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|Cylons & Bill Collectors Have A Lot In Common|
|Personal Finance - Bill Collectors|
|Written by Dave Hilton|
I got a call from a bill collector yesterday afternoon. But they weren't looking for me. They were looking for someone who (without telling me first) put me down as a contact person. Despite my initial reaction of anger, I decided to be polite to the woman on the phone. It's not her fault that person listed me. All I could tell her is that I haven't spoken to or been contacted by that person in quite some time (it's actually been more than a year- but I didn't see any reason to tell her that).
In many ways, Bill Collectors remind me of the human Cylons from Battlestar Galactica. Just like Cylons- Bill Collectors are RELENTLESS! Cylons are hell-bent on eliminating the members of the 12 Colonies (13 if you're really technical). Bill Collectors are hell-bent on eliminating your self-respect. Cylons attack when you least expect it. Bill Collectors attack when you think they legally can't. Cylons infiltrate & sabotage relationships. Bill Collectors try to use your relationships against you. Cylons hunt the beings who created them. Bill Collectors hunt you when you create too much debt. Both are creations of arrogance (one technological & one financial).
I remember how, just prior to us filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, it seemed like every phone call we got was from a collection agency or someone we owed money. We were in that position because of our mistakes. We knew that, but we just couldn't talk to another person wanting money. We stopped answering the phone completely (and secretly hoped the phone company would just cut off our phone so we didn't feel so guilty for not answering). It was humiliating to tell caller after caller we couldn't pay them anything. They'd yell at us, call us losers and deadbeats, threaten us & when they couldn't reach us anymore- they started going after our family & friends.
Despite what it says in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, many collection agencies & agents will do or say whatever it takes to manipulate, harass or embarrass you so you pay them. When we were hovering dangerously close to the center of the Debt Black Hole, the last thing on our minds was filing a report about the collectors. Every ring of the phone was auditory torture (that may be why I still hate the sound of my phone ringing or even talking on the phone). So we never complained to anyone about it. We avoided the problem...which just made it worse.
I sincerely hope if you're dealing with debt issues that you reach out and ask for help or advice. Although Bankruptcy isn't the right move for everyone, it was the right choice for us. If you're too embarrassed to talk to family, friends or other people in your life- please don't hesitate to contact me. Although I am not an attorney, counselor, accountant or other finance professional- I am a Mediator & Conflict Coach. I can help you analyze & assess your financial situation, manage your fear of dealing with financial conflicts and effectively work through your options. Or, if you prefer, I can recommend another neutral third-party (like a financial counselor or debt organization) who can also help you find ways to Escape the Debt Black Hole!
Now that all the serious talk is out of the way- I wanted to share this great video (from The Cheese Feed) with you to, hopefully, put a smile on your face. It's a few years old, but the call from the collector made me think of it for some reason. I wonder what they could use to repossess the Battlestar Galactica?
Also, check out some of these Carnivals featuring recent posts from the Debt Black Hole:
The Carnival of Financial Camaraderie @ Canadian Personal Finance
Carnival of Money Pros #3 St. Patty’s After-Day Fun @ Money Reasons
Carnival of Personal Finance – Ted Talks Edition @ Thirty Six Months
Carnival of Wealth, March Winds Edition @ Control Your Cash
Financial Simplicity Carnival, Lucky Number 3 / 21 Jump Street Edition @ American Debt Project
TotallyMoney Blog Carnival #59 – Putting the PERSONAL back into finance @ Sterling Effort
Yakezie Carnival March 18, 2012 - Have Fun Edition @ Tackling Our Debt
So Say We All...Subscribe To The Debt Black Hole!