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Debt Settlement .... Yes - Bronson and Migliaccio


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I came across this forum while researching the Bronson and Migliaccio firm - and it seems like a GREAT place to get some info and possibly also advice! This is my story - any helpful suggestions would be greatly appreciated!~

In Oct 2002, I was working on a business deal that was supposed to go through in a short amount of time. ‘Banking’ on that assurance, so to speak, I purchased some computer equipment from Compuserve on a special “no interest until 2004” credit card deal. At that point in my life I had never been in debt. Ever. I have one other CC, a Chase card which I’ve had since 1994 (always paid in full until these past few years.)

Needless to say, the business deal, though I continued to work on it, did not come through in all these years. As April 2004 approached (and the impending deluge of finance charges), I called the friend with whom I’d been working on the business project. He told me not to worry about the accumulated charges, assured me that sooner or later this deal WAS going to go through. So I went ahead and just started to pay the minimum amount to stay afloat. (April 2004 -- note that after that one purchase in Oct 02 I never used the card again. The initial purchase amount was approx. $2,500)

Well, a year later, still under constant assurances from this friend of mine that this deal WAS going to go through (eventually ....) I began to have problems paying my regular bills (and even food bills at this point.) Since I need my ‘regular’ CC to help stay afloat, I decided to continue with minimum payments on that and stop paying the compuserve one. (May 2005)

A short while after that, I had a massive accident, was hospitalized, had to have emergency surgery. My life really changed. I moved back in with my parents to recover. It has been a very lonng recovery time. I did not have insurance. Medical bills are quite large (about 30k), but there is legal action in progress there. During this time I started to get calls from HSBC - apparently the cc wasted no time in sending me to collections!

I was hopped up on pain pills and had other Major major things to worry and think about besides this stupid little (now HSBC) bill. They called every day. I just let it go to voice mail and didn’t worry too much about it for the moment.

In Aug I asked my BF at the time to call the 800 number they left and let those people know that I was recovering from a serious accident, was unable to pay, etc and that I really could not talk on the phone, or even get to a computer! They said it was not their protocol to talk with him, but only with me. He asked them to note it in their records anyway.

The calls continued and my recovery continued. My recovery took a lot of my attention, as new and serious medical conditions relatrive to the accident were diagnosed. With so many other things on my mind, the HSBC thing went further into the backgrround. I was about to write to them to deal with this BF directly, when I got a letter saying they had sold my account to “Arrow Financial Services”. (Dec 2005)

So - I wrote a letter to Arrow explaining my condition and asking them to contact said former-BF.

But in the meantime (Jan 2006) I got a letter from Bronson and Migliaccio. I got the standard letter I’ve seen others on this forum have received. The one saying I have 30 days either to pay the bill in full (which they say is now about 4,200$) or contest it.

I have since then received daily to twice daily calls from a surley-sounding, heavy on the New Jersey accent woman whose name I can never understand, informing me to call them asap “regarding a legal matter pending in my name.” (Jan-Feb 2006)

I have not accepted or returned any of the calls (don’t want to be recorded until I know what I am doing!!)

My current situation is that besides this Compuserve/HSBC/ArrowFinancial/B and M account, I only have the Chase card (I am trying to pay that balance down whenever I get my hands on some money - make regular minimum payments - and need the card for med bills, etc), I have a massive hospital bill on hold until my law case settles (whenever that may be) -- am unemployed, uninsured and continue to recover very very slowly from this accident (can’t walk! or drive!) ...... Financially I received a little sum of money as a gift and also a sum from the insurance med pay onn my legal case .... I need that cash to help with rehab costs! And can’t put it towards paying this card. I have contacted the friend from that old business deal that apparently “any day now”, blah blah blah, since he promised so long ago to help me with this bill specifically and am waiting to hear from him.

In the meantime, I want to know what to do about these B.M. fellows!! I understand it would be a good idea to write them a letter.

Honestly, I don’t think I’m worth them going after, since I have no possessions (well, besides clothes and books, and this now-old computer ;-)), I don’t own a car or a house, have no 401k, etc. Just have the med pay money and the xmas gift. (a couple 1000 in bank) ...... not to mention can’t walk, or drive, etc!

I am also wondering how much I could settle with them for. Since the original bill of purchase was about 2,500 and I paid about 100 per month from April 2004-May 2005 ..... I wonder if I could settle with them for around 1,000 or so? (don’t know yet where in the world that money is going to come from?!?!?!? ............. hmmm, physical rehab to learn to walk again or pay B.M.?!)

Wow ====

Any helpful suggestions on how to proceed here would be GREATLY appreciated! Along with this debt situation and my life-changing accident, and 3 family deaths in 15 months ..... this has been a ROUGH year indeed!!!

Thank you so much! :)

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hello! Thank you both for your responses! I appreciate your advice and insight into B.M.'s usual method of operations. I am writing out the DV letter now. Let's see what (if!) BM respond.

Do I need to receive their correspondence via regular mail, or could they fax me? (I will send my DV as registered mail.)

Thank you for your wishes for my health and recovery! It is a challenge...

This web site and your replies are wonderful resources. So glad to have found it!

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you can provide a fax # but again, i have never received a response to a dv i sent to them...the account bounces right to another agnecy.

the reason the calls may have stopped is because many agencies will transfer paper from one dept to the next and also, when an agency first gets new paper they pound it and then put it to the back burner and call less frequently unitl right before recall and then pound it again for one last shot. just my theory.

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You should send CMRR so that you have a signature on the green return card.

I am in the debt settlement biz so I am not speaking fromn personal experience. I deal with thesse creditors on a daily basis. BM is a collection attorney licensed in only one state. they are no different from a standard CA....they just use an attorney license which sounds more intimidating.

they have never responded to a DV. they simply pass it back to the JDB and the account is placed with another agency.

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You already have them for FDCPA violations for threatening IMPENDING LEGAL ACTION

They cannot legally collect on the debt if they sue you.. because it is SOL so you already have them on one violation and I bet they wouldnt sue you if it came to that.. so that's violation #2

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  • 7 months later...

Hello Sifxpert and others out there!

Thank you for your help last Feb!! B&M did as predicted; they received my letter and I never heard another peep out of them again! Months went by, I thought it was done, and then....

. . . I got a new letter from "Arrow" (They first wrote in Jan 05 before handing me to B&M.)

- July 26 I dv'd Arrow.

- Aug 25 they wrote that if they decide to "engage in further collection activity" they will verify the debt in accordance with the law, etc.

- That was the last I heard. (Arrow is friendly, the people have been nice. I like them :-))

My question now is how can I rebuild credit? The only negative I have is Arrow. I use a Chase cc for medical expenses (15%apr, now at $9k down from $12.4k! Am unable to get better APR.)

If I settle with Arrow, can I clean up my CR? (They now claim my bill is 4,749$!! Up from 4,200$ at beg. of yr.) What is the lowest I can settle for? I still have no income 1year+ now and lots of medical bills.

Any info will be very helpful! Thank you again! Apple

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Without being nosey, I'd like to ask why you are so worried about your credit? It sounds like the next several years of your life will be concentrating on other things, and not new cards, tvs, and houses. If you have a goal for the next several years (until negatives fall off credit report), then I'd try to repair. Otherwise, I'd concentrate on yourself, and concentrate on KEEPING CURRENT with everything else. This negative from CompUSA will go away. Creating more negatives will only increase the time needed to repair. You may be in luck to repair faster, but it sounds like you need the money for other things.

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hello Polarbearco - So true - I do not have any plans to make any large purchases any time soon. So I suppose in that regard the score is negligible. My only concern is that I would like to pay down my current chase cc (15% apr) and haven't been able to open another cc to transfer for better apr. I figure I added well over 1,000$ just in interest this past year...

Have you considered trying to get into Chase's hardship program? It sounds like you have a situation (your medical issue) that might qualify you to take advantage of thier hardship program, which will decrease your interest rate and decrease your minimum payment--sometimes these decreases will be dramatic. They don't want you to default. But you will have to let the account go delinquent for at least a couple months before they will even consider moving the account into hardship. And they like supporting evidence. If you have delinquent medical bills, that might actually help. Of course this all presupposes that you actually do have financial problems and are struggling to make the monthy payments on your bills and aren't just fishing for lower interest and such.

And don't make the mistake of thinking Arrow is your friend. They will be nice to you (maybe) for as long as it takes them to gather info on you that they will then use against you. Don't tell them anything they don't know and make them prove everything they think they know.

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Hello Aisle4! I'm going to try to get on a program with Chase (payment protector).

Currently I have no income, own nothing (except some t-shirts and this old '02 computer, for which, ironically I have this $4k+Arrow debt!!) and have an accumulation of medical bills getting close to about 40k$. Also am not fully healed yet - and somewhat depressed, I'd say.

Checked my report again: I now have 2 negative marks for this same debt! In addition to the original Negative from HSBC, Arrow has added a Negative!!! Can they do this??!

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hello Polarbearco - So true - I do not have any plans to make any large purchases any time soon. So I suppose in that regard the score is negligible. My only concern is that I would like to pay down my current chase cc (15% apr) and haven't been able to open another cc to transfer for better apr. I figure I added well over 1,000$ just in interest this past year...

Okay... but figure the math. You are talking about possibly settling with CompUSA on a $4800 balance. Even if they settle for $2000 with a deletion, that's still $2000 out of pocket.

Your short-term goal is actually to get a better APR on your $9000 Chase balance. Let's say you successfully get a 10% card to transfer onto. It'll take you years to recover the $2000 spent with CompUSA in saved interest. I'd suggest just paying Chase as much as you can as fast and often as you can. If you can pay Chase $2000 right now, that'll save you $300 a year in interest you would have paid.

Hope that all makes sense. (My philosophy on credit repair isn't trying to weasel out of debts, but to stop practices now that will cause new negatives tomorrow.)

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  • 2 months later...

Hello again! Thanks, Polarbearnco for the fin. breakdown -- makes sense. I guess I was hoping maybe they'd settle for even less than that (like a couple 100$... better than 0) I actually have no money to do either: pay arrow or pay down chase, so for now just stay with minimums, I 'spose.

In the meantime, Arrow just wrote me again! This time, 4.5 months after my letter to them, they have sent a breakdown of my payment history with compusa/HSBC and have written that they plan to resume collections action on this account!

Anyone: what does this mean?

My fin. circumstances haven't changed. So what do they have to gain by coming after me for this 4,000$ bill? Of course, they do not know my cicrumstances. They only know I stopped paying on that account last yr. If they knew my circumstances, would they relenquish?

Do I need to worry since they sent such a detailed letter? What could they do next?

Thanks for all assistance! So glad for this forum!! apple

p.s. (- Also ..... am I correct in understanding that Arrow and other CAs buy debts from CCs for something like 6-7 cents per dollar?! So if Arrow bought my approx. 4k$ debt for 6.5 cents per dollar, they paid about 260$ for it and then turn around and try to get me to pay1,000s?!

So the original creditor, with whom I made an agreement to pay, only ends up getting a couple 100$ and this "muscle company" (CA) gets 1,000s?!

If anyone should get the money I owe, it is the original CC. If I had the means, I would pay them, since I made a contract with them. I feel a sense of moral agreement to pay what I said I would. BUT NOT to ARROW! In fact, settling with the CA under those conditions makes no sense!! Is this really the way it is? Pennies for dollars?)!

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July 26 I sent a DV to Arrow via mail (NOT registered!!!) I couldn't drive and wanted to get letter out asap. The DV was basically the sample DV I got from this site (with the 30 day stipulation.)

Aug. 25 I got a letter from Arrow telling me if they decide to pursue my case, they will validate the debt.

Dec. 18 I got debt validation from Arrow (about 4.5 mo.s after my DV -- for which I unfortunately do not have registered mail receipt)

Are they within the 30 days to validate debt?

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You've got a long post going here that many will just skip over thinking its all been answered long ago...

But...realize that there is a difference between a CA and a JDB. JDB (junk debt buyers) are the guys that buy debts for penneys on the dollar...CA try to collect debts, and they may be working for the OC when they do that. For that matter, a CA may also work for a JDB.

Point is, are you sure the debt's been sold? If not, then any money you would pay WOULD go to the OC.

However, if you're out of work and you don't have any money to give them...then...have you considered BK?

None of these people are going to care that you're broke. Now that they've validated the debt, they'll continue to try to collect, and, likely sue. The only way you'll be able to stop that is with a BK...

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