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Upcoming interaction with Zakheim & Associates


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Today I saw a call from Zakheim and Associates on my caller ID. I assume that this is in regards to a Capital One cred card debt which I may or may not owe. I want to contact them and meet this head on, but I am completely unarmed with information. Any advice for what I should and should not do or say to them as well as what I might expect from both this upcoming phone call with them and beyond. This is all new to me. I live in the state of Florida and any information will be appreciated.

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First just read here and there are tons of threads on what a collection agency/attorney will say and do. It's what the board is about.

I would not call them if I was not prepared. If you call them just use alleged everytime you mention the debt or account. Florida is a two party state for recording purposes. There are ways around that, but to be safe I'd stay away from recording.

The conversation will go something along the lines of you owe money and how do you want to resolve this right now. If you say anything other than making payments right then on the phone, they will tell you your answer is unacceptable to their client.

I'd just counter that with sorry to hear that. It will just be a game. They will act like there is a huge sense of urgency. Basically implying the process server is getting ready to knock on your door.

Unless you want to pay them or make a deal with them, there is no really much to it. They will try to get you to pay them. They will probably use your first name, when talking to you, but refer to themselves as Mr. or Ms. collector. I enjoy arguing so if they do that to me I tell them they will show me respect and refer to me as Mr. You can hear the anger in their voice after you say that.

They will throw around the term retained and use legal jargon. Just about everything on the initial call will be a bluff. It's just a game. However, Cap One does sue and sue often. They also sue for small amounts. If the amount owed (allegedly) is low, you could tell them you will just elect arbitration. Do some research on private contractural arbitration prior to going that route with them. Generally speaking, for small amounts owed, an arbitration election can get them to move on. However, IT IS NOT GUARANTEED to make them go away.

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Thanks for the advice. I will scour the site. I have one more question. I am not even sure what they claim I owe at this point. What is the best way for me to request a copy of the debt they claim I owe?

Not to over simplify it, but you ask them. They don't have some special authority where you must do as they say or only speak with first spoken to. In fact, as stated above, by law they are required to send you a notice telling you that you indeed have the legal right to demand more information from them.

Pick up the phone, write them a letter, or send a valadation request and ask them whatever you want. Legally they have to disclose certain things to you (creditor and amount allegedly owed). There are other things they are not reqired, by law, to answer at this time. However, you can ask anything you want.

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Unless you have 60% of the debt, dont call anyone. If it is a high balance and you do not see yourself being able to come up with 60% within 90 days, you do not want them knowing you are alive.

Firms will become more aggressive including litigation when they know someone is home and Zakheim is one of these firms. I've heard of people writing return to sender on letters they recieve from local law firms to avoid being served...may be illegal I'm just saying...people go to lengths to avoid consequences of being sued especially by an original creditor.

Florida does have the homestead exemption protecting your wages etc but bank accounts are levied all the time. Be careful!

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