I agree that Christians should pay the debts that they owe, if they can. Can we all accept the reality that collection agencies and old debt are not quite so clear cut? I just love the Christian financial seminars that quote the appropriate Scriptures (the wicked borrow and do not pay back) and tell you to cower in fear and pay exactly what a debt collector tells you to (if you are a real Christian after all...). No, that is not the advice of Jim Paris. I believe that the debt collection industry is one of the most evil of all businesses in the United States. Check out these debt collection horror stories.
Two of my own personal examples
We have a disputed debt with an orthodontist (that we fired eleven years ago) that keeps coming back on our credit report. We similarly have a disputed item from twelve years ago with a cell phone company. In both cases we have made clear with numerous letters why the amount they say we owe is invalid. Both debts are past the five year statute of limitations for Florida, and both are past the seven year rule on reporting to the credit bureaus. Oh well, none of this seems to matter. About every two years we have to go to war with them again to get these items taken back off our credit reports. I know that the Paris family is not alone, and this kind of thing happens tens of thousands of times every single day across the country.
5 Ways To Absolutely Ruin A Debt Collector's Day
1. Demand proof that you really owe the money using our debt verification letter.
2. Force them to stop calling you with our cease communication letter.
3. Demand proof that they are legally registered to operate in your state (many are not).
4. Determine if the debt is even legally valid based on statute of limitations.
Do the right thing
If you actually do owe the debt, pay it - but be smart. You can many times negotiate and save a ton of money. The truth is that with penalties and interest, and penalties on top of that, the amount may be many times what the actual amount was anyway. A good rule of thumb is 20 to 30 cents on the dollar. See our article on how to settle a debt.
Helping you make the most of God’s money!