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Viking Collection Services


txtrouble
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Hi,

I was wondering if anybody has dealt with or knows anything about Viking Collection Services. Homepage: http://www.vikingservice.com/

I have a Chase Mastercard that is now about 8 months deliquient. The balance is approximately $19,000. Weird thing was Chase only contacted me once or twice about a month ago, they'd continue to send statements but nothing mentioning it being past due (just a curiosity since I figured most cards step up the effort after a month or two of a missed payment).

Anyway, started getting calls from Viking along with a letter in the mail. I haven't spoken with them yet but plan on calling them soon. I did a little research and it appeared to me (at least from their website and limited info on other places) that they were not junk debt buyers. However, I called Chase today to try to work something out and they said "We appreciate it however we have already charged off your account and its with Viking." I called another time just to see maybe a different person would work with me, no luck. Does this mean that the debt has been sold to Viking? Or could Viking simply be collecting on Chase's behalf still?

Other question was if anybody out there has any experience with these guys. What I found on the net didn't sound too promising, a couple of complaints. They have been slightly harassing, have called my parents 3 times, and as I understood could only call once simply to locate me and could not call again unless they feel they may have new information. This was the span of about a week. I'm getting a call from a "Jeremy" now. For a while a "Eric White" was calling, then a "John Martin." Now Jeremy is calling, all from Viking.

I've read many of the articles on this site and the forums fairly extensively. I'm very curious if anybody out there has any tips for dealing with Viking in particular. Also, if they've bought my debt and how I can find that out, it could make a difference in how I can negotiate it. I've called twice before and left voicemails b/c they do not seem to have extended hours and I cannot call during work hours. I live and work in Texas. I would like to try to settle the debt for something I can afford, which wouldn't be a whole lot. But I'm worried about them reneging on the deal, even if I get it in writing. Any advice out there? I've worked with my other credit cards before they went to a collector and have been pretty successful. I either got really good settlements or got the interest rates slashed. Basically, I had a lot of CC debt, a good credit score, low interest rates. Unfortunately, my debt to credit line ratio was poor so every single card jacked the rates up to 30% and this led to me not being able to pay.

So any advice out there with dealing with a collector would be much appreciated, especially Viking, but I guess they are all the same. Need to know what your thoughts on that I may be sued. Again, its almost $20K and I've read many other posters on here getting sued for much, much less. I would like to settle with these guys for $5K-$6K, paying out over several months as that is all I can afford. I figure if they are junk debt buyers, this may be possible (seen figured that they pay 3-7 cents per dollar).

Also, is their any way to simply just work with the OC? Sorry for the rambling, a bit bent out of shape....

Thanks in advance

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I haven't spoken with them yet but plan on calling them soon.

Don't you call them, and don't speak to them on the phone when they call just yet.

Do everything in writing, CMRRR.

Chase most likely has a deal with Viking that says, once it's turned over to them, they won't try to take it back. So you may have to deal with them if you can pay what you legitimately owe and are willing to do so.

This is what I would do:

In your CMRRR letter to them, don't ask, tell them how much you can pay each month, and include a money order for that amount. (make sure it's a reasonable amount) Take the time to use money orders every month, and still go ahead and change checking accounts in case Chase gives your acct# to them. An out of state online bank is always a good plan.

No matter how much you say you can pay, it's never enough. They will call and call and eventually write to let you know that you MUST pay a ridiculous amount each month, but they will still cash your money order each month no matter how much it's for. Save the receipts for the MO's.

You can ignore their demands for more at first, unless you are only sending like, $10 per month. (If you have a low income and so much overhead that you couldn't really pay much more than that, you may need to consider BK)

For a debt that large, I would pay at least $500 per month on it to try and get rid of it over the course of about four years.

They still may try to get a judgment so they can take a higher percentage out of your salary or take your savings account, but there is no need to stress out about it right now. One step at a time.

Get a phone recorder (they make them for cell phones, too), then take their calls if they call you. Viking isn't on the list of the worst ones out there, but they are known to be belligerent on the phone. Documenting violations against them while you are paying them off may come in handy later. Also save everything you get in writing from them.

If you keep sending them a reasonable amount of money each month, they should eventually leave you alone and just ride the gravy train.

What is the interest rate, and did they raise it as part of the agreement?

You should also wait to see what other members here have to say, because I usually miss something. Just relax for now and check back by Monday afternoon.

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THanks y'all for the quick responses. I didn't even think about Chase giving my checking/savings acct info to them. That's a very good point. I do not have a whole lot in savings and my checking account balance is never high for any length of time due to bills. I've considered bankruptcy and should have done it 4 years ago. We've been struggling that long and have been able to to pay everything in the past b/c the interest rates are reasonable. I don't think bankruptcy is too viable right now, although it may be.

As to the jacked up interest rates, all my credit cards did it to me around the same time. I had always paid on time, albeit they were minimums. When I called the credit card companies, they said it was b/c I had too much debt in relation to credit extended, in other words, my credit cards were near maxed out. Very annoying considering I had been a fairly timely payer, maybe a day or two late once in a while, but I had always paid. But when all my cards jumped for 3-5% up to 22% then to 29%, we just couldn't do it anymore. I called every one of the credit cards, told them of my situation (have a daughter and wife with disabilities that are expensive unfortunately) and that I had been a very good customer with most of my cards for about 7-10 years. None of that mattered. Basically, they said "We appreciate your loyalty and the fact that you've been a good customer, but your debt is too high, there is nothing I can do." Another call to each card company was that I was in danger of defaulting due to the high interest rates, didn't matter.

Anyway, I've gotten all of them straightened out (had to stop paying for 3-6 months). Unfortunately, the Chase card balance was so high I couldn't afford anything at the time.

To expand on one idea of sending them checks, somewhere on this site, I've read if you put in the "Comments" section of a check "Settlement for account in full" or something to that effect, that if they cash it, it means they've accepted it and its apparently enforceable in Texas and a handful of other states, even if they cross it out, or put other wording like "Not accepted." Any thoughts on that?

I guess one option is to do as you said, send them 500 or more for as logn as it takes. My only concern is I probably wouldn't be able to do that long term with my family's illnesses. Its too unpredictable. I'm really hoping for a settlement.

Also another note of warning on Viking, they'll spoof your caller id. They did that one time. Had the number coming from my home number (calling my cell), and it was Viking.

Thanks again and I'll keep an eye out for any other posts.

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Just a quick follow-up. Viking called my parents once again except this time they told them that I had worked out a deal with them but they just needed to talk to me again. Kind of a weird statement, unless they were phishing for information, such as work location/phone number. I would assume that this is a violation as well? Not only calling third party multiple time but also discussing debt/settlement (which the settlement or agreement did not occur, i have yet to speak with them). Is this just another sneaky tactic to try to get more information from my parents?

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