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Citibank and an 80% threshold?


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(It was suggested that I repost the following message in this thread):

hello all -

i've been trying to settle a debt for over a year with an attorney that Citibank has hired to sue me for a CC balance (orig debt was approx. $17K, now $23K with fees, interest, etc. and $28K with attorneys fees included).

He has repeatedly said that he can only go down to 80% of the entire balance (debt, fees+interest, and attorneys fees - $28K). I've told him I can't afford to pay the amount and we continue to stumble along to a court date for a trial (BTW, I filed a counterclaim under the FDCPA - received lots of harassing calls from Citi).

What is the fixation on 80% - is this something that Citibank has imposed on this attorney/CA?

Anyone have any first-hand experience settling with Citibank? Any advice out there? TIA....

:cool:

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A lot depends on a) how far you are down on your payments B) how much money you make (believe me, their spies know, the database technology is unbelievable) c) how much the debt is and d)if you've been paying on your other debts.

If you can give us more details - I can possibly give insights.

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admin - thanks for your post.

let's see if i can answer your questions:

a. i believe the account was co'd in late 2001 but haven't pulled a CR to confirm this. i haven't made a payment on this card since 8/2001 when i made a partial payment that was less than the minimum for that month. the current suit against me was filed in 7/03. the amount owed at the time of my last payment was approx. $19k (double checked this amount this morning - i mistakenly thought it was $17k in an earlier post);

b. well, i used to make a lot of money and i have a decent education (BBA/MBA) but i am currently a p/t "consultant" (not salaried) and haven't worked f/t since my company closed its doors in November, 2001. My earnings fluctuate but are less than 1/2 of what I earned in '01. I do not own a home, have few assets (now), am not married, and live in a cheap rented townhouse in a dodgy part of town - basically starting over.

c. the debt, according to Citibank is now $21,611.33 plus a request for $7,100 in attorneys fees (by Citi's atty in its motion for summary judgment).

d. this is the only debt that is in collection against me. i cut up most of my credit cards when i lost my job and settled the other debts against me. i have left two 'store' credit cards, two business Amex cards (in the name of my consulting company) - that's it. All of these cards are current. However, my CR is bad - recently had to pay in advance a $300 to open an account for a cell phone with Cingular (again, need to check my CR to see the score).

let me know if there are any other questions. thanks for your help.

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i gather that the attorney is counting on my enforcing his $27K+ judgment down the road if he can't find anything to attach (TX allows judgments to remain on the record for up to 20 years - 2x 10 year period). he's counting on me getting a good job before i die, i guess....

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Even if they are asking for $7000 in attorneys fees, it doesn't mean they will get them. The judge may feel your offer is reasonable, especially if you can prove hardship and that you are doing your best to resolve the issue. After all, you aren't skipping on the debt or filing a BK. I don't have a crystal ball, though, and the judge could side with Citibank on the amount they are asking.

Citi obviously feels, though, that's it's worth the effort to come after you. If you have a home, a judgment on the books means that you will have to pay off the judgment before you can refi or purchase a new home. Which means they will get paid.

I would definitely document all of your conversations regarding settlements. Lawyers do this be faxing written offers. You get the idea.

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well, i don't have a house or any other attachable property now. not sure why they would pursue me other than they think i will have something down the road (a risk given my poor luck!).

it is still perplexing - i have made reasonable offers to settle. given that i own so little, why wouldn't they choose the cash?

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Just settled a suit with Citi. They refused to go below 80% and stonewalled me with any further negotiation. Asked my attorney to give it a try. Here are the three options they offered him:

1) Pay the amount of 80% in one lump sum;

2) Pay the amount of 100% in 24 monthly payments; or

3) Request to settle for less than 80% by completing a

request form which includes providing the following

information:

A. Amount of proposed Settlement;

B. What is specific hardship (including proof);

C. Who is originating the offer;

D. What is the source of funds;

E. Are you settling with other creditors (provide

details); and

F. Why was offer of 80% rejected?

I went for Door #1 - couldn't imagine what else the settlement request form for Door #3 might ask for - too much personal info for them to pick through. My attorney was very frustrated by their settlement "rules" - couldn't even talk to the attorney assigned, clerks handle any negotations. When I went to court the Citi attorney had about 60 cases on that call alone - just got one default judgment after another as hardly any of the defandants appeared. Just wanted to let you know that I was subjected to the 80% solution, too, - it was much easier dealing with Crap One.

Raven'

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raven' - really helpful post. thanks much.

when did they offer you the third option (where you given a request form to seek a settlement lower than 80%)? how close to trial was it? was it before or after their motion for summary judgment? just curious how aggressive Citi is....

also, did Citi mention option 3 as part of a mediation or were you to just fill out the request form and send it in without going to a mediation session?

and, were you able to get Citi to remove any negative references on your CR? what did they agree to ("Paid as Agreed")?

last question: was it 80% of the debt you owed (as is normally mentioned in Citi's affidavit they file with the initial complaint)? or was it 80% of the debt AND the attorney fees requested in the suit?

the attorney in my case that represents Citi wants 80% of the debt (with interest) and his attorneys fees ($7.2K which is alot given the work involved).

thanks again...very helpful! :D

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when did they offer you the third option (where you given a request form to seek a settlement lower than 80%)? how close to trial was it? about 3-4 days was it before or after their motion for summary judgment? just curious how aggressive Citi is.... I don't have a lot of experience but IMHO they are very aggressive. The courts are with them all of the way, tons of default judgments. DH was just served on an account reporting only one late in the past 12 mos that he had paid down well below the credit line two months ago. We still can't figure that one out but we have to deal with it. I was also sued by Crap One (2 suits). I was able to settle each of them for about 50%.

also, did Citi mention option 3 as part of a mediation or were you to just fill out the request form and send it in without going to a mediation session? I didn't get that far, it wasn't appealing to me, I wanted this OVER - assume it would be a form they sent me and that they would get a continuance in court. My suit was for $5,000+ so it was set for court arbitration, as is the rule in our county (- $5,000 goes to small claims, $5-$75,000) goes to arbitration. They never mentioned private mediation

and, were you able to get Citi to remove any negative references on your CR? what did they agree to ("Paid as Agreed")? They wouldn't budge on anything, wouldn't sign my agreement, wouldn't even negotiate on my agreement - wanted me to sign their agreement where they would file a motion to dismiss w/o prejudice at hearing. They crowded me down to the wire but I went to the hearing with a cashiers check and before the attorney could get wound up I told the judge we had a settlement agreement and that I was there with the check and seeking a dismissal with prejudice without costs. The attorney wanted a dismissal w/o prejudice or a status continuance to wait for the check to clear. I took out my cashiers check and the judge ruled my way. I will have to do credit repair on the TL after the fact.

last question: was it 80% of the debt you owed (as is normally mentioned in Citi's affidavit they file with the initial complaint)? or was it 80% of the debt AND the attorney fees requested in the suit? 80% of the loaded amount - interest, filing fees (court costs), attorney's fees

the attorney in my case that represents Citi wants 80% of the debt (with interest) and his attorneys fees ($7.2K which is alot given the work involved). The attorneys fees were $350 - my suit was between $5 & $10,000. I settled at the first appearance, tho - all they had to do was file and serve me.

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raven' - one other thing (sorry for my pesky questions): No problem, we're all in this together. Manay, many others have helped me

sounds like you were dealing directly with Citibank - is this correct? or were you dealing with a law firm/CA hired by Citi? Their law firm, here in my state. I had tried and tried to settle this directly with Citi. Absolutely no interest until I was served, then the 80% solution.

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raven - thank you so much for this helpful information.

sounds like quite an ordeal.

although i've found a number of defects in citi's pleadings in my suit (and have filed a counterclaim against them for violations of the FDCPA and state debt collection act with a further claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress), I'd still prefer to settle before a jury trial (we're only at the summary judgment stage at this point)...

fortunately the county law library in my city has free access to the WESTLAW and Lexis/Nexis databases - i'm going to spend some quality time seeing if i can find some FDCPA cases that Citi has lost...

guess i'm stubborn but i want to see if i can get in a better position to negotiate with these b*st*ards.

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