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Fret About Debt

| Working | April 15, 2017

(Due to health issues, my debts and bills have begun to pile up. Most places are understanding and often hold off on collecting a payment, or let me make a smaller than minimum payment after I explain the situation. My phone rings.)

Me: “Hello?”

Debt Collector: “Yes, is Miss [My Maiden Name, but mispronounced] there?”

Me: “That was my maiden name, yes. My married name is [Married Name].”

Debt Collector: “This call may be recorded. The last four of your social are [numbers]. I’m calling to collect a debt from [School I went to years ago].”

Me: *taken aback by the casual nature of giving out any part of my social security number* “Uh… yeah. I’m on a payment plan. I know I’ve missed last month’s payment and probably this month’s as well. I’ve already called and worked it out with them.”

Debt Collector: “Well, I have wonderful news. If you just pay $600 right now, you’ll be back on track. This is a great opportunity to get your credit up!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry but I don’t have that kind of money right now. I’ve been in the hospital and–”

Debt Collector: *interrupting* “What can you give today? $500?”

Me: “No, I don’t have any money.”

Debt Collector: “You have something. $400? $300?”

Me: “I don’t have anything. All of my money has been going to hospital bills and rent.”

Debt Collector: *angry* “Look, I’ve heard it all before. I need $200 from you right now, and more tomorrow. Borrow some money from someone.”

Me: “I don’t HAVE two hundred dollars, and I’m not borrowing money to get out of a debt! I’m hanging up now.”

(The next day:)

Debt Collector: *flatly* “Miss [Mispronounced Maiden Name], I’m a debt collector. I have wonderful news for you. If you can send $900 right now, your debt with [School] will be nearly caught up. This is a great opportunity.”

Me: “I told you yesterday, I don’t have that kind of money. I’m not going to have that kind of money this month, or next, period. I’ve already worked it out with [School].”

Debt Collector: “Your insurance will pay your hospital bills, [Mispronounced Maiden Name]. $800 today and your problems go away. Now, how would you like to pay? I’ll just call you back if you hang up on me again, so don’t try it.”

Me: *losing my temper* “Okay, LOOK. My name is not [Maiden Name]; it’s [Married Name]. I told you yesterday that I don’t have several hundred dollars lying around, and the reason I don’t is because most insurances don’t pay for chemo. I’m more worried about fighting for my life than I am my credit score right now, PLUS [School] and I have an arrangement worked out already.”

Debt Collector: “I’m doing my job. Give me whatever you have or I’ll call you every hour.”

Me: *click*

(The next day:)

New Debt Collector: “Hello, is [Mispronounced Maiden Name] there?”

Me: “Nope.” *click*

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