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Been Lurking/Need some help re: confusion of how to approach my situation


Kay129
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Hi All,

I have been lurking here for a while learning a great deal about how to go about fixing the credit mess I am in. However, I am somewhat overwhelmed by the different processes/letters/etc. I took a look at the flowchart, the stickies and have searched relevant phrases in order to get some insight, but I think I need a little guidance tailored to my particular situation. Any help is very much appreciated.

I have some entries on my report reflecting late payments on cards that are currently open. I sent GW letters and will continue to do so.

I have two big horrible messes. Two credit cards that have become charged off. Last activity(payment) on each was in 3/07. I did not answer calls or respond to letters all summer long because I wasn't able to pay and I just froze in regards to dealing with the creditors.

One creditor is Target National Bank for $2,041.08. I tried to make a payment in mid-September but was told by the operator my account was "marked for collections." I didn't know better and thought that meant I couldn't try to talk to anyone there. Now I am recieving correspondence from Cohen & Slamowitz, LLP and the most recent letter (11/4) says "Because of your failure to satisfy the outstanding obligation on the above referenced matter, our client has authorized us to commence a lawsuit against you. Should you wish to discuss this matter with us, kindly call us at the telephone number set forth above."

The other creditor is Chase Bank USA, NA for 2,319.67. I DID make a payment, via Western Union in Mid-September. I had called the 800 number and spoken to an operator who told me I must make that payment if I wanted to prevent my account from going to collections. I made the payment but did not call back to follow up and now I am being contacted by Client Services, Inc. My most recent lettter is as of 11/12 and says that the account has been placed with them for payment in full and I may communicate with them. I spoke to the representative on Tuesday (she had called my work and I returned her call afterwards) and all I said was I was attempting to gather information about the issue and to please not call at work. She said "Oh, that's fine, I won't call you at work because I got your company's fax number and will be sending a verification form this week." Nothing has come through on our company's fax yet. I also asked her if her company owned the debt or if they represented Chase and she said they did not own the debt. Then she said "Good luck to you" and hung up on me.

Yes, these are my debts that I feel obligated to pay, and I am going to pay them one way or another. I previously didn't have the money to make payments and was irresponsible about handling the situation responsibly. I could kick myself for not having worked out arrangements with the OCs. I most likely can borrow approx 3000.00 from a family member to SIF right now. Or I could afford to pay approx $200/month total ($100 to each card) on a payment plan. Now my questions:

Do the debt collectors own my debt? Is it possible to get the OC to recall the debt? I am unsure of how to go about this, and the info in the forums is a little confusing. Do I send a letter, call the OC? Do I call the number on my old CC statements or should I call a different department? What sort of wording should I use? Do I ask to settle or work out a payment plan to pay the balance in full?

Do I need to go about the debt verification route? I know the debt is mine. The credit agencies scare me though and it's embarassing if correspondence does come in to my work. If I am trying to work with the OCs do I need to still correspond with the CAs as well?

Do I need to contact the CRAs if the bad things are truthful? I don't want to raise a ruckus and try to get out of something that is my responsibility in the first place.

I just really want to have this resolved as quickly as possible. In a perfect situation the OCs would work with me and I could repay them. I DO NOT want to go to court over this.

I admit total responsibility for late payments, and the default, etc. but should I still try to work out some agreement like a PFD so that my credit score is helped as much as possible?

Does anyone have anything to share that might help me get started? I am just so scared of making a mistake in how I go about this and I want to clear this situation up as much as I can. Reviewing these forums on my own has been very helpful, but it's hard for me to determine the absolute correct steps in my own situation.

Thanks for your help.

Kay129

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Hi All,

I have been lurking here for a while learning a great deal about how to go about fixing the credit mess I am in. However, I am somewhat overwhelmed by the different processes/letters/etc. I took a look at the flowchart, the stickies and have searched relevant phrases in order to get some insight, but I think I need a little guidance tailored to my particular situation. Any help is very much appreciated.

I have some entries on my report reflecting late payments on cards that are currently open. I sent GW letters and will continue to do so.

Before any other contact I suggest you do a debt validation for everything on your report.

I have two big horrible messes. Two credit cards that have become charged off. Last activity(payment) on each was in 3/07. I did not answer calls or respond to letters all summer long because I wasn't able to pay and I just froze in regards to dealing with the creditors.

This has happened to all of us...Time to deal with it...

One creditor is Target National Bank for $2,041.08. I tried to make a payment in mid-September but was told by the operator my account was "marked for collections." I didn't know better and thought that meant I couldn't try to talk to anyone there. Now I am recieving correspondence from Cohen & Slamowitz, LLP and the most recent letter (11/4) says "Because of your failure to satisfy the outstanding obligation on the above referenced matter, our client has authorized us to commence a lawsuit against you. Should you wish to discuss this matter with us, kindly call us at the telephone number set forth above."

DV them ASAP using CMRRR

The other creditor is Chase Bank USA, NA for 2,319.67. I DID make a payment, via Western Union in Mid-September. I had called the 800 number and spoken to an operator who told me I must make that payment if I wanted to prevent my account from going to collections. I made the payment but did not call back to follow up and now I am being contacted by Client Services, Inc. My most recent lettter is as of 11/12 and says that the account has been placed with them for payment in full and I may communicate with them. I spoke to the representative on Tuesday (she had called my work and I returned her call afterwards) and all I said was I was attempting to gather information about the issue and to please not call at work. She said "Oh, that's fine, I won't call you at work because I got your company's fax number and will be sending a verification form this week." Nothing has come through on our company's fax yet. I also asked her if her company owned the debt or if they represented Chase and she said they did not own the debt. Then she said "Good luck to you" and hung up on me.

First NEVER call a CA...

Send them a FOAD letter and specify no contact. if they don't own the debt why should you pay them?

If they do not stop send them an ITS letter for harassing you at your work place.

Yes, these are my debts that I feel obligated to pay, and I am going to pay them one way or another. I previously didn't have the money to make payments and was irresponsible about handling the situation responsibly. I could kick myself for not having worked out arrangements with the OCs. I most likely can borrow approx 3000.00 from a family member to SIF right now. Or I could afford to pay approx $200/month total ($100 to each card) on a payment plan. Now my questions:

Wait for a bit, the amounts will drop...you need to keep the upperhand and they can't do anything during DV

Do the debt collectors own my debt? Is it possible to get the OC to recall the debt? I am unsure of how to go about this, and the info in the forums is a little confusing. Do I send a letter, call the OC? Do I call the number on my old CC statements or should I call a different department? What sort of wording should I use? Do I ask to settle or work out a payment plan to pay the balance in full?

Wait until after the DV and dispute as many as possible

Do I need to go about the debt verification route? I know the debt is mine. The credit agencies scare me though and it's embarassing if correspondence does come in to my work. If I am trying to work with the OCs do I need to still correspond with the CAs as well?

Always DV, they need to prove it's yours, and that they have a right to try and collect

Do I need to contact the CRAs if the bad things are truthful? I don't want to raise a ruckus and try to get out of something that is my responsibility in the first place.

Very Honorable....But CA's are not, they will add fees and harass you

I just really want to have this resolved as quickly as possible. In a perfect situation the OCs would work with me and I could repay them. I DO NOT want to go to court over this.

Wait until the DV is done so you know who owns the debt, who you should negioate with...and they try PFD before any arrangements are made.

I admit total responsibility for late payments, and the default, etc. but should I still try to work out some agreement like a PFD so that my credit score is helped as much as possible?

Does anyone have anything to share that might help me get started? I am just so scared of making a mistake in how I go about this and I want to clear this situation up as much as I can. Reviewing these forums on my own has been very helpful, but it's hard for me to determine the absolute correct steps in my own situation.

Thanks for your help.

Kay129

Good Luck

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The first and foremost thing is you must send DV letters, whether you owe the money or not. Your rights don't kick in until you DV, and you must do it within 30 days of being contacted.

1. Get organizied.

2. The next time you get a phone call on the debt, you ask;

a. Who am I speaking with.

b. Are you affiliated with the original creditor

c. are you a collection agency. (check with your state and see if there licensed there if your state requires licenses. If there required to have a license find out what the license number is.

d. Get there mailing address.

Now is when you tell them that any further communication too you must be done in writing, and that you need them to send you a collection letter to you. That you cannot discuss the merits of this debt until you have it in writing. Do not except faxes, ever.

Verify with them the address they have on you so you know there sending it to the right address. Hang up. Don't discuss payment plans, Don't discuss anything just hang up.

Wait two - three weeks. If you get no written responce send them a DV letter.

Understand that Fed law does not protect you unless you DV. Remember you have a legal right to verify the debt, and the accountability of the debt.

If you feel confident that you can pay back the debt then you need to make (a) a payment plan, or (B) a lump sum payment. However the key is to try and get the negative trade lines removed. In some cases you can negotiate this as part of your settlement agreement. However, do nothing unless you have it in writing. A lump sum will give you more leverage.

It costs money for a CA to file a lawsuit against you. Believe it or not that actually can play into your favor. Trust me there not in it to file lawsuits especially if you have nothing, there in it to get money. If you truly have no assists in your name, not married etc... you don't get paid a lot etc... the chances of them filing against you are nill. Throwing good money to get bad is dumb business. Chances are it would cost them $3000.00 in legal fees to go after less then $3,000. I don't see it happening.

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Thanks for responding. A couple things:

It's been over 30 days since the CA contacted me. And yes, I have recieved written correspondence from them. But I will go ahead and DV them today, since it seems that what I've read on the forums is that there are differing opinons on the 30 day time limit -- I'm under the impression that you get more rights within the 30 days but the CAs still have to verify the debt regardless of when you contact them. Am I right?

Also, I own my car, it's worth about $9000.00 and I bought it in full when I recieved a small inheritance after a relative died. Would the CAs go after that?

Also, what about contacting the OC directly? Is it recommended? Do I try to negotiate a settlement or payment plan?

I am under the impression that regardless of what I decide to do, it is necessary to send out my DV letters so I will today - CMRR and all. Thanks for the info and if you have any other answers for me please let me know.

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Thanks for responding. A couple things:

It's been over 30 days since the CA contacted me. And yes, I have recieved written correspondence from them. But I will go ahead and DV them today, since it seems that what I've read on the forums is that there are differing opinons on the 30 day time limit -- I'm under the impression that you get more rights within the 30 days but the CAs still have to verify the debt regardless of when you contact them. Am I right?

Also, I own my car, it's worth about $9000.00 and I bought it in full when I recieved a small inheritance after a relative died. Would the CAs go after that?

Also, what about contacting the OC directly? Is it recommended? Do I try to negotiate a settlement or payment plan?

I am under the impression that regardless of what I decide to do, it is necessary to send out my DV letters so I will today - CMRR and all. Thanks for the info and if you have any other answers for me please let me know.

Start with the DV's. The 30 day rule is put in place in Fed law to allow you breathing room once the collection process starts. After the 30 days is up its open season and your the target in the middle of the open field.

You have to remember that CA are not just looking at you there looking at thousands upon thousands of people. Its a numbers game. They want to avoid going to court as much as possible because it costs them money.

The DV lets them know that you are aware of your legal rights and that your putting those rights into place. There is nothing stopping them from filing a suit against you if you DV them after the 30 days, as I have been lead to believe. That's why most states require them to disclose your rights somewhere on that first collection letter. In a nut shell they are informing you that they are trying to collect on a debt, and you have 30 days to protect your rights against us collecting that debt.

Chances are slim that they have you in there tickle file under, "File Lawsuit on day 45". Your Debt is less then the cost of sending a lawyer to court.

However don't mis read that either. You can play ping pong with them only so long. At some point your debt will be kicked to the next level and someone is going to look at things like, how long you have been at your present job, what kind of job is it, what's your pay scale, etc...Do you own your own car. Do you own a home, property etc..

If they determine that you make enough money, have a long history working for the same company, or maybe even made a recent switch that elevates your pay scale, then there opportunity of garnishing wages increases and then it becomes favorable to take legal action. Same goes for equity.

The first test is the amount of debt you have vs your equity. You become a priority the more collection debt you have. For example if your Collection debt was $35,000.00, your going to the top of the hit parade list. (remember collection agents get paid a commission when they bring in money) The person assigned your collection is going to spend some time doing title searches, reviewing county tax records etc... to find out exactly what you own. If you have equity, stocks, multiple vehicles that type of thing, then yes chances are your going to be slammed with a lawsuit in shorter amount of time then others. The CA wants to protect that equity you have. By filing the suit they can lean property, put assets in suspension pending a court hearing, depose you and ask you all kinds of questions like, do you have a safety deposit box, what kind of jewlery do you own, furniture, all kinds of things. Depending on the court system they can demand that all those items be placed in escrow holding pending the outcome of the case. OJ Simpson is the poster child on judicial process when it comes to selling things. His professional awards etc... were leaned, and he was not allowed to sell anything unless the proceeds went to the Rod Goldman family.

Also remember they look at whether your married and if your spouse has equity, good job etc.. Some states allow them to go after the spouse.

Regarding your car. I would look into NY collection laws as to whether they can take your vehicle. Check the web and find a consumer protection lawyer in your state, one that answers questions vie email and see what they say. I would venture to guess that they can take your car. Cars and toys, ie: boats, Quads, recreational vehicles things like that are the primary target in the eyes of a collector. There easy to sell, and the more equity you have in them vs. the debt you owe makes them very attractive.

If your state allows them to seize vehicles then you need to start putting things in place to protect that car. (a) you might want to look at transfering the title to someone you trust, parent sister, brothers, etc... for the duration of your battle. (B) get a loan using the car as collaterial. Remember if there is no equity in the property there is no benefit in trying to attach it. Personally I would go with the title transfer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I've DV'd the two collection agencies that contacted re: my 2 CO'd CC accounts.

I have my CR's, signed up for a MyFico trial and a Citi Identity Monitor Trial and I am attacking my negative TL's 1 by 1.

I want to write a letter to my OC's on the CO's - the CA's are not listed on my CRs yet, so I am under the impression that although they have not yet replied to my DVs I should contact the OC to see if I can make arrangements with them.

Does that sound like a logical next step? Would a PFD letter to the OC be a good idea, or do I need to wait to hear from the CA? I don't want the CA to get to my CR if possible, and I don't want to run out of time to settle or PIF with the OC.

Thanks for the thorough and thoughtful help already.

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But what if the CA is not listed on my credit report? My 2 Charge Offs are listed with the OCs, the CA's are not listed on any of my CRs yet they have been sending written correspondence advising me they are collecting a debt, and I thought that was enough to send a DV. The OCs do not want to talk to me. There is no TL on my CR listing the CA to dispute. I am confused and havent seen this addressed.

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Also, the CA's already have threatened lawsuits. I want to pay the debt I owe - just not to the CA for some unverified amount. I'd rather work out a plan with the OC, the CO's occurred earlier this year and I want to fix my credit rather than wait 7 years for it to fall off.

Thanks for all of the help - I'm grateful for all insight/opinions - helps me be more aware.

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