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My husband has a Capital One account, which is at $7500. We defaulted one payment (due to a medical reason), and it's now up to 25.9%. We can no longer afford the minimum payments. It's been past due since Aug '05.

We received a phone call from a man who has told us he's collecting for Capital One. We have never received a letter from any collection agency about this debt. We still get statements from Capital One. Anyway, we told him we can only afford $100 per month, and were told that's not acceptable, they need at least $300-$400 a month. He now calls once a day if I answer, or will leave a message on machine. He gets very rude on the phone. He's told me we need to figure a way to get the $300-$400 a month, even if that means selling anything we own, which is nothing really. He's even suggested we sell our cars (shich we do not own) and get cheaper ones. He's given me his name, but not of an agency.

I have read on different websites about sending a letter to Capital One asking them to stop charging interest and late fees, and also asking them to reduce the amount owed, and telling them we are going to send a certain amount each month, like a payment plan. I read if I do this, and send a check with the "first payment" amount and they cash it, it's like they are accepting this offer.

My husband is afraid they will sue us and garnish his wages. We live in Pa.

We appreciate any responses on what we can/should do.

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If the last payment you made was in August, then chances are it is Crap 1, the original creditor (OC) calling. An OC is not governed by the FDCPA, so in general, they can be as nasty and persistent as they want. And, generally, Crap 1 is nasty...

So...basically...you have two choices...

a.) If you do have some money to work with, call Crap 1 and as to talk with the "hardship" department. You may have to try several times before you get to someone who will listen. Explain your situation, and ask if you can be placed on their hardship program. If they agree, they'll lower your payments and interest for some period...like a year, usually...and then, review your account to see where it goes from there. Be careful to make sure you understand what they're offering. Sometimes, if you skip a payment or are late, then they rescind their offer and you're in deeper.

b.) If you don't have money (or if you can't come up with the amount they want under (a), then your next choice is wait. They'll turn it over to a collection agency (CA) soon, and then you can play the DV, ITS, lawsuit game (read, read, read...there's lots of info about this on the board here). You do stand a chance that they will sue...but if you can't pay their fees, you don't have many other choices...

Good luck...

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