Bartering/Ignoring collections agencies

Bartering/Ignoring collections agencies

I've checked the memories and searched online but I was hoping someone could provide a little personal insight, as my situation (just like everyone else's) is unique and there are a few questions I can't find answers to. So, due to a series of unfortunate events in my life, I've found myself in nearly $2000 of debt. This is a lawyer fee and a few different medical bills. The collections agencies are calling my phone everyday. I've tried a few different things, apparently all the wrong things. I am currently unemployed for all legal purposes (I work an under the table job part time) and am in school full time. I have a bit of credit card debt I'm afloat paying off, and other daily living expenses. I have no financial assets, aside from my car which is worth less than $1000. I thought it'd be the best and right thing to get on a payment plan with each collection agency, even if it were only paying $10 each per month. But after some research I guess that is the opposite of the best thing to do? I find it hard to believe that the best thing to do would be to simply ignore the phone calls for now, until I have saved up a bit of money and tried to bargain with them, but everything I have read has told me that I am a pretty low priority because I have no verifiable income and my debt owed is relatively low (the $2000 is spread between different collection agencies). Am I wrong to conclude that eventually they'll quit calling me and the letters they send me will offer a lower and lower settlement? Any advice would be helpful. I have tried talking to them but it gets me nowhere. Even after all the research I've done, I still can't gage exactly how much leverage I have. I am afraid they will be able to tell I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about and gain the upper hand. If you've ever haggled with a collections agency can you offer any advice? I am sure this sounds stupid, but I would really like them to stop calling me. If I send a letter requesting they only contact me by mail, with no mention of my debt, simply my request, will they honor it? Any advice you have would help.
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