Things aren’t always happy and great with our money – maybe you’re dealing with past debt that’s in default.  

– When cleaning up old, bad debts, there’s a good chance that you’re going to be dealing with a frustrating debt collector.  You’re protected by the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which determines how and when collectors can contact you, how they can speak to you, and what tactics they can use to get the money that’s owed.  You can see a summary of it’s provisions here.

– If you have a lot of bad back debts, don’t try to tackle them all at once.  Save up enough money to handle a few of them, and contact them one at a time.  Settle the debts using the money you’ve saved, and do everything in writing.  Get the settlement agreement in writing, and keep records of the payoff, forever.

– When you pay it off, don’t give them electronic access to your checking account, they’ll hit you for more than you bargained for.  Send them a cashiers check or money order, certified mail, return receipt requested.  Keep those records with the debt payoff agreement you receive from them, in case they ever try to cause you trouble again, and so you can make sure your credit record is corrected.