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Everything posted by debtfreein18

  1. Hi! Haven't been here in a looong time. With this board's help I was able to fend off a bogus lawsuit on my husband's behalf, write a few letters and between that and running out the clock on a few things, his credit is now in the high 600's/low 700's. Now wer are turning our attention to our mortgage. Background is we bought in '05 for $186k and put 20% down. Post-melt down it's worth around $70k and we still owe around $130k. Interest rate is 5.75%. BoA has the loan (they got it when they bought Countrywide a few years ago). We have never been late, not even once. We have a great income ($100k a year gross) and our only debt besides the house is a $16k car note, also never paid late. My credit score is mid 700's, DH as I mentioned is high 600's/low 700's. Never filed BK, never had a repo, DH does have a few very old paid judgements that are a year or two from falling off his reports. We can afford the mortgage payment as it is, so this isn't hardship thing. I just want to save on interest and pay it off sooner as we have 23 years left on a 30 year loan, I want to refinance to a 10 or 15 year. Idealy 10 year but if we can't get approved for that then 15 is fine, though we'd still pay it down on a 10 year schedule. So I've been kicking around the idea of a refinance with rates so low and was planning on calling BoA in November to see what my options might be, but they called me out of the blue a few days ago and said we qualified under HARP. I had no time to talk as he called me at work in the middle of the day but from the quick conversation he stated that they could offer a rate "in the mid 4's" and no appraisal was needed under HARP. That's as far as we got. So I plan to call back in the next week or two but before I do I wanted to get some unbiased info on HARP refinances. Is there anything I need to be aware of, questions I should ask etc.? Are their pittfalls or special advantages (other than no appraisal and being upside down not being an issue) I need to know about? Another issue, I'm the only one on the house and loan, we bought just before we got married and I had all the downpayment money from the sale of my condo. Between that, not being married, and DH's credit being in the toilet I just bought it on my own. Can he be added to the refiance under HARP (I'd like him to be)? Are we allowed to go from a 30 year to a 10 or 15? I suspect interest rates under HARP are higher than average since there is basicly no equity in the home but is mid 4's about right or should I shop around? We have plenty of cash to pay closing costs but obviously I don't want to pay more than necessary, what's a good closing cost quote (the last few times I've gone through pruchase/refinace costs were right around $2500 if that tells you anything). I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing. As I said we can make our payments just fine, to the point where we want to increase it by $500 a month just to pay it off 13 years ahead of schedule, so we don't HAVE to refinance, it would just be nice to save a little bit more interest if we can.
  2. Never mind, the link I posted doesn't work anymore. Sorry!
  3. Oh I know there is no crystal ball (if there were we'd all be rich!) it's just I'm not sure which way to jump when the poop hits the fan. And it will, this market is WAY over heated, I can't for the life of me figure out why the Dow has had a 20% run since fall. I thought for sure Japan and then Lybia would knock it down a peg but it just keeps chuging along. My DH's 401k is much more heavily into stocks (but he has a much smaller amount compared to me as he started his 401k much later than I did) so with me 100% in a bond fund and DH 100% in a stock fund, I figure we're covered either way, plus all my new contributions are going into a stock fund again (if it keeps going up, great, if it drops I'll be picking up stuff on the cheap). But I think we're in for a bumpy ride no matter what.
  4. Since you all seem to know what you're talking about.... Most of my 401k is in a bond fund. Assuming the markets crator they way you say they will (I anticipate a pretty big drop but not as bad as you all seem to think) later this year...how will bonds fair, do you think? My 401k investment options are limited, if everything is going to go to hell in a hand basket they way you say, and I have no other real safe harbor, should I just move the bulk of my nest egg to cash (we have a cash option in our 401k plan). And not to totally hijack the thread...I like the suggestion that the OP should open up a Roth. It can serve as an emergency fund and a savings vehicle for a home downpayment. Just invest on the conservative side since emergency funds should always be in a safe place and your investment goals are so short term.
  5. congrats! My husband also got a case dismissed w/out predjudice in IL and they never refiled, it's now SOL. Hopefully the same will happen with you!
  6. Here's a very helpful link about navigating small claims court in Cook County. Since your being sued for less than $10k it should be in small claims court. http://www.law-arts.org/pdf/Navigating_Small_Claims_Court.pdf It discusses sueing someone else as well as being sued, so just keep reading, you'll get to stuff that applies to you eventually. Meanwhile there is no reason not to contact the law firm and see if you can work out a settlement. If you can't work out something you can afford, they can't use the fact that you offered to settle against you in court. I recommend contacting them by mail only, stay off the phone as they may try and trick you into admitting the debt or agreeing to something you can't afford. No matter what, don't admit the debt is yours. Approach it like you aren't sure if it's yours or not but in the interest of time and money, you're willing to settle, etc. If you want, post any letter you're thinking of sending here first and we can review it for you, and make suggestions if it isn't quite right. What I would recommend is that any settlement you do get, make sure: it's in writing - you can afford it - it's conditioned upon them dismissing the suit - you pay them by cashier check or money order (do not let them take the money from your bank account electronically and do not write them a check out of an account you keep your day-to-day funds in, they may ignore your agreement and take it all) - if you settle for less than what they say you owe, they forgive the rest and can't sell the rest to another debt collector. <--- That last one is key, make sure they agree to that if nothing else. Otherwise you just wind up in the same boat again a few months down the road. However, while you're working with them to settle, still work on anything you need to answer the suit, just in case you can't come to an agreement you can afford. You don't want to be in a situation where they eat up all of your time in negotiations and when a deal can't be made, you don't have any time left to work on your court case. Again, you can post any answer here and those with experiance can review it and suggest any needed changes. Hardly anyone here is a lawyer, but enough people here have been in court often enough to point you in the right direction.
  7. Unfortunetly, your divorce decree doesn't mean anything to Cap1 (or any other creditor). You'd have to pay them and then turn around and sue your ex for the money since he'd be in breech of the divorce agreement. I supose you might be able to sue him before you pay cap1 and if/when you win and get paid by ex, you could turn around and pay cap1 but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one. BK may be your best bet depending on other debts you may owe, your income, assets, etc. but only you can decide if that's what you want to do. If you do decide to file, stop paying on all debts that you'll be including in BK and save up some money for a BK lawyer. For example if you have a car payment and you want to keep the car, keep paying on that, but if you have a credit card that you want to include in your BK filing, go ahead and stop on that payment. Shelter, food, heat, and transportaion are your main focus, everybody else can wait to get paid until you get your feet back under you.
  8. Good for you! If it is at all possible, I'd still shut that account down and open a new one at a new bank, just in case they change their minds and try to take it out again. If you decide to pay them at all (or any other CA/JDB), in the future either send a money order or open a checking account at a seperate bank than your usual bank and keep just enough money in the new account to pay your creditor, that way they can only take what you have in that account and can't touch the rest of your funds.
  9. Try contacting either of these IL firms, 1st consult is free, you can do it over the phone or by email. Depending on your situation, if they've committed violations that you could sue them for, they may take your case on contingency (they get paid if you sue CapOne and win). http://www.edcombs.com/ or http://www.smithlaw.us/
  10. Do we know of anyone that has successfully sued after NDA is violated (they verify the debt to the CRA)? Or does it seem to work so well that they just aren't stupid enough to fall into the trap?
  11. A friend of mine did her ch7 bk on her own, she also used a paralegal to help with the forms, but she did everything else herself. No assets, not even a car loan (owns a low value used car outright) just CC debt. It all turned out fine for her too. So it sounds like if a bk is going to be straight forward with little to no assets to protect, a thoughtful and thorough person can probably handle it on their own. I'm glad it worked out for you, OP. Long term unemployment mixed with medical bills, it's the rare person that can keep afloat with that one-two punch. Don't let the haters get ya down!
  12. Yup! My boss's daughter sued the drug company that made a well know birth control drug that likely caused her to have a pulminary embolism (that she was VERY lucky to survive). She sued on her own and got tons more than the class action people will likely get, plus she already HAS her settlement, the class action people are still waiting, as far as I know. I say find the biggest meanest bad @ss lawyer you can and see if they'll take the case. If they do, screw the class action and do it on your own, you may end up with a lot more, a lot sooner.
  13. I've found that most of the letters I need to write to be actually quite short. Some of the sample letters you find for debt repair ramble on for several paragraphs or even several pages and 9 times out of 10, just one paragraph or even just a few sentences is all you need. And once you write the first letter, you can often just tweek a few things to send the same letter to a different OC/CA. Take a validation letter for instance. All you need is the CA's mailing address and whatever account number they gave you on the dunning letter, and then a brief "I dispute this debt and request validation". You don't need to explain the law to them (they should already know it), you don't need three pages of itemized requests (they don't have to give you most of it anyway). Just keep it short and simple, otherwise your're just wasting time, paper, and toner.
  14. Strictly speaking, probably not but I would just to play it safe. I believe they have 30 days to try and get the verification and without the green card you can't prove when they got your dispute (or if they got it at all). Unless you're so hard up for cash right now that you can't afford the $5 to send it CMRR, I'd go ahead and do so.
  15. ChexSystems Customer Relations 7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100 Woodbury, MN 55125 And this is how I worded my dispute:
  16. Already sent to RJM, so as far as I'm concerned this little issue is behind us. Thanks to everyone here for your help!
  17. Update: I just got a letter from ChexSystems saying: It goes on to say if the bank ever does get back to them, they'll ask the bank certify the info before re-inserting it, and they'll let us know if that happnes (gee, thanks...). So for now, it looks like a victory!
  18. What ever happend with her repo'd car? Please tell me they're the ones that paid you!
  19. Find out if the deceased had an insurance policy on the mortgage. When my FIL died the insurance policy he and MIL had paid off the note so she owned the house free and clear. Good thing too, they didn't have life insurance and this is what allowed her to stay in the home since she didn't (and still doesn't) work. Odds are if there was such a policy that the executor of the estate would have told you, but if the deceased didn't leave clear info they may not be aware themselves that such a policy is in place.
  20. If all you want is for it to stop, send a C&D by CMRR and in about a week the calls should stop. If you want it to stop sooner, send it overnight (but make sure you get delivery confirmation). If they call after that, record the call(s) and if they send you collection notices in the mail, save those. Then find a consumer attorney in your area. The lawyer will help you sue them and not only get you paid but they'll be on the hook for your lawyer's fees, too! Everyone I've sent a C&D to has stopped contact though, I wish they'd violate me, I could use a free vacation!
  21. I hope this is true (or turns out to be true). I just looked online and at best I could sell my home for $120k, the note is around $140k (I paid $186k in 2005, ugh!). I'm at 5.75% and if I could refi at 3.5% (heck even into the 4's%) I'd be a happy camper. We aren't looking to move so I hope the market recovers by the time we are (at least 5 years, maybe longer) but it's making me sick that I can't take advantage of these rates because we are upside down.
  22. You only owe it if they can prove you owe it, and LVNV tends to not have enough evidence to present in court to win a case. I do encourage you to fight this. Keep reading these forums, give more information on they alledged debt your being sued for (the original creditor, type of debt -credit car, car loan, etc.- when you made your last payment) and we'll all do our best to help you. Also, google your county court system to find your court's website, and find the rules of proceedure. This will tell you what you need to do to answer the suit. You MUST answer and you MUST appear in court or you will lose automaticly. You can post you answer here before filing it and we can suggest any changes you may need to make. I know you don't want to go to court, but that's what scum like LVNV count on. However, if you feel going to court is just impossible for you to do (and again I do encourage you to fight this), then your best option is to negotiate a settlement out of court with LVNV. Make them an offer (say 20% of what you owe. If you owe $1000, offer them $200). They'll likely counter, keep negotiating but don't agree to an amount unless you are SURE you can pay it and still eat. Get this deal in writing, make sure they agree that the debt is then paid in full and they can't collect on the balance, or sell the balance to another junk debt buyer. Also make sure that they agree to dismiss the suit and then follow up and make sure they actually dismiss it. If you can, also see if you can get them to agree to delete this from your credit reports, may as well clean that up while you're at it. When you pay, DO NOT give them your bank account and routing number so they can electroically debit your account, and DO NOT mail them a check. Send them a money order, you do not want to let these people have your banking info, they can clean you out for the full amount, and good luck getting it back. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you do something. Either fight it or settle, but don't ignore it. If you ignore it you'll get a default judgement for the full amount plus court/lawyer costs. If you don't/can't fight in court you may as well negotiate a settlement and save some money.
  23. They also might sell your debt to another JDB and you'll hear from a new batch of idiots. It's called "wack-a-mole". If that happens, don't sweat it, just send a new C&D to the new JDB. Eventually it will be so old it will stop getting passed around (well, one would think anyway).
  24. If you're in Chicago, you're in Cook County so here is a link to Cook County's circut court website's self help area. http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/?section=PROSEPage And here's another helpful link I found about navigating a small claims cass in Cook County. http://www.law-arts.org/pdf/Navigating_Small_Claims_Court.pdf If you're not in Chicago/Cook, just Google your own county and you should get your county's court page.
  25. They aren't allowed to report and if they sue you'd have an affirmative defence (SOL) but nothing prevents them from trying to collect money from people (they think) owe them until the end of the universe. The only way to stop them is with a C&D, just send the following letter CCMR and be done with it. This not only tells them to go pound sand, but lets them know that YOU know if they try to sue you over it, you know it's SOL and you'll use that in your defence. Just keep it short and sweet.
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