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HELP? Winn Law Group wants to sue me


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Hi all. I'm new to the boards and I am totally lost and don't know what to do. If these questions have been asked I apologize as I am slowly reading through all the threads here.

I'm 29 years old and considering filing for bankruptcy. I have about $60,000 in debt. About $18,000 of that from one car, $2,000 on the other car and the rest on stupid credit cards and personal loans. I made horrible decisions in my early 20's and am paying for them now.

Last week Winn Law Group sent me a letter stating that if I do not resolve a debt within 10 days they will sue me. The letter lists the original creditor as Washington Mutual and then Cavalry Portfolio Services.

I contacted Winn Law Group to inquire what I could do to resolve the debt (approx $6,600 WAMU credit card). The rep said I could pay in full. I asked about payment arrangements and she said, "In order for payment arrangements, we REQUIRE you to send us a DOWN PAYMENT of 25% ($1,700) immediately in form of cashier's check or money order". I asked for more time and was given until April 10th.

So yesterday I received another letter from Winn Law Group with the agreement for me to sign - $1,700 down and $250/month thereafter. They want this letter signed and returned within 10 days, keep in mind the $1,700 payment is due in their office by April 14th to give time for snail mail.

My question is - could I have negotiated down the balance/payments with these people and if so is it too late to call them back to try again?

Or should I just pay what we agreed to over the phone? The rep said this case was going to litigation already so I felt pressured.

I just don't want to be sued. :cry: Anyone with experience with Winn Law Group with any insight?

Or with all above considered, is Bankruptcy the best way to go?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. :-(

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Is this law group called Winn and Sims? If it is..here's some information about them.

Check the address that you have against this one...maybe they match up

http://www.budhibbs.com/collectorpages/winn_simms.htm

You have several different options on this.

But first let me say...NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR CHECKING OR CREDIT CARD NUMBER TO ANY COLLECTORS. That is the worst thing anyone can ever do.

Do not call them on the phone. It does NO good. If they are going to sue...they are going to sue. If you have no money to pay them....don't call them.

You can always send them a DV letter right away. Ask them to verify the debt. Ask them to show proof they are/you are the right person and the amount is right. Make sure you send the DV by certified mail return receipt requested. (CMRRR) It doesn't mean they still won't sue.....but at least you are finding out exactly what paperwork they have.

If you do decide to pay...just remember, it makes the debt look new again...and it still tanks your credit score. Also, some CA's are scum about payment arrangements and it just ends up making the whole thing tangled up more. Also making payment arrangements doesn't necessary mean they won't sue you.. they still can at any time. If you are calling them about this debt....it means to them...that you are willing to pay something. AND they will not negotiate down if they think they can get more out of you.

Most bill collectors say they are in the process of suing. Sometimes they lie. They try to scare people into making a quick payment......b/c when they do....you end up admitting you owe what they say you do....which in turn, makes it easier for them to sue you. Plus it makes it easier for them to tack on all those inflated charges. AND it scares people into giving them their bank account numbers. DO NOT DO THIS!!!!!

You might try settling directly with Washington Mutual.....but I don't know at this point if that would help you. You never did say how old this default is.

As far as Bankruptcy goes....I don't know what would be best in your situation. You should talk to an attorney to get all your options. Depending on your situation (job status or income) it may be better for you to file.

OH yeah......I wouldn't sign ANY papers Winn sends you...at all!!!!! If it was me I would send them a DV right away....and contact a Bankruptcy attorney and see what they say.

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If you are going to declare bankruptcy, DO NOT SIGN ANY PAYMENT PLAN WITH THEM!!

Just see a bankruptcy attorney. Follow theiir advice.

If you are NOT going to declare bankruptcy.

Get a local NACA attorney.

If you do not do that. Search that NACA attorney's case load at the local courthouse. Look for credit card cases where the NACA attorney kicked the debt collection's lawyer's a$$. Get copies of those pleadings from the court file! Get copies of the answer and motions. This may cost you $50-$100 depending on how much you copy.

If you get sued, it is NOT the end of the world. The main thing is you ANSWER and demand a jury trial! That will avoid a default judgment. This is a junk debt buyer and those suits are much more defensable than the Original creditor suing you. A good NACA attorney may not only win, but win your attorney's fees, given the bogus nature of the debt lawyer you face.

This all comes down to whether you have NON-EXEMPT assets to protect from bankruptcy.

If you don't have assets to save, just do a Ch.7.

If you have some NON-EXEMPT assets to save, do a Ch. 13 payment plan to keep everything. (If below $60,000 in NON-EXEMPT assets, but more than $20,000 in my opinion)

If you have more than $100,000 in NON-EXEMPT assets to save, dig in and fight. If you get a judgment, just sell assets to pay judgment and roll the dice that the rest of them will do nothing before the SOL is up.

Your NON-EXEMPT asset base should guide your decision as to what to do here.

Your future path should NOT be dictated by a debt collector scum jawboning you on a phone call. Its possible they are blowing smoke about suing. If they do, it is not the end of the world.

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It is hard to determine if you should file bankruptcy or not without your total picture. Try to post your numbers (without too much detail). We can try to help you then. You will want to check your states exemptions for bankruptcy to see where you fit (as was alluded to in a previous post). You can check your exemptions here:

www.legalconsumer.com and go to your state

If you have assets you are protecting, that is the key. If your assets will fit within your exemptions and your debt is large (this is a number you need to decide) then BK might be for you.

Interview several (3 or 4) BK attorney's - they usually have an initial free consult so you know where you stand.

Don't sign anything with the CA yet - don't close off your options. CA's always give a time deadline - that's their method. You want to examine your options and make a decision based on your timeframe - not theirs.

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Above all else; don't ever agree to any settlement or repayment plan unless you can afford it!!! The last thing you want to do is agree to something to settle a debt and then not meet your agreement.

If you don't have a good, working budget (I mean one you are truly living by) then sit down and do one...until you do you have no idea what you really have coming in or going out or what you can afford to do or not do.

Start prioritizing your debts based on size and who is or isn't beating on your door...start the DV process with any that are actively trying to collect and any that are just sitting there; leave them alone until they come up on the list you need to make based on your prioritization (from above).

Most people, if they have a decent job or at least the ability to work (two or three part-time jobs, etc) can work their way through their financial problems without bankruptcy if you simply don't give up and give in.

You really may need to file bankruptcy but don't ever forget that bankruptcy does not solve an income problem and/or suddenly make you able to live on more than you make...you have to identify exactly what put you in this position and then CHANGE THAT ACTIVITY because if you don't, you'll be right back in the position you are in now before you can blink an eye (and this time, you won't have bankruptcy to fall back on as an "out").

There is a ton of information on the board here...reading it and putting a plan together should become your new hobby for a while. :)

I wish you well.

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Robert is exactly right. The first step is a plan. Bankruptcy only solves past debt not income. The priority is how to handle your current income and current operating expenses.

1) Determine your income and spending plan (budget).

2) Determine exactly how you are going to handle the past debt. BK is a serious step not to be taken lightly.

This forum has a weath of information - including how to budget.

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