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The bank learned that I'm on a debt settlement program and...


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It's not rude to me so much as it's funny. It's an odd expression if you think about it. How often do you check and more importantly, HOW would you check that?

Do you have a gay guy come in wearing speedos to see if he can tempt your husband? That'd be pretty awkward.

At any rate, I think the consensus here is to stop using the settlement company. I would also add in that you should relax some and laugh, even if your financial life sucks atm.

Well... if you want the honest truth... he's a bit of a boobie-addict. I could certainly tell you all kinds of things that you would find amusing. ;)

So if the settlement company is the bad guy... how do you suggest I get rid of them? I'll owe them money if I drop out of the contract this early.

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Maybe so, but there's no point in devoting seat time to core curriculum and filler electives if you can take them online. You can take your major concentration courses on campus.

No... I'm past that point. I already have 2 years of school finished... all I need to take now are the classes that apply to the major/minor.

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No... I'm past that point. I already have 2 years of school finished... all I need to take now are the classes that apply to the major/minor.

Got it. Well, I sure hope you find a way to finish. I don't have to tell you how important it is.

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So if the settlement company is the bad guy... how do you suggest I get rid of them? I'll owe them money if I drop out of the contract this early.
Has your debt fixer actually done anything at this point? Are they actually paying your creditors (with your money) or are they one of those "...put you money into a savings account (which they administer) and then right before "charge off", they'll negotiate a lower payment for you...".

The reason I ask is there is the Credit Repair Organization Act (I think that's what its called) that stiupulate how a debt fixer is supposed to operate. Charging you money up front BEFORE they actually do anything is one of the no-no's.

(And...if you want to see if your husband is gay, send him to www.xtube.com and see what videos he watches).

And...by the way...welcome to the forum. We all really will try to help if we can...

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I didn't say you were being rude... I meant everyone else. What's up with being called a nancy?

I'm sorry, it's a joke I'm used to with friends, etc - a figure of speech. "Man up, Nancy" means "buckle up, soldier" or something similar. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and just dig in. Meant to be an encouragement of sorts.

Anyway, you came here for help - and we are giving it. It's obviously not the kind you wanted.

Did you want frank, honest sizing up of your situation and advice?

Or, did you just want us to agree that your credit union was being unfair and mean and give you some way to change their mind?

Because the credit union isn't being unfair. You are refusing to pay, then you get upset when they try to protect their rights?

You say "why are they suing so soon?" - I say, do you mean you were planning on paying them next week? No? So, why should they wait to sue until you are behind even more? They assume you have no intention on paying them anytime in the near future, and it looks like they are right. So, you are upset that they know you are trying to get out of paying what you owe?? :confused:

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Is this why everyone on here is so rude? All I asked was a question and I got my head bitten off.

I think you've been put in a position where you feel on the defensive. I think everyone really is trying to help you, it's just that it's an emotional and difficult subject and therefore you're overinterpreting. That's my take.

I agonized over the decision to sign up for debt settlement for months. I really didn't know what else to do... I felt completely backed into a corner. Now it looks like I may have to pay for yet another mistake. I'll owe the settlement company money too, you know?

Unfortunately, this is probably the case, though I'm hoping you won't owe them a dime. Especially if you file a police report about their practices.

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For the OP, this will be a lesson learned that most of us veterans here have already experienced first hand. I don't think anyone is trying to be rude but a few of these comments sure have been harsh medicine (please go easy on the newbies guys!).

The truth is debt management companies really don't help you any more than you can help yourself. And the other posters are right, most of the time these companies only hurt you more.

Lets be real. Do you really think they can keep the lights on and pay their rent and employee salaries by charging people a measly $10 or $25 a month to handle all their debts? They make their money by taking your payments and putting them in high-yeild, risky, short-term investments and then keeping the interest off it. If their gamble (with YOUR money) pays off, they can pay their operating costs and your bills. If their investment gamble doesn't pan out that month, they pay their own operating costs first, then your bills...which means they may pay less than they are supposed to or not pay it on time at all.

So what can you do? Well first, cancel your debt management program and start paying the bills yourself. Get a plan together of what you can pay reasonably and be prepared to make offers and counter-offers.

Contact each creditor and ask for their "loss mitigation department." You may have to go through several layers of phone monkeys to get to these people as they are usually difficult to get in touch with (hey, if they made it easy, everyone would call them). These are the people that you can negotiate a forbearance with to get caught up or to skip a couple payments. They can even do loan modifications to reduce your interest -- and they write it off their taxes so even they benefit from this.

Loss mitigation is usually a one shot deal. If you don't hold up your end of the deal you probably won't get another chance, so make sure you can do what you promise.

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I'm sorry, it's a joke I'm used to with friends, etc - a figure of speech. "Man up, Nancy" means "buckle up, soldier" or something similar. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and just dig in. Meant to be an encouragement of sorts.

Anyway, you came here for help - and we are giving it. It's obviously not the kind you wanted.

Did you want frank, honest sizing up of your situation and advice?

Or, did you just want us to agree that your credit union was being unfair and mean and give you some way to change their mind?

Because the credit union isn't being unfair. You are refusing to pay, then you get upset when they try to protect their rights?

You say "why are they suing so soon?" - I say, do you mean you were planning on paying them next week? No? So, why should they wait to sue until you are behind even more? They assume you have no intention on paying them anytime in the near future, and it looks like they are right. So, you are upset that they know you are trying to get out of paying what you owe?? :confused:

I never said that the credit union was being unfair. I was simply under the impression that this was unusual practice. My debt settlement company was the one that told me not to pay my creditors and that the likelihood of being sued was very slim. They said that they couldn't 100% guarantee that it wouldn't happen... but that they would do everything in their power to prevent it from happening. Including talking to the creditor's attorney and what not. They told me not to call the attorney's office (when I received the letter) because they would be calling them.

I wanted real advice... but you can't blame me for being upset when everyone just jumps on me for being involved with a debt settlement company. Instead of just telling me I need to get rid of them... I would appreciate some advice on how to actually fix the problem that apparently I've created. Do you understand what I'm saying? I need a little more than a "get rid of them". How the heck am I supposed to do that? And how do I keep from being sued now?

Oh, also, you should know that I hadn't wanted to put the credit union loan on the settlement plan... but I was told that all of my creditors needed to go on there so that they had a better chance of successfully negotiating.

Isn't it too late to work something out with the credit union? They've sent this to their attorney's office. The letter says I owe them the money now and that they are giving me the chance to pay them (in full of course... which I don't have $5000 just lying around).

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While some of the posts may have sounded harsh, it is good advice. I think it was said before but it's worth repeating....a lot of us have been where you are. We wouldn't be on this board if we weren't in the same position at some point. That being said...

If you can afford to pay a debt settlement company, why not send that money directly to the creditors? A lot of companies would rather see something than nothing, even if it is a little. Can you be sure the debt settlement company is doing what they say they are doing? That would be my question; where's my money going? How is it being applied and where's the proof?

We all get upset. We all were in a bad position. But the difference is we all did it ourselves or are doing it ourselves to make things right. You can do it. This board has tons of people that have done it. Hang in there.

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While some of the posts may have sounded harsh, it is good advice. I think it was said before but it's worth repeating....a lot of us have been where you are. We wouldn't be on this board if we weren't in the same position at some point. That being said...

If you can afford to pay a debt settlement company, why not send that money directly to the creditors? A lot of companies would rather see something than nothing, even if it is a little. Can you be sure the debt settlement company is doing what they say they are doing? That would be my question; where's my money going? How is it being applied and where's the proof?

We all get upset. We all were in a bad position. But the difference is we all did it ourselves or are doing it ourselves to make things right. You can do it. This board has tons of people that have done it. Hang in there.

The money that I am giving to the settlement people goes into a bank account for my settlements to be paid from. The fee is included in my monthly payment which is less than what I was paying before (separately to my creditors in the form of minimum payments). I can afford it because the monthly payment is less and I'm not currently paying the other guys. As far as I know... they are doing what they said they were doing. I have access to the account to see how much money I have in there. They have already contacted my creditors to let them know what was up, so the collection calls have stopped. Perhaps it wasn't the best choice... I was completely aware that I could do it myself. Unfortunately I have a problem with crying when things get emotional. LOL! I figured having someone tough doing all the talking would take a lot of the pressure off of me. I'm terrible when it comes to talking people into things. You can ask my manager! She's always on my case for not being able to talk people into opening up a store account (I work retail).

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eakub...Methuss's post explained alot.

I understand a 100% where you are coming from. I don't think a debt managment company can keep another company from suing you.

If you don't mind me asking...how much debt do you have them taking care of?

Like SAW said, obviously the credit union doesn't want to deal with you or the debt mgm anymore. Try calling the main district office and asking for hardship. Explain that you are willing to work this out....outside of Debt MGM. It's always worth a try.

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Hi eakub,

Welcome! I agree wholeheartedly with Methuss. Excellent points, all of them. What I will add is that when we're young, sometimes we haven't yet developed that sense of assertiveness that maybe is helpful in handling our own financial things. In that case, I can most definitely understand the allure in hiring a debt settlement company to handle it for you. And despite popular belief, not everyone understands how bad most of these organizations truly are. It's not like it's advertized in a late night infomerical after all, so we can't assume everyone knows.

My personal suggestion--allow yourself to feel this. Learn from it. Allow it to make you stronger in your resolve.

Go over your contract w/ the debt settlement firm with a fine tooth comb, find the out clause. Once you do that and once you remove them from the equation, contact your creditors to inform them of such and talk to whomever is necessary and let them know that you truly felt you were doing the right thing, but that you have since learned that these companies don't do business in a way that facilitates positive change, that you're concerned they aren't even getting their payments and would they please be willing to negotiate w/ you to settle.

All you can do is try...and remember, this is just money...don't give it anymore power in your life than it deserves. YOU should be making that money work for you, not the other way around. When I was feeling scared, that's what I kept telling myself..."This is only money...this is the business that is my life and I will handle it, I CAN handle it and anyone that gets in my way will be steam rolled..." LOL... life is one huge learning curve, ya never get to a point where you "know it all" but you can learn from things and do better for yourself.

This too shall pass, doll.

Welcome again!! (((HUGS)))

Elyse

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...As far as I know... they are doing what they said they were doing. I have access to the account to see how much money I have in there. They have already contacted my creditors to let them know what was up, so the collection calls have stopped. Perhaps it wasn't the best choice... I was completely aware that I could do it myself. Unfortunately I have a problem with crying when things get emotional. LOL! I figured having someone tough doing all the talking would take a lot of the pressure off of me.

I would just have a hard time forking my money over to a middle man. Fixing this stuff isn't easy and I'm sure it's emotional for a lot of people. But the way I see you either cry now or cry later. Crying now while fixing seems to be the best choice. I'd have to agree with the poster that said, 'Man up Nancy.'

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eakub...Methuss's post explained alot.

I understand a 100% where you are coming from. I don't think a debt managment company can keep another company from suing you.

If you don't mind me asking...how much debt do you have them taking care of?

Like SAW said, obviously the credit union doesn't want to deal with you or the debt mgm anymore. Try calling the main district office and asking for hardship. Explain that you are willing to work this out....outside of Debt MGM. It's always worth a try.

Including the credit union loan? The total debt is around $18,000 (the loan is only $5000 of it). That may not sound bad to some people... but my total take-home pay is a little over $700 a month.

What do you mean by "asking for hardship"? Can I still talk to the credit union about the loan? The letter from the attorney's office said I owe them the money now.

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$18,000 is a lot of money when you don't have it.

I don't know what the credit union would do for sure but it is worth a try to call and ask for someone that deals with late payments (not sure of the correct term but I think Methuss said it correctly) Talk to them, explain to them your situation, and just lay it all out. It might not do any good. They might tell you that basically they have washed their hands of you and you need to contact the collection agency. Atleast then you will know.

Then when you find out for sure if you can get some relief from them or not, then you move on to the next step. It's a slow process but you have to stay calm and tackle one thing at a time.

It will also help if you get all 3 of your credit reports. You can get them free once a year. Go over them with a fine tooth comb. Read everything on this board that you can. Learn. I promise you, your confidence will get stronger dealing with these people.

Hugs to ya.

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Oh I'm so confused now... I just don't know what to do. I keep getting conflicting answers from here and different things I read on the internet on the subject. Some people say that a debt settlement company is okay and others say that they are the scum of the earth.

How do I know I'm not making another mistake? It seems like that's all I've been doing lately.

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I agonized over the decision to sign up for debt settlement for months. I really didn't know what else to do

Errrmm... file bankruptcy ??? Even if you went into a 3 year Ch 13 plan, you'd probably pay about the same or LESS than what the debt settlement company 'plan' is AND you've have the BK court's protection from your creditors via the automatic stay. NO ONE could sue you no matter how unhappy they are about it.

Since you don't care about your credit, the bankruptcy can't hurt you any more than the settlement company will with judgments added on to that to booot. There's no lower limit to the amount of debt for bankruptcy, so the fact you only owe 18K means nothing.

If the debt settlement company told you they could stop lawsuits they were lying. They cannot FORCE creditors to take settlements and their power of attorney is pretty meaningless.. they can't stop lawsuits if the creditor/attorney won't deal. If the debt settlement company told you that the likelihood of being sue was slim.. they lied again. I just read a post where someone is being sued for far less money.. under $1000 !!! You owe 5 times that.

If you file BK, the debt settlement company would be included ... and it's also possible that the money you've paid in so far could be retrieved by the Trustee to actually pay your creditors.

Just an option you didn't mention ..and might be a better option than where you are now.

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I actually wanted to file bankruptcy. But I was told by my school's financial aid office that I would no longer be eligible for financial aid if I were to do so. That is why I chose the debt settlement route. :(

I really, truly thought I was doing the best thing. But now I'm so confused. I don't know who to believe anymore. You have no idea how many people told me to "go for it" when it came to asking them about debt settlement programs. I asked my husband what he thought... he said that I should wait a little longer to see if someone from the company contacts my credit union's attorney. If they don't, then he said I should drop out.

But if I drop out, then I'm afraid I won't be able to afford to go to school. Won't all my creditors start demanding money? Right now... I've barely heard a peep from them because the settlement company called all of them at let them know I was on a program. I don't have the money to settle with anyone right now. I've only made one payment to the settlement company. With only $700 a month coming in... its really hard to scrape together enough money to make an offer with. It would take a long time to save all that money... its just as long as with the settlement company, but at least they are supposed to keep the creditors off my back (and so far they have).

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Including the credit union loan? The total debt is around $18,000 (the loan is only $5000 of it). That may not sound bad to some people... but my total take-home pay is a little over $700 a month.

What do you mean by "asking for hardship"? Can I still talk to the credit union about the loan? The letter from the attorney's office said I owe them the money now.

Ask them if you can get into a "Rule 5000 re-age" program. (Those are the magic words.)

Here's the rule I mentioned.

That will tell them:

1) You intend to make things good.

2) You know about banking law, even if it's only a bit.

3) Let them know that you fired your debt settlement company because they were not taking care of things the way they promised.

That might get you out from under everything. It's worth a shot, anyway.

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Do whatever you have to do to get your butt in the seat come August!

State school or private?

If State, you got the Pell grant $4,200/year, then when you're in your actual 3rd year, the staffords are $5G Subsidized and $5.5G Unsubsudized plus little grants if they give them. All of that is not credit dependent and should help out a lot towards bills. You may work weekends or something if you can.

If you're still at a CC, then you'll only get the Pell, and would need credit for Xtra Loans. Most just work during CC like 20-25 hours a week.

The only time the bankruptcy or even bad credit in general can hurt you is if you go to a private university or grad school.

Do yourself a favor and major in something that ends with a specific job that pays solid middle class... otherwise you're just hiding out for a few years until reality returns.

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Do whatever you have to do to get your butt in the seat come August!

State school or private?

If State, you got the Pell grant $4,200/year, then when you're in your actual 3rd year, the staffords are $5G Subsidized and $5.5G Unsubsudized plus little grants if they give them. All of that is not credit dependent and should help out a lot towards bills. You may work weekends or something if you can.

If you're still at a CC, then you'll only get the Pell, and would need credit for Xtra Loans. Most just work during CC like 20-25 hours a week.

The only time the bankruptcy or even bad credit in general can hurt you is if you go to a private university or grad school.

Do yourself a favor and major in something that ends with a specific job that pays solid middle class... otherwise you're just hiding out for a few years until reality returns.

The school is a private college. They are the ones who offered me the best deal. The state university wouldn't give me nearly as much money. :( But the person I spoke with in the financial aid office (at the college I will be attending) said that if I files bankruptcy that all bets were off basically.

And just so you know... I want to major in biology because I want to do something I love to do. I don't care about how much money I'm making... I just want to have a job where I can be happy and where I can try to make a difference in the world. I checked out jobs around here... I would be making 3 times what I'm making now. Hehe... my husband is going to school to be an architect anyway, so what do it matter?

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Ask them if you can get into a "Rule 5000 re-age" program. (Those are the magic words.)

Here's the rule I mentioned.

That will tell them:

1) You intend to make things good.

2) You know about banking law, even if it's only a bit.

3) Let them know that you fired your debt settlement company because they were not taking care of things the way they promised.

That might get you out from under everything. It's worth a shot, anyway.

I read that link you posted... but I'm kinda confused. What does all that mean? LOL!

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The school is a private college. They are the ones who offered me the best deal. The state university wouldn't give me nearly as much money. :( But the person I spoke with in the financial aid office (at the college I will be attending) said that if I files bankruptcy that all bets were off basically.

And just so you know... I want to major in biology because I want to do something I love to do. I don't care about how much money I'm making... I just want to have a job where I can be happy and where I can try to make a difference in the world. I checked out jobs around here... I would be making 3 times what I'm making now. Hehe... my husband is going to school to be an architect anyway, so what do it matter?

Great you will be doing something you enjoy. However, what does your husband's degree have to do with your goals?

I agree with Clevercynic.

Anyway, I happen to think it does matter since we know that not many husbands and wives are in it for the long haul these days, for example, new hot dude or hot dudette, death, or whatever reason. Whatever, you do count on your ability to secure employment in your chosen field and hopefully also chose a field so that you will be able to support the kind of lifestyle you want to enjoy.

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Okay folks, before we stray to far into offering moral advice here, lets get back to the original problem.

eakub: To recap, you want to attempt a private college which has given you grants to attend that would be wiped out if you filed BK. Okay, that's out.

You're involved with a debt fixer that is obviously NOT helping. Debt fixers are only useful to the extent that all your debts are involved. Since at least one isn't, you need to get away from them. I'd suggest you read your contract to see how you go about canceling. If they imply that they'll keep all or part of your money, read up on the CROA. You may have legal recourse.

Then...work out a budget. Figure what you need for food, housing, transportation. What's left, divide up among your creditors. Once you know what you've got to work with, call each...as for their hardship department...tell them you've fired the debt fixer...tell them what you can pay. Don't agree to anything over the phone until you've had a chance to talk to all. Once you know whether or not they'll work with you, you'll be able to make an informed decesion about your next step. Maybe you just have to forgo the college grants for now...that might mean BK...that might mean full time employment somewhere.

The bottom line is...fire the debt fixer...get your money and power of attorney back. These people are NOT helping you.

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There is a fault in your reasoning. You say:

The money that I am giving to the settlement people goes into a bank account for my settlements to be paid from. The fee is included in my monthly payment which is less than what I was paying before (separately to my creditors in the form of minimum payments). I can afford it because the monthly payment is less and I'm not currently paying the other guys. As far as I know... they are doing what they said they were doing.

What they are doing is not paying your creditors, and getting you in a position where you will be sued. BK may get you kicked out of school, but so will a bunch of judgments.

Of course the payment is less than what you were sending the other guys- the DS company isn't sending them a dime. What you are doing is allowing the DS to use your money interest free, meanwhile the interest, penalties, and fees pile up on your obligations.

With a power of attorney, that DS company can sign your name to ANYTHING, including consent judgments, settlements, new loans, and anything else that is allowed under the POA.

I know you say you are getting conflicting advice, so think about this:

1 The people giving the advice, are they people who have no motive to lie, or do they stand to gain from the advice they are giving?

The people here do not know you, nor do they stand to gain from the advice. We work hard to keep profiteers off this board. Are some of the people giving this advice employees of agencies that are making money off of this?

2 The people giving the advice, have they been where you are, or are they giving advice in areas where they have no experience?

Every person here has been where you are. We know what it is like, being in credit trouble. Maybe the well intentioned relatives you are listening to do not.

3 If the advice to go with DS was good, then why are you about to be sued?

Good question

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