"That bill has been sitting at the bottom of your paperwork pile for a while. Despite your best effort, ignoring it hasn't made it disappear.
"Now you've acquired somebody who wants to be your new best friend-- a debt collector.
"You can't wait any longer to face it. In fact, many credit experts say too often consumers dodge the opportunity to resolve their money issues with the debt collector.
"If you know you lost your job and you don't have the money to pay your creditors, don't be reactive, be proactive," says Robin Holland, spokeswoman for Equifax, a credit reporting agency.
"Many people don't know what to do when it comes to working out a deal with a debt collector. The following questions could help:
- An account sent to collection can be deleted from your report.
- Paid-in-full accounts are better than settled ones.
- You can be sued after the statute of limitations ends.
- Credit card charge-offs can't be deleted from your credit report.
- If you have a debt in collections over $2,000, you won't be sued.