The Kind of Debt Collection Story That Never Gets Published

Among the many alerts I receive each morning, I noticed this blog today on The Huffington Post. It’s titled Debt Collector Madness, and Owning the Infinite, Creative Power of Thought.

In spite of the title, it’s really more about spirituality and controlling one’s thoughts. However, I noticed that it’s also a tale of an unremarkable, yet routine, communication with a debt collector. The kind that almost never gets told.

In this case, the author, a California resident, describes how she recently received a letter in the mail from a collection agency saying that she owes thousands in back taxes to the State of Colorado. She is sure it’s a mistake, because she has never lived or worked in Colorado. Yet as one might imagine, she also panicked a little.

What does she do? She picks up the phone, calls the agency, and explains the mistake. The collector asks her some clarifying questions, agrees that it seems there was an error, and gives her a number to call the Colorado Department of Revenue to clear it up.

There. She didn’t ignore the letter or throw it away. She called. They talked. It got handled.

While it’s true that things like this occasionally are scams, this is the way many thousands of communications go – or could go – with debt collection agencies. It’s just never reported. And often, they are never given the chance, because people are afraid to call.

By Stephanie Eidelman