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Question: Does it matter if the collections attorney is lying about who they represent if I know they now DO own the debt? Am I right that they own the debt? Texas resident. . I have two accounts in collections from 2013/14 when I was unemployed. I let my fear and shame rule me, so I did not talk to my creditors at the time, and have since then been at a complete loss as to how to proceed. I am now determined to get ahead of these. My finances are now back to where I can make payments. I have also applied for a Lending Club loan in order to pay all at once, but I don't think I will be approved for that because one of these two accounts (smaller one, different collector) is showing up as a collections item in my credit report. I received a letter from Scott & Associates last week that states a Notice of Intent to File Civil Law Suit for the $5000 debt (the larger of the two I owe, each from different credit cards). I called the OC bank and they confirmed the amount and that the debt had been charged off and the phone number for the new contact person matches the phone number in the letter. This is a collections attorney. I called them this morning to feel out where things stand. Status: They say they represent the OC bank, and that all money I pay to the collections firm will go back to the OC. They have added $80 in court fees to the original total, because they have already printed the suit. Next step is that I will be served with a suit. They say I cannot slow this process and they cannot say how much time I have before the suit is processed and signed by a judge. They have offered that I can pay 57% lump settlement pay-off, or a monthly amount towards the total debt. I called the OC bank to try to clarify. They confirm that the account was charged off to Trak America. The phone number they gave me does match the phone number in the letter. BUT, they are very clear that they do not own the debt, Scott & Associates does not represent them, and that money given to the collections firm will not go back to the OC bank. Questions: Are they misrepresenting themselves? Does it matter? Note: my top priority is preventing this from going to court. I recognize my debt to the original creditor and want to pay my debt. An affordable lumpsum settlement would be great, but paying off the total in a legit way is fine. As long as it's legit. Here is the text of the letter: --- Creditor: [Original creditor, a bank] Total Amount Owed: $5xxx.xx Our Account Number: [their own acct # for me] Dear Mr./Ms [last name], As you know, this law firm represents [PC] in connection with the Account. We have attempted to contact you regarding a possible resolution: unfortunately, we have either been unable to speak with you or we have spoken with you, but were unable to reach an agreement. As a result, WE HAVE DECIDED TO FILE A LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU. If we do not hear from you, the next correspondence you should expect to receive from us is a copy of the lawsuit. THIS MATTER CAN BE SETTLED! PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS MATTER! Contact us to discuss settlement options. Sincerely, Scott & Associates, P.C. This account is issued and administered by [OC], successor in interest to [XXXX Card Services] * Please be aware that we are a debt collector attempting to collect a debt. Any information which you provide to this firm may be used by us for that purpose.* ---
Question: Can I call them to start the conversation and indicate that I want to settle? Understanding that all must be in writing from them before payment/etc. Texas resident. I am trying to figure out my best next steps. I have two accounts in collections from 2013/14 when I was unemployed. I let my fear and shame rule me, so I did not talk to my creditors at the time, and have since then been at a complete loss as to how to proceed. I am now determined to get ahead of these. My finances are now back to where I can make payments and can Dave Ramsey-style pay off all my credit card debt. I received a letter from a collections attorney firm last week that states a Notice of Intent to File Civil Law Suit for the $5000 debt. I called the OC and they confirmed the amount and that the debt had been charged off and the phone number for the new contact person matches the number in the letter. I see conflicting information here in the forums re: whether or not calling the CA is appropriate. I understand not making payment or trusting a deal until it's in writing. But my first priority is preventing a law suit. I do not deny the debt to the original creditor. I cannot afford an attorney to represent me in court. I would rather settle this before it gets to that stage. Can I call them to start the conversation and indicate that I want to settle?