There have been many reports of people receiving letters from the ‘negotiations department’ in their mail. As this phenomenon keeps occurring, people are now starting to wonder if it is real or if it is just a scam.
The reason that there has been increased awareness of this issue is that there have been reports of people receiving the same letter. The letter informs them of scam debt collections (contact postal mail letter) that they are allegedly due for and gives them an amount of time to pay back.
There have been reports that the letter smelled scam-like from its inception, with some people wondering whether they were supposed to fall for such a trap. The reality is that many people have fallen for this trap.
It seems like the scammers send just a blanket letter to random people informing them of the credit card debt that they have. If you see a letter like this in your mail, you should just regard it as junk mail and ignore it.
You can also contact postal mail customer care to report most junk mail, including these. Letters like these can quickly shift from being minor inconveniences to being seriously bothersome. In some cases, people even fall for these traps.
The letters can sometimes be very vague, leaving just a phone number and nothing else for people to contact them through. A gullible person may end up paying off outstanding debt to credit card companies even though they owe nothing.
How does the negotiations department letter look?
The letter from the negotiations department is usually headed with ‘Negotiations Department’ and nothing else, and the name of the recipient. The letter is headed with the department phone number and the notice number of the letter.
While the recipient’s address is usually fully stated, there is often none scammer’s address for the negotiations department contact, even though the letter is allegedly from a corporate body. This is one of the indications that people had that alerted them that the letters were fraudulent.
The letter goes on to inform the recipient that they have a given number of days to contact the department and settle their credit accounts. In order to confuse recipients, the same letter sometimes includes the names of banks and other financial institutions that they have ‘worked’ with.
You will note that the letter never states which of those institutions, in particular, the recipient is affiliated with. Instead, they include the big names of banks that the recipient is likely to bank with and state that if the recipient is affiliated with any of those same bank, they should contact the department.
The letter then goes on to intimidate the recipient by letting them know what the consequences will be if they do not contact the department in the given number of days. These consequences often include increased interest on debts if they do not make a minimum monthly payment.
The letter includes a number to be called multiple times to prompt the recipient to call this number. They also include an example of how their debt payment program will look with estimated durations, debt amounts, and program fees.
What is the Negotiations Department?
In theory, a negotiations department of a debt reduction company would be the department of the company that deals with helping customers manage, negotiate, and reduce their debt. Unfortunately, this is not a real thing.
First of all, these mails are often sent from the negotiations department of unspecified companies, which is a red flag on its own. Secondly, most companies do not allocate these jobs to a department but rather have personnel that deal with contacting debtors and communicating with them.
If you find a letter from the negotiations department, you should immediately recognize that it is a fraudulent letter as the negotiations department does not exist. Debt collection firms and companies deal directly with their customers and rarely have such departments, if ever.
Signs that you are dealing with spam
If you are still unsure about whether or not you are dealing with a scam letter, we will outline some further red flags that you should look out for. Once you recognize these warning signs, you should know not to correspond with these people.
No company name
The biggest red flag that these letters have is the fact that these letters are not sent with any company name or address included. The negotiations department is mentioned, but it is not specified to which company the department belongs.
If you receive any letters regarding financial matters from unnamed or unindicated companies, you should not engage with them. It is most likely that they want you to contact them for nefarious or fraudulent reasons.
There is also usually no business address listed for these negotiation departments and no legitimate ways to contact them. Often, only a phone number is left behind, and they are hoping that you call so they can follow up with their threatening collections letter.
No specifics to your debt
Another sign that you are dealing with spam mail is when the letter doesn’t give any details of the debt you owe. A letter from a real debt collection agency should include things like your account statements, the outstanding or settlement amount you have to pay, and more.
These letters often use demanding and alarming vocabulary to scare you into calling their number, from where they will convince you to make monthly minimum payments for debts that do not exist.
If you have any loose or unsecured credit balances, they may find ways to access this information. That is why you should always be aware of any debts you owe and your credit card balances. If you are gullible enough, they will trick you and make you credit accounts that are not legit or official.
False personal information
In many cases, these scammers try to hack people to get information about them. However, this can backfire because it can lead to them having false information about the person. This is another sign that you are dealing with scammers.
Some people have reported that the negotiations department letters were sent to addresses they no longer lived at or issued to credit cards that they no longer used. Misinformation like this is a sign that there was an attempt to hack you and they ended up with wrong or outdated information.
A letter may come informing you that you have outstanding mortgage payments on a property that you have fully paid off. Some reports say that they received mail claiming that they owe money on credit cards that they haven’t used in years.
Unaffiliated contact information
The final red flag we can point out that indicates that you are being scammed is when the contact information left on the letter is untraceable. While these scammers often leave only phone numbers, they can sometimes leave other invalid contact information.
Before you call the phone number, check if it is registered to any company or organization. You will likely find out that it is not. No professional company or body uses unregistered numbers. This is your final big sign that you are dealing with scammers.
If they have left a contact email, which is unlikely, search if that email is connected to any businesses. You will find out that it is not, and it is just a random email created to scam you. If they have left a contact address, the result will be similar. The location may not exist or another business may exist there instead.
There is also no return address on these letters, which is another big indication that they are fabricated.
What to do when you want to negotiate unpaid debt
Many people end up caught in situations where they have large amounts of debt that they are unable to pay. This is the reason why most are so quick to believe that the negotiations department letters are real.
If you have an unpaid debt that you are finding difficult to pay, all hope is not lost for you. Debt settlement is a process that helps people who have a debt negotiate with their creditors and figure out a way to be pardoned for part of their debt.
The debt settlement process is usually carried out through letters, which is another reason why the ‘negotiations department’ scam works so well on some people. However, now that you are aware of what makes a fraudulent letter, you can properly correspond with your creditors to settle your debt.
The debt settlement process can be very long and complex as you negotiate with your creditors on different levels to pardon your debt. Often, you will have to be willing to make a minimum payment first, and then the rest of your debt will be excused.
The purpose of debt settlement is to convince your creditors to forgive a portion of your debt while you pay off as much of it as you can. In most debt settlement cases, the creditors will demand that the debtor pay off the portion of the debt that they can pay off up front.
The most important factor in debt settlement negotiations is the debt settlement letter. This is the written proposal that you present to the creditors where you state how much you are willing to pay upfront in exchange for a pardon on the rest of your debt.
Steps for debt settlement
Debt settlement is a complicated process, and there are a few steps involved in conducting a successful debt settlement. These are outlined below.
1. The first step to getting your debt pardoned is deciding if you want to work with debt settlement professionals or not. Debt settlement professionals are people skilled in settlement negotiations that assist debtors with the negotiations involved with settlement.
Hiring professionals can be very beneficial in ensuring that the settlement process goes smoothly and efficiently. However, debt settlement professionals can be very expensive to hire and if you are in a poor financial situation, you might want to reconsider working with them.
2. The next step is to save up the amount that you want to offer to your creditors. This step is critical as it would be a problem if you sent your debt settlement letter and were unable to pay the amount that you indicated upfront. Your creditors may first reject your proposal, causing you to have to suggest a higher price, so you should save above your offer.
This means that you should start preparing for your debt settlement months ahead of when you send the letter. This gives you enough time to gather the funds you need for your negotiations.
3. When you have the money ready, you can now draft out your debt settlement letter. The letter should include all relevant information regarding your debt, such as when it was taken, the debt duration, and the total debt amount. If you have already paid off some of the debt, you should also indicate this.
After you have included all the information about the debt, you should then explain your situation and the circumstances that make you unable to pay off the debt. Then, you make your offer. Clearly state how much you can pay upfront and make your requests for what you want in return. You can request total forgiveness on the rest of your debt, a pardon for a fraction, or other things. Just make sure that it is stated clearly.
4. Once your letter is fully drafted and sent, you should request your creditors to send in a written confirmation of their agreement. If a settlement has been reached, this written confirmation on their part serves as liability insurance for you if they want to go back on their word.
You should wait for this written confirmation before you send in your portion of the payment. This step ensures that both parties honor their sides of the agreement and creates records that can be used to hold your creditors accountable in case of emergencies.
5. Make sure that you keep in touch with your creditors throughout the process and afterward as well. Once you have sent in your payment, you may be tempted to cut all ties, but do not do this until you receive confirmation that all the terms of the negotiation have been fulfilled.
The pros and cons of debt settlement
Debt settlement is an appealing process that gives many people a way out of tough situations that they have written themselves into. However, while there are many benefits to the process, there are also some downsides, as we will list below.
The benefits of debt settlement are all dependent on the creditors accepting the terms and agreeing to settle. Some of these include:
· It can be lifesaving if you are in a tough financial position and cannot pay off your debt.
· It provides relief from the stress of dealing with debt, especially a long-term one.
· Debt settlement leaves you in a better financial situation and makes you able to pursue financial goals without worry or fear.
· When debt settlement goes right, you have more disposable income and more freedom and flexibility with your finances.
Many of the cons of debt settlement arise if your negotiations fail. Some of these cons include:
· Debt settlement can never be guaranteed, so you might go through the entire process and still end up in debt.
· There is a chance of leaving the process with more debt than you started due to missed payments over the negotiation time and late fees that add up.
· If you opt to hire debt professionals and the negotiations fail, you will end up in deeper debt as you now owe the professionals as well.
· Debt settlement, even when successful, can impact your credit score negatively. Your history of missed or late payments may still be reflected in your report or the debt settlement is displayed on the report, leading other creditors to distrust you.
The letters from the negotiations department have been proven to be fraudulent. Too many people have fallen for this scam, so if you or anyone you know has received such letters, pay them no mind or report them.
These negotiations department letters are riddled with signs of fraud, such as a lack of a return address, untraceable phone numbers, and no company name. With an awareness of these signs, you will be less likely to fall for this or any other mail fraud.
If you are someone who has debt and would like to negotiate your debt, there is a proper process to do this. That is the debt settlement process, and it involves writing a debt settlement letter. This has nothing to do with a negotiations department.
The debt settlement process helps debtors settle their debt with their creditors and frees them from the terms of their debt when they are unable to pay. However, keep in mind that the debt settlement process is not always successful and not all creditors agree to go through it.
If you owe any debts, the organizations that you owe will contact you with their names and brands on display, and sometimes firm recently settled accounts. Don’t fall for negotiations department scams anymore.