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Ask Dave

Not Sending Paper Checks

Dave tells John when it's not a good idea to pay a collector with a paper check.

QUESTION: John asks if it’s all right to pay your bill collectors with a paper check. He owes $115,000 in credit card debt. It depends on the situation, says Dave.

ANSWER: If you are in a real adversarial arrangement where you are really fighting with them, I wouldn’t, because they’ve got all the personal information on the check that they can use to draft your account. I’ve never heard of them doing that, but they are scum and I don’t trust them.

At the point that you negotiate something with them, then you can send them a cashier’s check or a money order. If there is something adversarial and you are really in a fight with a debt collector and they are really misbehaving in their actions with you, then I would not send them a paper check.

Find stuff to sell that will get you some cash and help you get current and stay current; that’s the first goal. From there, start whittling things off. Get on a beans and rice budget and start knocking these debts out smallest to largest.