Should I Negotiate with a Debt Collector?

We’ve received many inquiries this week about negotiating with debt collectors.  Let’s get right to it… if you are sued by a debt collector, or even if you’ve received a phone call or a letter from them, you SHOULD NOT negotiate with them by yourself.   I’m not saying that negotiation is a bad idea, (although most times it is) I’m saying that YOU personally should not be negotiating, EVER.  In the debt collection world, you are a pawn, and a small one at that.  You have no power, no strength, no positioning.  The debt collector doesn’t know who you are and whatever excuses you have or reasons for not being able to pay more, they are worthless.  You must realize that the person on the phone with you (the debt collector) collects debts for a living.  They’ve heard every excuse in the book and then some.  They do not believe what you say and frankly, they don’t care what your excuse or reason is, it just doesn’t matter to them.  They get paid a percentage of whatever they collect from you.  Let me say that again…they don’t eat unless they get money from you.  Your words have no meaning to them.

When is negotiation a good idea?   Well, after you’ve had a consult with a consumer attorney and you hire that attorney.  As a consumer attorney, I have power.  I have strength.  I have positioning.   The guy on the other side of the phone knows me, (if he’s a debt collection attorney) and he knows that I can beat him in court.  He also knows that if he makes the slightest mistake, I can sue him and his client.  You, as a debtor, do not have that power and you never will. One should never negotiate from a position of weakness, that’s common sense.  Handling a debt collection issue by yourself is always a bad idea.

There are other reasons to hire a consumer attorney on a debt case and the most important one is to see IF the debt should be paid at all.  This is a mistake that many people make, even attorneys.  Not all debt should be paid and not all debt should be negotiated.  There are many reasons to not pay and these can include staleness, insufficiency, lack of consideration, proof of standing and others.  This is why you need to have your claim reviewed by a knowledgeable consumer attorney and this is why you need to hire that attorney to handle your claim.

At Artim Law, we’re ready and able to review your debt collection issue and guide you to the path that involves the least expenditure of money and time on your part.  Call us at 412-823-8003 or send an email to

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