I have seen a new trend and one that troubles me. Debt collectors are not being the big mean jerks we expect. Rather, they are trying to be your friend. I even had a guy call me on behalf of a client and call me “Jon.” Sure, I don’t mind my friends calling me Jon, even my clients. But at work, its Jonathan or Mr. Stein.
Debt collectors are doing a job. A fair number of them do it properly. However, some of them are very willing, eager, even to break the law. You have to keep your guard up. Do not become friends with them. Do not even become friendly with them. Let them talk and listen. If you need to respond, do so in writing. Create a paper trail. Make sure you know the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Rosenthal Act. You need to know your rights.
Unfortunately, too many people call me AFTER they talk to a debt collector and have said something that they should not have said. We may be able to fix it. But the best advice is do not talk to them. And the more they want to talk to you like friends, the more concerned you should be!