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Citibank - Pre-settlement advice


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Hi All!

I am new here. I found a link from Credit Boards and here I am. It seems like a very friendly place.

So this is my issue. I have numerous Citi backed credit accounts. They have all been sent to collection agencies 30-60 days ago. We are talking a total of about 50k (8-9 accounts). These are all accounts from a business that went under. I personally guarented the accounts so I want to pay them off. These accounts are not on my personal credit report but if I get sued and a judgement is entered they will appear on my personal report. I cannot have this happen as my personal credit is almost fixed and I am starting a new business soon and will need college financing for my son in 9 years.

So - I called Citi and they won't talk to me - they tell me to call the CA. So I came upon someone who has dealt with citi and tells me they can get me into a hardship program. He will negotiate a settlement and I will have 12 months to pay off the debt on the accounts he can get citi to pull back. I will also have to pay him a fee. He tells me he will deal with the hardship department.

Is this something I can do myself? I have read that citi is very hard to deal with. This particular department this guy will deal with is the hardship department that only has 2 people that work there. Anyone familar with this department.

I really just want citi to take back all of the accounts and I can pay monthly on them. Working out a settlement of course is great but if I could even just get a payment plan for now I would be ok with that - at least bring the accounts current so they don't report to personal. I should be getting a big tax refund and should be able to get a personal loan in 3-4 months which would give me some lumps of money to pay things off.

I have gone through the whole credit repair process and I did it myself. Debt settlement I have no knowledge of. I have been reading here and will continue to find information - but any advice is appreciated. Thanks

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Be GLAD they're not on your personal CRs yet.

If CITI sold the accounts to a JDB, you're not going to be able to pay CITI for them - they'll just tell you go send the $$ to the CA/JDB. If CITI WILL talk to you, and get you into their hardship program, that would be a good thing. It's always worth a shot. I have no experience with CITI so I can't give you any advise re: personal experience...

Oh I almost forgot - Welcome! :)++

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I have settled with Citi before chargeoff and they are good to deal with, if you get the right person. I also have a chargeoff from them that I could not settle because of the amount. I do not know if you can get into the hardship program after it goes to a CA.

I posted here recently on my experiences and listed the phone number you have to call for hardship. Use the search function and enter my screen name and Citi. I was responding to a 10-08-07 post by Newlywed. I am not smart enough to use the links.

On my one chargeoff with Citi, they sent it to a CA, but Citi still owns it.

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Since you mentioned in your initial post that you went to creditboards first, I assume I will not get in trouble for referring you to a post over there. Go to creditboards and use the search function to find an Oct 2, 2007 post by Karentut titled "my update on dealing with the Citi hardship program."

Again, that post deals with negotiating before chargeoff and does not address the issue of what will they do after chargeoff.

It sounds to me that you may have contacted one of those credit consuling firms. If so, do a lot of research before you deal with one. Most people here agree they are all ripoffs and will only make things worse. But, in fairness, there was someone who posted here or on one of the other sites who claimed that he ran one of those and had agreements with the major creditors and could make better deals because he knew who to deal with and he settled many debts at a time with them. Come to think of it, I think he got banned from here. It is probably best for you to stay away from that type of company.

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If you have the funds to bring these accounts current....call Citi. If these were "business" accounts, at least one of them should have a "business" related account information number for you to call.

DO NOT enter your account number...wade through the auto system until you get a human. Ask for a supervisor. Tell them you will bring the accounts current...ask where to send the money.

Once the accounts are current, the CAs are out of the loop.

If you don't have funds to bring them current...you can try the hardship routine, but, those are usually for personal credit only. Business related credit is not subject to the FDCPA, and, hardship programs do not normally apply.

Your best bet is to get in touch with some in the business credit department at Citi.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Guys,

I just wanted to say thanks for the help. I read the boards for a while and then I got really busy building my new business (tax time). I was going to hire the debt settlement guy, but I figured I would try to settle myself first. So because I was so busy, I ignored the situation for a while.

So a few weeks ago, I got a summons from a law firm for a Citi debt. The debt was about 9k. I freaked out. These are business debts so the FCRA doesn't apply and I owe the debts and at this point I did not want to even attempt to challenge the validity of the debt especially since I have used the card for personal purchases.

So I called the attorney and asked for a settlement of 20%. He countered with 65%. I countered with 50% and the settlement paid in full within one week. Deal. I brought the cashiers check in person to them and had them sign a letter stating that if the account is currently reporting to a credit agency by the attorney, any collection agency that had any type of responsibility for the account or citibank - I listed all of them, business & personal - that the account will be updated to a paid in full status. I also wrote that as of the settlement data - that the account will not be reported to any CRAs that it is not currently reporting to. I know I could have pushed for a pay for delete, but this account is only reporting to Experian Business and I don't care - I just wanted the clause in there that if it is not reporting to (ABC) CRA as of now, it will never get there. It is business so it shouldn't go to my personal now that it is paid, but I wanted to be sure. I didn't want to come right out and say - hey its not on my personal report, let's keep it that way, but I wanted myself covered. I also have a clause that this is paid in full and that the difference cannot and will not be sold or transfered to another collection agency, OC or current collection agency. So hopefully I covered all my basis.

So I made a list of every debt, money available and then I was on hold for 2 hours to get ahold of Citibank Internal Recovery. I was in a good position because I told them I had just paid off the one card with the attorney. I found out another account has gone to the same attorney so I had to pay that one with the attorney as well. They pulled all of the other accounts back for me which they told me for months they wouldn't do. I guess it matters who you get on the phone.

Account #1 9k settled for 50% w/ attorney paid in full

Account #2 10k settled for 50% w/ attoney paid in full

Account #3 1.5k settled for $800 w/ Citibank 3 months payments

Account #4 10k settled for 6k w/ Citibank 3 months payments

Account #5 7k settled for 3.5 w/ Citibank 3 months payments

Account #6 8k settled for 4k w/ Citibank 3 months payments

I paid the ones with the attorneys off in full because I still had to send the response to the summons back to the court. I have read all sorts of stuff that happened so I felt more comfortable sending the court my response with the settlement letter from the attorney along with a copy of my check, ect...Citibank gave me the option of the full balance over 12 months or a @50% settlement over 3 months. I had to take the three months. It will be tight for the next few months, but it is done!

So the debt settlement guy probably could have done this for me, not sure how much better he could have done, but it only took me 2 days to get this done and I would have had to pay him some percentage of the amount he saved me. So I think I did pretty well. I was SUPER nice to the attorney and Citibank. I chit-chated and was overly friendly. I told them the truth. I had a business, my mother got cancer in Nov, I left my business and had to uproot myself and my 9 year old to go over to Ireland and be with her. She died in June and it took me a while to come back here, get my son settled back in school again and get my life and finances back in check. It made for conversation with the people and I think it helped. I told them, I am not trying to make excuses, I am being honest. I did not pay my credit cards, but this was an unexpected tradgity that happened and I wouldn't change it. I said hey I got to spend the last 8 months with my mother that I wouldn't have if I was here working and that I am sorry I didn't pay my bills and I am back and I am paying them off.

Sorry for the long story - but if it wasn't for these boards I would be in big trouble.

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I'm glad this worked out for you. Hopefully some of what I said in my posts was of some help. Cna you help me? I have one Citi card now with a "Law firm"/collection agency that Citi still owns. Can you share with me who the law firm was that you were dealing with? If you don't want to post it here, you can send me a PM.

Our other five cards are in the hardship program and everything is working out well with them. With Citi, you just have to get the right person.

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