Here’s a weird one

I got a phone call yesterday from a woman who said she was from First Financial and was calling to collect $1522 (the amount past due according to her on my Beneficial loan). The Beneficial loan is my 2nd mortgage. I told the woman I sent in $1600 a few days earlier and she STILL wanted to take my check info over the phone to take out more money. She couldn’t understand why I sent more than what I owed. With my mortgage I will pay a little more when I can to knock off some of the principal.

Does this situation sound odd to anyone else?

I would call your bank back and ask why they called you. It sounds to me like someone was “phishing” for your information.

Actually I was going to write a letter with my next payment. My dealings with Beneficial on the phone have been nightmarish. They say one thing and make payment arrangements, etc and then turn around and tell me I’m in default when I stuck to my end of the bargain. I think this call was just another example of them going back on their word or it could be phishing as well. Anyway, I find it much better for my mental health and blood pressure to deal with Beneficial in writing.

We have agreed in our household that when anyone calls and tries to do any kind of business, be it a creditor or a telemarketer, we tell them, “I do not do any business by phone. Put it in writing and send it to me and I’ll look it over.” If you don’t want to hang up on them, just keep repeating it. They’ll give up eventually. But do not encourage them by giving any information. By phone it is difficult to prove who the other person is, and you can’t hold them to verbal agreements. You need everything in writing so that both parties are clear about what you have agreed to and to be able to defend yourself if it came to that.

My very first full-time job out of high school (years ago) was working for a finance company. The collections people kept ledgers (this was before computers) of each customer who was late and whenever they would speak to them by phone or in person, they would write everything down.

We all need to do the same. All conversations over the phone or in person, keep a record of the date and time, who you spoke to, the and the content of the conversation.

Better yet, stay off the phone completely. Any communication with anybody should be done in writing to have a paper trail.