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please help...CA won't negotiate


martiniyoung
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I have been communicating with Academy Collection Service for an old debt due to Citibank. The total amount due is around $18,000. I was faxed a letter from the CA stating that if I paid 13k they would mark my account "settled". I told them this was not acceptable and faxed them a copy of the agreement to compromis debt letter from this site which states they will delete any derogitory entries from all three of my reports. They basically laughed at me, told me they had no way of doing that and that they were now going to sue me. What else can I do?!? Would you just pay the 13k and take the hit, or do I really have bargaining power?!? Thanks in advance for your input!

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You do have bargining power because you have something they want very badly - your money and the more quickly/easily they can get that money from you the better for them.

But, how much bargining power you have depends on a lot of factors such as how willing they are to sue and the strength of their case if they do...how long that process might take even if they are sure they will win...how old the debt is (and how close the SOL is)...how judgment proof you are or aren't, etc.

You also need to understand that the CA (or the OC for that matter) has no obligation to netotiate at all - they have a legal right to demand the full amount owed.

By the way, they lied when they said they "can't" delete the tradeline - they just have to want your money badly enough to take the actions required to delete the information from your bureau report.

Negotiation a settlement is a lot like playing poker and just like poker, style and talent can often mean more than the actual cards you are holding.

Whatver you do...GET IT IN WRITING and if you settle for even $0.01 cent less than is actually owed, make sure the settlement says that the amount you are paying is "SETTLELED IN FULL".

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In this case, I think they just gave you "bargaining power"... Citi has to sue you, not Academy Collections - that would be a violation of the FDCPA on their part to claim they're suing you.

§ 807. False or misleading representations [15 USC 1962e]

A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

(5) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken.

Citi will not hesitate to sue. Any negotiating should be done directly with Citi at the executive level. As Robert_Nashville pointed out, get everything in writing.

Also, you have to be ready to settle in one payment - it's very unlikely they will set you up with a payment plan. Something to keep in mind.

With the CA's violations, they gave you the ability to get the entry removed completely from your files - file complaints against them for violating the FDCPA with the FTC and both your and their State Attorneys General (Consumer Protection Divisions).

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Guest sifxpert

I would even take it one step further..when you file an AG complaint usually the complaint needs to be in writing. I would file the complaint and make a copy to send to Academys compliance officer accompanied by your initial settlement offer but make it 50%. It should be a slam dunk since Citi will always settle for 50% with CA's and mention that you will withdraw your AG complaint ONCE YOU HAVE IN WRITING THAT THEY WILL DELETE AND AGREE TO 50%. You can go on line to find out who their compliance officer is.

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In this case, I think they just gave you "bargaining power"... Citi has to sue you, not Academy Collections - that would be a violation of the FDCPA on their part to claim they're suing you.

§ 807. False or misleading representations [15 USC 1962e]

A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

(5) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken.

Citi will not hesitate to sue. Any negotiating should be done directly with Citi at the executive level. As Robert_Nashville pointed out, get everything in writing.

Also, you have to be ready to settle in one payment - it's very unlikely they will set you up with a payment plan. Something to keep in mind.

With the CA's violations, they gave you the ability to get the entry removed completely from your files - file complaints against them for violating the FDCPA with the FTC and both your and their State Attorneys General (Consumer Protection Divisions).

Hello Doc so basically you are saying the CA agency cant sue you ? only the OC can sue ? ?

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Hello Doc so basically you are saying the CA agency cant sue you ? only the OC can sue ? ?

The OC is footing the legal bill, so to speak, so the OC sues - this is normally done via a debt-collection attorney in your area - not a third party CA located on the other coast.

Specifically in this case, there's no evidence that Academy even has legal counsel on staff (looking at their website) or engages in litigation, hence the FDCPA violation. They'll simply turn the collection back to Citi who will then forward it to an attorney for litigation.

Keep in mind that the term "CA" is generic - in one form or another (generally) anyone who engages in collections falls under some degree of regulation, whether they are an attorney, or a "run-of-the-mill CA" - so it's not exactly true that a CA cannot sue - however, the OC must approve it...

hope that makes sense.

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I would even take it one step further..when you file an AG complaint usually the complaint needs to be in writing. I would file the complaint and make a copy to send to Academys compliance officer accompanied by your initial settlement offer but make it 50%. It should be a slam dunk since Citi will always settle for 50% with CA's and mention that you will withdraw your AG complaint ONCE YOU HAVE IN WRITING THAT THEY WILL DELETE AND AGREE TO 50%. You can go on line to find out who their compliance officer is.

In most states the AGO will do this so you don't have to. I was able to challenged sherman/alegis/LNVN/ and some sleasy layer through and AGO complaint. I should have sued them in court but this was the fastest way to get the action I desired; collection ended and removed from my CR.

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