How to deal with debt collectors when you can't pay

How to Deal With Debt Collectors When You Can’t Pay

If one of your debts has gone to collections, you will hear all sorts of things from the person on the other end of phone call. Not everything they are telling you is true. Here is what happens if you don’t pay a collection agency and some of your options to end the constant calls. Find out how to deal with debt collectors when you can’t pay them.


Ending Up at Debt Collection

If you can’t pay debt collector payments for the last three to six months, the creditor may sell your debt to a collection agency. At that point, you no longer deal with that original creditor and your credit report will note that you have been sent to collections.

You still owe the entire amount. If you absolutely can’t repay the entire amount, the debt collection agency would rather collect some money than nothing. This may allow you to negotiate a deal.

Will it hurt your credit to negotiate? Yes, but so will defaulting on a debt.

Chat with one of our debt experts today to find out more about our debt relief program.

What to Expect If You Don’t Pay Debt Collections

If you can’t pay a debt collector, the following may happen:

  • You’ll be reported to credit bureaus, damaging your credit and ability to get loans
  • Someone will write or call you regularly
  • Assets may be repossessed or a lien placed on it – home, car, rent-to-own items, etc.
  • You may be sued – always respond!
  • You may be reported as in default or delinquent
  • You may end up at a different collections agency

How to deal with debt collectors when you can't pay article

Working with A Collection Agency or Debt Collector

The first and most important thing to know is that you have federally guaranteed rights and many states have similar rights. Here is what a debt collector cannot do under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA):

  • Contact you between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. without your permission
  • Threaten violence or using profanities when speaking to you
  • Contact third parties (family, friends and employers) about your debt or otherwise embarrass you
  • Speak to your employer except under limited conditions
  • Pretend to be a government official or an attorney
  • Send letters that look like attorney or governmental letters but that are not
  • Send derogatory messages about you to a credit reporting agency
  • Send information on a postcard or via social media
  • Attempt to collect an expired debt
  • Hire an unlicensed credit collection agency
  • Communicate with you if you are represented by an attorney

There are a few things that you SHOULD NOT do:

  • Make a good faith payment. This payment can restart the expiration clock
  • Be rude to a collector. It can work against you if the phone calls are replayed in court
  • Let your contact information get out-of-date (the debt collection agency can contact third parties to track you down)
  • Admit that it is your debt or promise to pay – it can be construed as a contract
  • Give out financial information like your social security number or the value of a property

There are things you SHOULD do:

  • Take notes when you speak to a debt collector. Write down date and time, debt collector name, which debt, and what the debt collector says
  • Keep all mail, copies of texts, etc
  • Tell the collector if you legitimately can’t pay. They may try to work with you
  • Tell the collector if the debt is not correct
  • Give them your current contact information
  • Consider telling the collector to stop contacting you. If you want to work towards a settlement, you may not want to take this step

Speak to one of our debt experts right away to find out more information

What Steps Can You Take Once in Collections?

There are several options to get a debt collector to go away.

Ignore the debt and calls. You may end up in court or the collectors may give up. This is not a good option.

Set up monthly payments – Because the debt collector bought the debt for less than it is worth, they may be willing to negotiate. If you want to try this, offer to pay 40 to 50% of the total amount. Make sure the get the following in writing:

  • The amount you agree to repay and what you are repaying – are you paying against what you owe or settling the bill once you pay
  • The name of the debt – make sure you are paying off what they think you are paying off.
  • The collection agency should have the name of the original creditor and account number.
  • The exact day the payment is due.
  • The exact name of the collection agency since debt can be sold
  • The effect on the account after payment. Will it be reported to a credit agency, etc.

Debt consolidation requires you to take out a loan to pay the original debt. It may not be possible to get a loan if you are in collections.

Debt management includes working with a credit counseling agency to learn to better manage money and pay off debts

Bankruptcy is a last resort to handle your bills. It is expensive and you need legal advice and representation.

Debt settlement includes signing up with a debt settlement company like Pacific Debt, Inc. If you qualify, a debt settlement company with negotiating with your debtors while you build a fund to begin repaying debts. You can also do this on your own, but it takes determination.

Pacific Debt, Inc.

Pacific Debt, Inc can help you deal with debt collectors when you can’t pay and even offers a free consultation. Our debt specialists will perform an in-depth analysis of your debt and advise you on your options. They ensure that you understand all options and all the program details.

Depending on your financial situation, Pacific Debt, Inc works with you to have you debt free in one to two years. We do not make money unless your debt relief program works for you. You have nothing to lose and every to gain by contacting Pacific Debt for your free consultation.

For more information, talk with one of our debt specialists today.


Debt Settlement – 3 Marketing Tricks to Avoid

Debt settlement can be a stressful process, even before you enroll. Doing the research can add to your anxiety as you visit different sites, read reviews and try and determine who is the best debt settlement company for your needs. If you haven’t done so already, I suggest reading “5 Important Questions to ask Before You Sign Up.” 

As you do your research, it’s important to know that many debt settlement companies use misleading marketing tactics. To help you spot these deceptive tactics, we’ve put together a list of three common marketing tricks used by debt settlement companies.

Trick 1: Being deceptive about the fees. Most reputable companies charge no up front fees these days. In fact Federal law mandates it. If you shop around, most companies charge anywhere between 18-25% of the debt you enroll. However, some companies have recently started quoting these figures on an Annualized basis. So if the fee is 24% of the debt, but the program is 4 years, they quote “approx 6% per year.” Six percent sounds a lot better than 24% right? The fact is it’s misleading and our employees are hearing it more and more when consulting with consumers.

What Does Your Debt Relief Program Cost?

Trick 2: Bait and switch from personal loan to debt settlement. This is one of the most common tactics being used today by debt relief providers. Debt Settlement companies are sending out direct mail pieces offering a consolidation loan that sounds too good to be true. Unfortunately, it is too good to be true. After the consumer calls in to apply for the personal loan, they are told that they don’t qualify. Most consumers won’t qualify. The sales agent then presents the consumer with “good news!” The “good news” is the debt settlement program, which the consumer conveniently does qualify for. Here is an example of what these mail pieces typically look like:

Deceptive Marketing Tactics

Trick 3: All the Client Reviews are from recent enrollments. Many companies, including Pacific Debt, solicit reviews from customers on sites such as TrustPilot, BestCompany and Google. To read reviews about Pacific Debt, you can visit our website here, check out our blog or simply google “Pacific Debt reviews”. Reading actual customer reviews is a great way to hear what others are saying about a company. However, it is important to read several reviews to determine the quality of those reviews. Is the company simply asking for reviews from customers who just signed up or from those who have actually completed the program? Debt settlement is usually a 3-4 year program, so clients who have been enrolled for more than a few days are better suited to give an actual review of the service.

At Pacific Debt, we ask for reviews from new enrollments, active customers as well as recently completed clients. Some of our competitors only ask for reviews from recent enrollments. Recently enrolled customers are more inclined to hand out a 5 star review because they are happy to get help. Reviews from consumers who have experienced settlements and dealt with customer service over the course of many years, should carry more weight than reviews from brand new customers. So be mindful when you scan through the reviews of the debt settlement company you are researching, you should be able to read at least some reviews like these:

Pacific Debt is the Best Debt Relief Company

Review from 3/17/18

Pacific Debt is the Best Debt Relief Company

Review from Google Feb 2018

So as your embark on your quest to find the best debt settlement company, please be mindful of these common misleading marketing tactics. If you’d appreciate a free evaluation of your situation, from a company that has been helping consumers for 16 years, call our team today at the number above. We can help you assess your situation and see if debt settlement is right for you. If not, we can connect you with a Trusted Partner who might be better suited to help. We are also happy to pass along some free advice and point you in the right direction.

Meet Christopher – Now Debt Free Thanks to Pacific Debt

Name: Christopher

Age: 35

Location: California

When did you enroll in our debt settlement program and how much debt were you facing? How did carrying all of that debt make you feel?

We enrolled March 2016 in Pacific Debt’s program, with $23,176 in debt. Carrying that much debt made it almost impossible to make ends meet. We could make only minimum payments, and would immediately be checking balances and available credit to see which card we could use next. Purchases were for necessities, not fun or frivolous items. We lived credit card limit to credit card limit.

Christoper, Debt Free, Pacific Debt

Tell us about your journey through the Pacific Debt program? Are there any special team members you would like to recognize?

Our journey through Pacific Debt’s program was worry free and easy. We were contacted immediately whenever something was needed, and we were informed of every step taken along the way. Brian LoBianco was amazing to work with! He took care of our account and our debts in the fastest way possible, never neglecting quality service, and ended up getting us great settlement agreements with our creditors. He was professional at all times, and we could tell that he cared about us and the assistance he provided.

How does it feel to be debt free? What are your financial goals moving forward?

It feels amazing to be debt free! One thing this program allowed us to do is learn how to live without using credit. By not being able to use our cards, and by lightening the load that we carried, we were able to manage our budget in a credit free way, realizing what we really needed, and what we could do without. Our financial goals are to continue to live completely free of revolving debt, not having to worry about paying high interest for what easily could have been the rest of our lives doing what we were doing before.

We know we are not perfect. What suggestions or advice would you offer to help us improve our program? All advice is welcome.

I honestly was completely satisfied. I will say, the first 6 months to 1 year of creditor/collector phone calls was nerve racking. Understanding that things had to get worse before they could get better was key, though it was still a time that worried us. Pacific Debt made sure we understood the process, and what to do with those calls and contacts, and that made all the difference. We knew Pacific Debt was in our corner the whole time.

Pacific Debt Inc. Debt Validation

Read Over 1300 Real Pacific Debt Client Reviews

At Pacific Debt, we’ve always focused on providing an awesome customer experience and delivering great results. Over the past 15 years, our team has settled over $200 million in consumer credit card debt and helped tens of thousands of individuals and families. Read more Pacific Debt reviews from people we have helped get debt relief through our debt settlement program.

A couple of years, ago, our team started actively asking our customers to share their experiences online, so that others who are struggling with debt could see for themselves the power of our program. In that time, our customers have shared over 1300 online reviews, with an average weighted user score of 9.47 out of 10.

Consumers who are struggling with excessive credit card debt are often unsure where to turn for help. Being an Accredited Debt Relief provider is no longer good enough for consumers who are living in the age of Yelp and Amazon, where real customer feedback and reviews are easy to come by. We’ve found that these first-hand experiences, from real customers, really make a big difference for consumers who are weighing their options and evaluating different companies.

While the majority of reviews are overwhelmingly positive and validate our program, we don’t turn a blind eye to opportunities for improvement. Any negative feedback received is used as a customer service opportunity and we follow up with our clients to better understand their situation and see what can be done to turn things around for them.

Read Recent Pacific Debt Reviews

To highlight the power of our online customer reviews, here is a recent review from Marissa in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania via

“After doing some research and reading online reviews, I decided to reach out to Pacific Debt for help with my credit card and loan debt. I worked first with Rian to go over who they are as a company and how they were going to help. After being setup and starting their program, Kimberly B. became my account manager and main point of contact throughout this program. She’s awesome and keeps me in the loop regarding my account and settlement progress. It is easy to get in contact with anyone at Pacific Debt with questions or concerns. They understand your situation and answered any and all questions that I had.”

Read More of Our Reviews from our debt relief clients

For consumers interested in reading our online reviews, a compilation of our real client reviews can be found below:

Couple struggling with bills

Not All Debt Consolidation Companies are Equal – 5 Important Question

Whether you are looking for help with debt consolidation, credit counseling or debt settlement, it is important to know that not all debt consolidation companies are created equal.

What separates one company from another? Here are 5 important questions to ask when evaluating a debt consolidation company:

  • How long have you been in business? Let’s face it, you don’t want to trust your money to an overnight start up and be some company’s Guinea pig.  At Pacific Debt, we have been helping consumers since 2002 and have settled thousands of debts representing hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Is the company highly rated by the Better Business Bureau? Do you really want to trust a company with an F rating and loads of complaints? Companies that are Accredited Members of the BBB make a commitment to marketplace ethics and are required to resolve consumer complaints to maintain their memberships. Remember, all companies get complaints, it is how a company responds and addresses those that separates the good from the bad. We are proud to say that Pacific Debt is an Accredited Member of the BBB of San Diego with an A+ rating.
  • Is the Company a member of any Industry Trade Associations? Trade associations often set many of the standards in the industry and their members are required to meet minimum requirements to maintain membership. For instance, in the debt settlement space, the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) requires that each Accredited Member company undergo an audit once per year to ensure that member companies are not charging upfront fees and are complying with all AFCC standards. At Pacific Debt, we are one of only 13 Accredited Members of the AFCC.
  • Will you receive personal service? Some companies treat you like a number and basically have huge call centers designed to answer your calls, but rarely offer you any personal dedicated service. At Pacific Debt, we created a system where all of our clients get a dedicated Personal Account Manager who is there to guide them through the process from the first settlement until completion. Our Account Managers get to know our clients on a personal level so that you don’t have to deal with the aggravation of explaining your situation over and over again to a different call center representative each time you call.
  • What are others saying? If you scour the Internet you can find all sorts of review sites and comments on social media. If clients have a good experience, or a bad one, they like to talk about it online. In fact, due largely to our great client reviews, Pacific Debt is the #1 Ranked Company on .  Our average user score of 9.7 on the BestDebtCompanys site is a direct reflection of our commitment to customer service and delivering value to our clients.

The bottom line is that you have a lot of choices when it comes to selecting the right debt consolidation company and the reality is that not all debt relief companies are equal. However, by asking the right questions and doing your homework, you can find the right option and company for you.

PDI Employees Pitch in to help the San Diego Food Bank

During the month of June Pacific Debt Inc. employees pitched in to help the San Diego Food Bank. Employees brought in canned goods and other non perishable items to help those less fortunate. After nearly a month, the PDI team brought in over 4 barrels of food!

Each quarter PDI makes it a priority to participate in charitable giving. You can find out more about the San Diego Food Bank by clicking here.

Pacific Debt Inc. helping San Diego food bank
PDI Employees pitched in help the SD Food Bank

Feeling Financial Burnout from Debt Relief?

Watching your pennies and carefully keeping track of how you spend can be very rewarding. However, frugality in the name of debt relief can also lead to burnout. There are many reasons for budget burnout. Read through the steps below to get back on a positive course.

What’s Ailing You?

Try to think about why you feel so burned out. Perhaps you lost a job due to no fault of your own or suffered a medical setback? Or, maybe your financial problems aren’t your fault and you feel powerless over the fact that you need to worry so much about your financial situation? Whatever the reason, remember that you made the important first step by enrolling in our debt settlement program to get debt relief and look forward to achieving your long-term financial goals.

Talk About It. If possible, talk about your feelings with an understanding friend or relative. Any kind of personal fear or frustration can seem harder to deal with when it is internalized. If you don’t feel comfortable opening up to someone else about your situation, just being sociable with someone else and laughing out loud can be an amazing cure to whatever troubles you.

Go For It. Sometimes frugality makes us feel guilty for wanting to treat ourselves to simple, affordable pleasures. It’s perfectly acceptable and necessary to treat yourself to

small indulgences on a regular basis. Frugality isn’t about deprivation. Debt relief works best when you balance your individual wants and needs and work them into a budget that you can stick to. If a frequent stop for a caramel mocha latte is a special treat and fits into your budget, then cut back on or eliminate something else that isn’t as important.

Move forward. Try to reassess your life and find out what you need to do to improve your personal situation and outlook regarding your finances. For example, if you lost employment due to downsizing and haven’t found a new job yet, try to think of creative ways to bring in more income. If you took a look at your situation and discovered you have a spending problem, rather than an income issue, try to examine why you spend too much and get down to analyzing your wants and needs.

From our newsletter: Inspiring Thoughts

Financial concerns and debt solutions can be a stressful part of life. As you work toward your goal of being financially free, remembering these ideas can help you reduce stress.

Get Plenty Of Sleep.  Try to go to bed on time so that you can wake up on time feeling

fresh, unrushed and ready to tackle the day ahead. If you’re late in the morning and you

have to rush to work, you’re already stressed out and the day has barely begun!

Learn To Say “No.”

Don’t overburden yourself. Take projects one at a time. If a task seems too particularly overwhelming, set aside a special time to work on it.

Simplify And Un-Clutter Your Life.

Take care of small tasks that have been bothering you for a while. Boil everything down to just a few simple goals.

Pace Yourself.

Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the difficult things all together. Taking baby steps can be enlightening.

Live Within Your Budget.

Debt solutions are not easy. Don’t use credit cards for ordinary purchases. Write Down Your Thoughts And Goals. You could keep a journal or just write when you feel the need to. You may be surprised by how clear your own thoughts become when you see them in black and white.

Delegate Tasks To Others.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel overwhelmed and need debt solutions.

Laugh Often!

Take your work seriously, but yourself not at all.  Don’t forget to find

humor in everyday situations and don’t take yourself too seriously.

“A crust eaten peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.”-Aesop Fables

Confessions of a novice couponer

Have you ever wondered if clipping coupons could pay off? Recently a colleague in my office volunteered to share her experience with me on using coupons. The busy manager, wife and mother said she didn’t have a lot of time to organize her shopping but wondered if she could make a dent in her monthly budget and get debt help just by using the coupons that came in her weekly newspaper.

Sally was inspired to try couponing after watching an episode of the TLC hit show ‘Extreme Couponing.’ “The people on that show are clearly extreme,” explained Sally. “Most of the people on the show make it a priority and are obsessed with saving and couponing.”

I told Sally that I would follow her story to see if she could be successful on a smaller scale. Sally resolved to set her first goal – dedicating time to consider her monthly grocery expenditures. She also knew that she buys a lot of the same things week after week.

“When I took a good look at my usual routine, I noticed a pattern in my buying,” said Sally. “I saw that most of what I purchased each week included necessities like diapers, paper towels, milk and cereal. This inspired me to set my next goal which was to clip coupons that pertained to necessities I already buy and use often. Sally, who is expecting another baby, also had a goal of creating a “mini-stock pile” for her family; she said this would help reduce her “emergency” runs to the grocery store.”

To start she made sure she paid attention to the newspaper circulars. She also considered in-store promotions, such as Buy-One-Get-One specials, and combined them with coupons when possible. “It has made a difference in my budget so far,” said Sally, a self-professed coupon novice. “With 10-15 minutes a day and a bit of planning before I shopped, I saved a little over $100 my first month.

“I was a little nervous that I would end up spending more than usual, which I did on some weeks, but I can already see how it will benefit me in the long run when I’m busy with a new baby. It’s a debt relief when my husband tells me we are out of something, and I can tell him to go to the basement “stockpile” to get more, instead of one of us jumping in the car.”

Sally revealed that other goals, such as planning meals ahead of time and focusing on the necessary ingredients, help her refrain from clipping coupons on things she may not need just for savings sake.

“Taking a small step to consider what I buy has changed the way I think about my finances,” she remarked. “I’ve also become more organized. Having a plan helps me feel more confident about my buying decisions and my budget.”

Sally’s next goal is to see if she can save even more for debt help by utilizing online coupons or by obtaining specific coupons for specialty products, such as organic foods.

A Fresh Start: Make this year a success

As the new year begins, you may make resolutions and consider ways to better your life.

Instead of tackling a long list of goals all at once you may want to consider setting smaller monthly goals. Taking small steps to improve your life and get debt relief, personally and financially, could help you achieve a greater amount of success. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

January – March

•  Organize your finances. Think about your spending habits. Are there any areas you can work on to achieve financial freedom sooner?

•  Now is a good time to rethink your financial goals. Visit Scroll down the page and go to the “Money Saving To-Do List” on the right. This list is an online tool that allows users to type individual goals and check them off when they are


•  Remember to take advantage of holiday clearance sales at the beginning of the year. This is a good time to stock up on holiday necessities.

•  Revisit your budget and consider any changes in income or required expenses.

April – June

•  Try to think about new ways to save money on your daily living expenses, this can offer some debt relief. For example, consider planting a garden. If you have the space for it, you could save cash and enjoy a new hobby!

•  Begin your spring cleaning by hosting a garage sale or selling items at a

flea market. You may also sell unwanted items on or www.craigslist.

org for extra cash. Also consider for items you want to give away.

•  As Earth Day approaches on April 22, it’s a great time to go “green”. Consider using homemade cleaning solutions. Visit the Eartheasy website and search ‘non toxic home cleaning care’ to read articles on making your own non-toxic cleaners. You can also

reduce your impact on the environment by purchasing used or secondhand items. Doing this can help prevent trash from filling up the landfills. You should be aware of your fuel consumption and look for ways to save if possible. Visit for more tips.

July – September

•  Focus on saving energy. Small actions, like weather stripping the seams around your air conditioning unit to prevent air leaks, could help you save money. Go to for more energy saving tips.

•  Think of inexpensive getaways that would be fun and interesting. Enjoy the outdoors. Find out if zoos offer family discount days. Consider a weekend road trip to a national park if it fits into your budget.  One great way to get debt relief is to get outdoors, which is often free and won’t hurt your finances.

October – December

•  It’s never too early to plan your holiday gift list. Consider putting together themed gift baskets or making special mementos for the people in your life.

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