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Settlement and DV while on CCCS?


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Hi Everybody!! :)++

Although I’ve been reading these forums for a fairly long time, I finally decided to register and post a question regarding my specific situation.

Back in 2004, while looking successful, my finances were really a “house of cards”, one paycheck away from disaster. I made the decision, however, to go back to school and finish my master's degree, since the company I worked for at the time offered tuition reimbursement, provided I carry at least a “B” average. No problem, right?

Disaster struck. I got very sick in the middle of the summer term, missed many classes, and ended up with less than a “B” average. My company wasn’t interested in the sob story, so I had to swallow the thousands of dollars that I had forked over for that semester’s tuition. That was all I needed to blow the house of cards down.

Then came the flood. Without that reimbursement, I wasn’t able to pay my bills. I lost my condo, my three cars, and lots of other toys. I moved into my girlfriend’s (who surprised me by actually sticking with me when this happened) tiny apartment, put my few remaining things in storage, and borrowed my dad’s rusty, ragged-out 1988 Buick. I turned off my cell phone and lost touch with many friends. To top it off, I was robbed and nearly all of my clothes were stolen. Times were hard, to say the least. There were many times when we couldn’t buy food or shampoo – all of my money seemed to go into this sinkhole of mounting late fees, penalties, etc. I had to lean on my girlfriend, hard, and she somehow carried us on her $26k a year salary (communications jobs pay very poorly right out of college).

About six months or so after this started, I started getting calls from collection agencies threatening lawsuits (primarily NCO) in fall 2005. My dad got a skip-trace on me, which was embarrassing. Terrified and broke, I went on a beans-and-rice diet to save up enough money to get on CCCS, who I heard could at least stop the phone calls. I was being called at work by creditors, as were my work colleagues, and it was out of control and very embarrassing. My professional reputation and credibility was shot.

I finally managed to save up the initial $600 payment to CCCS in October 2005. My payments were to be $480 for three years, at which point I should be debt free.

At least in theory.

My original debt load was $13,568. Remember, this was supposed to have been a three-year program.

Two years later, CCCS has taken $11,520 out of my checking account.

And my current balances total $10,673!? I guess this is because of interest and over-limit fees that continue to pile up on the “rejected” accounts and interest being assessed by collection agencies (AFNI and NCO). I don’t want to call the collection agencies for my balance because of the way I had been treated in the past.

This is ridiculous.

I would really like to settle these debts. But can I do it while on CCCS?

They’re getting their little $20 payment every month and still charging something like 24.99% interest, driving the principal ever-higher, so what’s the incentive for them to accept a settlement? It's like a perpetuity to them, cash flow forever, just covering the interest.

Also, I've got a secured loan with CitiFinancial for around $4,000 right now. Can secured loans be settled? Needless to say, the car I collateralized it with is long gone....

And what about debt validation? Logic says that if I’m sending a trickle of money to the creditors every month, that I’ve implicitly acknowledged the debt….no?

To all who have made it to this point, thank you!! Any ideas and insight are HUGELY appreciated!!

Thanks again!!!

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