I don’t have the some of the same kind of bills as other people. I don’t have an electric bill, a water bill or a bill for natural gas. My gas is propane and if I run out I don’t cook for a little while. However I do have bills, some old bills, an old Telephone Bill, Doctor Bills-the Great Physician never bills me, why can’t clinics learn from Jesus? There are also what Dave Ramsey would call “Stupid Tax” bills. These are stupid things, like credit cards, I got myself into.
Despite what collectors say it is NOT about paying your bills. It is about intimidating you until the collectors are able to buy your soul and every other worldly possession you may have. It’s OK to do this with Jesus but no one else. Unless you know who it is, NEVER answer a toll-free phone number. It is either a bill collector or someone trying to sell you something. Toll free numbers no longer are just 800 numbers, but they are included. Other toll free numbers begin with 877 and 866.
If they are calling you they should never put you on hold as many of these calls do. http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-800-790-9933 discusses calls from 800-790-9933. This is a call I get. When someone says it is “an important business call” or it is a “personal business” call and then gives your name, particularly if they are using a name that you use only on official documents it is probably a bill collector. Hang up.
If someone is trying to sell you something, well, ignore the call unless you really want to buy what they are offering. Remember to put your name back on the government’s do not call list. You may be interested in what the Privacy Council has to say, they have a list removal service.
Now, Bill collectors are a different story, you need to pay your bills, if you can. However, in most states if the debt is 7 years old or older it is uncollectable. You still need to pay it in your own good timing, not the bill collectors timing.
Never let a bill collector do automatic drafts from your personal or business bank accounts unless you set up a separate account specifically for that purpose.
Don’t let a bill collector intimidate you. Most bill collectors that have contacted me have been reasonably nice, one even recognized that I had already made some of the payments they were trying to collect. But my first cell phone was an AT & T cell phone back when Southwestern Bell was a separate company. Anyway, they had these outrageous early termination fees, so I just let it go. I worked for a while and concentrated on taking an online course, frankly, except for using as a time, I forgot about the phone and the bill. I had a temporary job, and the day that job ended for me as soon as I got home I received a call on the landline from a Mr. Green insisting that I pay my bill NOW! I had heard that creditors were often willing to work with people so I told him that I lost my job.
He repeatedly told me “Get a job”, see I had intimidated him back (probably not a good strategy) and told him he needed to get a job. He said he had two jobs. I had out of work for less than an hour and he was assuming I would not get a job. Well, I soon got another job, it lasted a short time, but then the next one lasted almost 7 years. When they tell you it’s about paying your bills they are lying and trying to intimidate you. People who are paid by these kinds of collection services do not have a “real” job, they have a paycheck. They are getting paid to intimidate you. Hang up on them.
Not all bills are legitimate. I have a long standing dispute with the Austin Public Library System. You can not win a dispute with the greedy Austin Public Library system. In the late 90’s I held a card, for which I had actually paid $50 to receive, with the Austin Public Library. There is one branch that I usually went to that I checked out books from. Personal computers were new, and few people had ever heard of Apple, Dell, Microsoft Windows, or knew what an operating system was. The branch I usually went to bragged about their new “automatic” check out system. So, I checked out several books fully expecting them to be renewed automatically. When I turned them in I had a fine of over $100. When I filed an appeal with the branch the lady said “I never said it was automatic”. Which was really an outright lie. Anyway, they insisted I pay that bill, so I wrote them a check for the full amount and then turned around and put a stop payment on it. I have paid some of that bill since, but it is not a legitimate bill. I don’t check out books from the Austin Public Library System even though they have a lot of books other libraries do not have.
When you have an appeals process stacked against the person doing the appealing, you do not have a legitimate appeals process. The Austin Public Library System is squandering it’s resources on new buildings designed to hide the stafff from the public, so instead they come up with ways to fine people by talking about automatic renewals and then refusing to make the renewals automatic. They come up with creative ways to stiff their borrowers and charge them fines. A few years ago they hired a collector to stiff the people they had stiffed, but this may have worked to their detriment.
Don’t get me wrong, Libraries are a good thing in my opinion, the Wells Branch Community Library is in Austin (in the neighborhood of Wells Branch) but they are not associated, Thank God, with the Austin Library System. Several other libraries in neighboring towns are fine, but fake fines are not good customer relations. The point is not all bills are legitimate.