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Settlement Offered - Funds Lacking. Need Advice


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Hello All,

I was being asked by Bank of America to pay a $33,000 debt. Their Fraud Dept and I disagree on the extent to which I'm liable to pay it. Fraud was perpetrated on my account for a number of overseas gambling related transactions, so I'm told. The line items on the statement contain 800 numbers that don't work.

I entered the claim in June. They've denied it twice. On the positive side, the same thing happened to me with my Capital One card and they've already resolved it to my satisfaction.

Back to the B of A. I sent them a Cease & Decist letter. I called them today to see if anything had been done. A supervisor called me back. She was selling the idea that it's already on its way to arbitration and one of their attorneys so they can subpoena me and go after the assets that I do not possess. I have the capacity to live check to check. Any calamity will put serious hurt on my family. I tried telling her numerous times that I would not accept a settlement on something I did not do or incur. She started at 21K and went down to 17K. I still don't have it. She offered the 17K over 4 months. I can't do that either.

1st Question - Given that the extent of their proof is a claim that they made phone calls to verify that it was me making the charges, will they really go to the mat to try and pry this money from me.

2nd Question - I assume they are not inclined to accept $100 a month X however many months it takes to get to $17,000. I mean, my credit's already ruined now, but I would hate to file BK over $33,000.

I'm told I have until the 28th of this month to call them back. I've been doing credit & collections professionally for close to 15 years and usually have a good feel for how far to push or be pushed by people. I don't know whether to call their bluff and effectively dare them to follow through on their promise.

Opinions welcome !

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Was this indeed a case of ID theft? You didn't incur the debt and have no idea of how it happened? If that's the case then you must file a ID theft police report and attach it to the required FTC affidavit. Then send that to B of A and by federal law they MUST trash the whole thing. they cannot bother you with it again or ever report it to the CRA's. just keep in mind if you file a false police report and then a false affidavit of ID theft and get caught.... you'll be going to jail.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Do not make any payment arrangements and start paying on this debt. If you did not really incurr this debt, you need to do ALL of your disputing with written correspondence and send registered or certified mail.

If you make a settlement agreement and start paying on it, you are validating the debt. This is what they want you to do and will threaten you will all kinds of things to get you to settle.

Write a letter to the credit bureaus again and attach all your correspondence so far with B & A along with their correspondence back to you. Try to keep all of these conversations with B & A written, rather than verbal. It is a lot easier to prove than "he said" "she said" if you have to go to court.

However, any conversations that you have had on the phone with anyone at B & A need to be logged with date, time, person you spoke with (first AND last name), their title, the subject matter, and any things that were said during the conversation. This is why most companies use the recording "this may be taped or monitered" so that THEY can prove what was said in the conversation for their legal department.

Write another letter to B & A that is stronger requesting them to "validate" the debt. You need proof from them that it was actually you that opened up the account. You can ask (and should ask) for any signed application docs, receipts, etc. that they would have in their possession. If you go to court on this to sue them, they would have to provide this as "discovery" to you and the court anyway. If they can't give this to you or won't give this to you, then write another letter that states your intention to sue them.

If this is ID theft, and it does sound like it, do what DUCKNCOVER wrote. This is the correct way to respond to an ID Theft situation.

Whatever you do, PLEASE do not pay them anything. It is a lot harder to prove it wasn't your debt later if you make payment arrangements and start paying on it.

Good Luck!:)++

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