Seeing the number of a debt collector pop up on your caller ID can be a scary thing. When you are a single dad (father) or any single parents for that matter can it can be even scarier because you are only dealing with one income and you are on a limited budget. These people are trained in being persistent and doing their best to collect the money that is owed. So, it would be a good idea to know what to expect when your phone starts ringing and to make sure you understand what your rights are when they call you.
The first place to you will need to look to understand your right better is under the fair debt collection practices act. This will help give you a clearer picture of what is allowed and what is not allowed. This way if there are any sort of illegal tactics trying to be used on you, you will know to stand up for your rights.
If anyone is trying to collect any sort of debt from you, then you can ask for a written verification for your debt. This will be a telling sign because if they cannot produce this type of verification then they will not be able to contact you until they can. If you do happen to have some debt, always try to make sure that you are as honest as possible about your situation. Most debt collectors will try to work out some sort of arrangement for your payments if in fact your hardship is real and warranted.
Another thing you should try to do is ask for a settlement arrangement. It might still be a good financial decision for the debt collector to just try and settle the debt rather than let it linger over time. Always try to keep the lines of communication open to make sure that everyone can explore all options.
Just to reiterate, always get all agreements and arrangements in writing. Also, when your debt is paid off, get it in writing that there is no longer any debt. Having something in writing be the difference between being done with the debt or needing some financial help because no one has any proof of payment.
In closing, debt can be a very stressful situation and can provoke many emotions. Please do your best to keep your cool and not get over emotional about it. You do not want your kids seeing their single dad (father) or single parent yelling and crying at someone over the phone. There are many ways to get some debt advice and some financial assistance as long as you can keep your cool and always be honest about your financial situations.