One important thing to do when you are speaking with a debt collector is to take detailed notes. The more detail that you can provide about the conversations with collectors, the more credibility you will have if you are involved in a lawsuit against the collector.
Moreover, the more knowledge you have of your conversations, the more intelligently and persuasively you can speak with the debt collectors. Debt collectors are notorious for putting false information in their notes in order to make you feel bad in an effort to convince you that you broke your promise. Isn't it is ironic that a collector would lie in order to use your sense of morality against you?
When a debt collector says, "This is what you discussed with us last week," and it is inaccurate, it is empowering to have your notes at hand to tell debt collector exactly what was discussed. It is not unusual for a collector to call one day and make an offer only to have the same collector deny that such an offer was made a few days later.
Naturally, the more detail the better. The more organized and prepared you are, the less likely you are to be badgered by or taken advantage of by rude collectors. I've talked about that on this blog here.