount but there was no way that I was going to pay back an extra $700 in interest and fees…not in this life or any other for that matter. I never heard from him again.

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Repeated calls from bill collectors

Repeated bill collector calls are intended to embarrass you into paying back a debt. The embarrassment comes from calling your employer, friends and family members. By applying enough pressure, debt collectors are betting that you’ll pay a debt that you may or may not even owe, rather than deal with potential embarrassment…especially at your job.

I guess I’ve just been lucky in that I’ve always had jobs where I was virtually untouchable at work. A debt collector would either reach a switchboard operator who would never transfer calls or I had my own extension where I could easily differentiate calls from client’s vs debt collectors with a simple glance at the caller ID.

By now, my family knows my feeling on debt collection calls and have long stopped bothering to pass on messages from bill collectors. To my surprise, they didn’t even flinch when a debt collector threatened to serve me a summons at their home the next day between the hours of 3 and 5 pm. Did they ever show up? Of course not. They never do.

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Debt and Depression

If you’ve ever suffered from depression in your life, then you might be familiar with the term “depression shopping”. Depression shopping is when you shop for random items, usually for yourself, in order to elevate your mood if only for a few days.

Depression shopping gives the individual a high, the equivalent of what could be gained by drinking alcohol or indulging in some other kind of drug. People who’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder share some of these same characteristics.

Riding an emotional roller coaster, some days they feel great joy and happiness while other days finding themselves suffering from great sadness. Depression shopping often leads to the accumulation of debt that eventually goes unpaid. Before you know it, debt collectors are ringing your phone non-stop.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I didn’t write this article to make excuses for people who don’t pay their debts. I merely wanted to raise the point that it’s a possibility. Clinical depression is very real and should always be taken seriously, as one never knows what a person is going through inside their head.

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