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Where do I go from here?


daheata
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I have a credit card account that was originally an MBNA account, but switched to BoA after the merger. When it was still a MBNA account, it was in a 90 day late status, and I was making small payments to prevent it from being charged off. I continued making these payments after it went to BoA, but lost my job and could no longer make the payments, so it was charged off in July 2006 for $4,713. I started working in October and called BoA to try to work out a payment plan, but was told that the account was sent to Creditors Interchange. Before I received any correspondence from Creditors Interchange, I sent them a DV letter. Suffice it to say that CI never contacted me, nor did they ever place any marks on my credit (although there is a credit inquiry on one of my reports). Because I heard nothing, I called BoA again, hoping that CI sent the debt back to them and I could settle the debt with them directly, but I was told that although the debt was coming back to them, they would not settle it with me and were going to send the debt to another agency. They told me I may be able to settle it with CI if they had not yet sent the debt back to BoA. I called CI (I know, but I did document the call), to try to work out a settlement for less than full value where they also agree to get BoA to delete the negative entries (charge-off and lates) from my report. I figured I had all the leverage since my DV letter prevented them from reporting the account to the CRAs. CI told me that the best they would do is get BoA to remove the charge-off and say the account is settled in full, but not remove the lates, and only if I pay the full $4,713. They also told me this is a pre-arbitration account and that they are sending the account to the law offices of Mann Bracken LLC to file suit. What should I do at this point? Should I send a DV to Mann Bracken as a preemptive strike? Should I send a DV letter to BoA since technically it is not the Original Creditor? Should I continue to work with CI?

FYI, I am in the financial position now to pay the full $4,713, but if I do I want to have the charge-off and lates removed and I want to try to negotiate it down before I go that route. Any help is appreciated.

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In the past, including with another BoA account, I have successfully used conditional acceptance letters (i.e. if they cash my check they agree to delete) to have the account removed from my credit report. I would do the same here, at about 75%, but the problem is that the CA is not the one reporting to the agencies, BoA is reporting. Any settlement by me would require them getting BoA to agree to remove the listing. Has anyone had success getting a CA to have the OC remove the listing as part of a settlement?

Also, pertaining to lovebug's statement above, since BoA is not the Original Creditor, even if they are an assignee of the Original Creditor, why can't I DV them?

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My MBNA/BOA account wa charged off in mid 2006 and was substantially larger than yours (over $20,000). Mine was sold to Portfolio. Was yours sold to CI or just assigned to them for collection? Right away, Portfolio offered to settle for 50% and the guy said he would submit any offer to his boss if I made a lower offer. But I did not have any money. When I sent them a DV, they sent it to Eskanos and Adler f(a law firm) for collections. E&A is from California and apparently sues a lot, but usually only in California. I have read that they are now affiliated in some way with Mann Bracken. E&A never answered my DV and I have not heard anything from them. I am not sure why it was not sent to MB if the firms are connected.

MB used to be pretty meek. If you sent them a DV, they would send your account to another CA. But no more. They are actively suing people and sending cases to arbitration. There are a number of posts here by me, txtrouble, and others about MB and their arbitration. It is not a pretty thing. But it looks like yours may not have an arbitration clause, but apparently that does not bother them.

I would suggest you try for a deal with CI before it goes to MB. You know the rules: get it in writing, don't give them your checking info, try for a PFD, and make sure CI agrees not to report it. Based on what CI told me, they should be willing to go 50% on a settlement. Others have posted that Chase will take 50%.

With MB, it seems to be all or nothing. I have another account with them where they never answered my DV, never called, and have not sent it on to another CA.

I also posted here today on another post about CI.

Let us know what happens.

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My answer to all of the above is this...Although BofA was not your original creditor by name, they did purchase MBNA who was your original creditor. Therefore, BofA became your OC. If you take a peek at the FDCPA, you'll see that they clearly define the differences between a creditor and a debt collector. If you further examine the FDCPA, you'll see that Section 809, which is the section specifically regarding DV'ing, states:

ยง 809. Validation of debts [15 USC 1692g]

(a) Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing --

This means that the DV process which is governed by the FDCPA is only applicable to those defined as debt collectors, which BofA is not.

That being said, accounts that were listed on my CR's by OC's and not the CA's were handled by dealing with the OC's in question - not the CA's. That was my preferred method and it worked for me, however YMMV.

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This is the letter I am thinking of sending to Creditors Interchange. Thoughts?

Creditors Interchange

80 Holtz Dr

Cheektowaga, NY 14225-1470

Re: Collection Account for Bank of America #: ___________________

Amount: $4,713.00

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is to inform you that the validity of this debt is disputed. In the spirit of compromise, I am willing to pay this account at a 50% settlement if you and Bank of America agree to immediate deletion of this account from any and all credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). The purpose of this settlement is merely to have this item removed from my credit files. It is not to be construed as an acknowledgment of liability for this debt in any form.

If you agree to the terms and accept this agreement, certified funds for the settlement amount of Two Thousand Three Hundred Fifty Six and 50/00 Dollars ($2,356.50) will be sent to Creditors Interchange in exchange for full deletion of ALL references regarding this account from my credit files and full satisfaction of the debt. As certified funds will be used for payment, there shall be no waiting period regarding the deletion of this account from the credit reporting agencies.

Creditors Interchange and Bank of America agree to delete ALL information regarding this account from the credit reporting agencies WITHIN TEN CALENDAR (10) DAYS following receipt of payment as specified above and will not discuss the terms of this settlement with anyone. If contacted by any third party, including credit-reporting agencies, neither Creditors Interchange nor Bank of America will acknowledge that any settlement offer was made, accepted or executed and will, in fact, deny knowledge of any such account.

If you and Bank of America agree to the above terms, please prepare a letter on your company letterhead explicitly agreeing to the same terms as the above settlement offer and have it signed by an authorized representative of Creditors Interchange. In addition, have an authorized representative of Bank of America either execute a letter or an addendum to your letter agreeing to such terms. Such letter shall constitute a legally binding contract, enforceable under the laws of the State of New York.

Your response must be postmarked no later than 15 days from your receipt of this settlement offer or this offer will be withdrawn and I will take all measures provided for by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Please address all correspondence regarding this account to:

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