Friday, August 15, 2008

5 Things You Must Know Before Talking to a Collector

1. Know the Law – There are certain things collectors can and cannot say to you. For example a collector cannot threaten you in any way. This includes threatening you with a lawsuit. If a collector says they are going to obtain a judgment against you then they have to follow through. There are also statute laws regarding the age of debts and how long a collection can be reported to credit agencies. Know the facts before you speak with anyone.

2. Negotiate – The fact is that the older a debt the less likely someone is to pay on it and a debt collector knows this. You can negotiate down your debt and in most cases get some or all of the interest and fees waived.

3. 3rd- Party Disclosure Laws – A debt collector cannot discuss your account with anyone other than your spouse. Unless you give them explicit permission to discuss your account with anyone else they are not even allowed to leave a message as to why they are calling for you.

4. Get a receipt – Always get a receipt when you do pay your collection account. You may need it in the future. Debts are bought and sold all the time and another agency may very well call and try and collect on an account you have already paid off. Don’t let the collector tell you that your cancelled check is your receipt they need to provide you with one for your records. Never trust that a collection agency is going to mark your account as paid and not sell it to someone else.

5. Complain to the original creditor – If you are having problems with a debt collector or an agency harassing you or violating any laws one of the best places to take your complaint is the original creditor. Collection agencies are constantly battling each other for business and too many complaints against an agency may cause them to lose a client.

Remember that debt collectors and debt collection agencies have a strict set of rules they must follow when collection. Each state has set its own rules regarding conduct so make sure you know your states laws. Recording all conversations is a great way to ensure that you will not be taken advantage of by a collector and will provide the necessary proof should you need to report the agency.

For an insiders look at collection agencies and collectors read: Ghoul: A Dark and Humorous Look at Collection agencies by Bob Gage available at

Friday, August 8, 2008

Profile of a Debt Collector

Like most people in collections Bob Gage didn't expect his summer job to turn into a career. After more than 20 years as a bill collector he decided to pack up and leave the high stress world of collections and move north. In Washington on the banks of the Columbia River Bob found a much needed sense of peace and it was there that Ghoul was born.

Bob took his first job as a collector in the collections department of a major retailer. The first day he was still unsure exactly what a collector did thinking maybe it was someone who collected catalogs. He was shocked when he walked into a large smoke filled room of about 40 people yelling into phones.

Joining their ranks Bob saw this one time summer job develop into a career. He worked his way up from collector to manager and eventually to owner. Through the years Bob learned all the tricks of the trade. Keeping a cynical perspective of collections allowed him to find humor in an otherwise confrontational and stressful profession.

Ghoul: A Dark and Humorous Look at Collection Agencies is a collection of hilarious and sometimes unbelievable stories that Bob has acquired through his years in the collections industry. His insiders perspective sheds light on the secrets and tactics of an industry shrouded in mystery. It has been rumored that Ghoul has become the best and most truthful book ever written on collections.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Former Debt Collector Reveals Collection Secrets

For immediate release:

Finally a look inside the mind of a debt collector. Pikeminnow Publishing announces the long awaited release of Ghoul: A Dark and Humorous Look at Collection Agencies by Bob Gage

Vancouver, WA August 7, 2008 - Ghoul: A Dark and Humorous Look at Collection Agencies by Bob Gage ( takes you deep into the collections industry revealing its darkest secrets. Bob is a former debt collector with over 20 years experience who finally had enough.

This book not only gives an insiders perspective on how collection agencies work but also how to avoid and just plain annoy the men and women who make their living off poor debtors. Included in Ghoul are five-star excuses for avoiding your bill collector and valuable sample letters to get the calls to stop.

Anyone who is unfortunate enough to be hounded by a ghoul needs to pick up this book. For those thinking about going into the collections Ghoul is an eye opening account of the career that lies ahead. Even collectors currently working the trenches can commiserate with Bob's many hilarious stories.

The highly anticipated book from Bob has had both debtors and collectors buzzing.

"A fascinating look into the lives of those pesky people who call during the middle of your dinner. A must read for anyone who works or has dealings with ghouls. Bob hits one over the fence, can't wait for his next project."
- Sam Elvis Coe, Northern California Living Legend

"After 20 years in the collection industry, I have known many ghouls. I may even be considered a ghoul by some. I have seen people dragged down by the industry while others thrived with their cold-blooded tactics. My cynical perspective of the industry has always allowed me to find humor in it. The satire approach in Ghoul brings humor to collectors and debtors alike"
- Bob Gage

For more information or to purchase Ghoul: A Dark and Humorous Look at Collection Agencies visit