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Credit Education
Credit Revolution
Chapter 12

But Wait! Even If I Hire Help, I'll Still Have to Deal With Creditors Sometimes

And it's true. So how should you behave? Should you treat that debt collector with the kindness you'll hope he returns? In a word, no. But neither should you treat them as unprofessionally as they'll often treat you.

The best way to remember how to deal with creditors when you're getting professional assistance with credit correction: adopt a "litigious" mindset. No, you'll probably never go to court, but that litigious mindset (and we'll shortly explain that fully) may save you much heartache, and maybe even real money, down the line.

A few tips:

  1. Never approach creditors as if they share your goal. Hint: they don't. You're a nuisance. You take up valuable time that could be better spent on more productive endeavors -- like collecting money that you may not even owe them. Again, creditors don't want to bother with you. Nobody there wants to hunt for the right form to modify or delete the credit bureau trade line by hand. Even worse for the creditors, such action may require learning something new because usual credit bureau reporting is done by computer rather than by human beings. It's hard to provide customized responses to credit correction issues. Most employees of credit companies will not want to mess with you.
  2. Don't be impatient. Just because your credit correction lawyer sent a letter, don't think you should follow up with a friendly phone call a week or two later. Credit correction takes time. It's important to remember that it doesn't matter if the credit companies respond or not because IT'S ALL GOOD. If they respond quickly, that's good. If they don't respond quickly, then the next legal intervention may well hint at further violations of your civil rights under federal law. Either way, by remaining patient (and not gumming up with process with your own friendly telephone calls or letters), you'll remain in control.
  3. Whenever a creditor calls you while your credit correction is proceeding, don't forget the larger context of what's going on, and it's this: When you dispute the veracity of a trade line (or of an allegedly outstanding debt, for that matter), you are basically asserting this very simple statement: "You, sir or madam, are wrong." By definition, you're striking an adversarial stance. So, whenever dealing with a creditor, be powerful about the conversation.

Psychologists like to talk about how "CONGRUENCE" between feelings and behaviors suggests a level of mental health. In other words, when somebody's body language and emotions match their behavior, a few things happen:

  • The person looks serious. Why? People who look serious are more often regarded seriously.
  • The person appears to believe in him- or herself. Why? People who believe in themselves aren't likely to just go away, so the demand for attention appears stronger.
  • The person appears to be dealing from a position of strength. Why? Strong people are more likely to receive positive attention than weak ones.

This is why suddenly acting like the creditor's friend can make it far more difficult to achieve your credit correction goals. In this case, grandma's old saying about attracting more flies with honey instead of vinegar doesn't apply. With few exceptions, you are not the other party's friend. You are an adversary simply because you are taking up their time. Don't trade away your legal position by being impatient. Don't trade away your personal power by self-medicating your short-term anxiety with pleasing chatter. Remain strong, professional, and contain your anxious feelings as best you can while your case proceeds.

So what is a litigious mindset?

Adopting a litigious mindset means that you understand that what you are doing is rooted in law. Everything you do should imply that you're protecting your legal rights. Everything you do should imply that you...


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Credit Revolution: Path of the Smart Consumer 2007 John C. Heath, Esq., Dr. Randy Padawer, Jayson R. Orvis. All Rights Reserved. Published by Far Cliffs Multimedia, LLC

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