This is the third in a series of posts discussing the most common myths about do-it-yourself debt settlement. All too often, I hear consumers say things like, “I’m not a good negotiator,” or “I’m afraid they will bully me.” Since dealing with collection scenarios is new territory for most people, it’s no surprise that people feel this way. This objection is about lack of SELF-CONFIDENCE. People turn to professional debt negotiators because they don’t believe they can get on the phone and haggle on their own. This is understandable, especially given all the negative publicity about the collection industry’s practices. The major media loves to bash the collection industry (it’s an easy target!), so we’ve all heard horror stories about abusive debt collectors.
However, the reality is that negotiating settlements is actually mostly a MECHANICAL process. Virtually all major creditors have pre-existing collection systems set up to work their delinquent accounts as they get close to charge-off, or to recover on accounts that are beyond charge-off. As the accounts wind toward the date on which the creditor will be forced to write off the account and declare a loss, the options employed by the creditor will get more creative – and this is where settlements come into play almost automatically.
Negotiating a good settlement on a credit card debt is more a matter of employing the right timing and knowing what to aim for – both of which a good coach can really help with – than anything to do with superior negotiation skills. Time and again, my clients have reported genuine surprise at how much easier the process was than expected. When you have a coaching blueprint to follow, it becomes a lot easier to calmly make your offer and see how the other side is countering. If you don’t like their offer, you end the call and move on.
People generally overestimate how much negotiating takes place, when what’s really going on is that the collection system has settlement built into it as an automatic part of the process. Rather than becoming a crackerjack negotiator, you need to learn how to present an offer, how to manage the calls without getting bombarded, and how to close out a deal when you’ve reached verbal agreement on a settlement figure. All of these things can easily be taught to the average consumer, and our results here at ZipDebt bear this out.
Myth busted. Obtaining settlements is a mechanical part of the collection process, already built into the system. All that’s needed is training on how that system works.