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Advice with CC debt


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I'm looking for some advice on what to do here.  My CC account was almost 90 days overdue (I was unemployed for almost a year and had trouble paying) and I received a letter in the mail saying that it would go to collections if I didn't call them back.  I ended up calling them on 3/14 telling them that I recently found a job and that I would like to be put on a payment plan.   I made it clear that I did not want my account going to collections and the lady I spoke to put me on a payment plan of $145/month starting from April 1st. 

 

Four days later they ended up sending my account to collections on 3/18 and I started getting called from a collection agency.  I didn't find out about this until 4/1 when I called citibank to ask about my account because they ended up taking $145 out of my account on 4/1.   I was confused because my account was sent to collections on the 18th and they still took money out on the 1st.  After telling them I was supposed to be on a payment plan, they said that the lady set me up for a type of payment plan that doesn't prevent it from going to collections.  They told me that they are now going to try to get the account back from collections. 

 

What I am wondering is:  Will my credit score still reflect going to collections if my bank retrieves my account back?  I'm just wondering if there's any point in having the bank get my account back if it's going to show up on my credit score anyways.  

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If Citi acts fast and continues to accept your payments, they should be able to retrieve it back from the collection agency.  It's still pretty new and the collection agency may not report at all if the account goes back to Citi.  

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Thanks.

 

I just got off the phone with someone from citibank and they weren't able to retrieve it back from collections.  I'm a really frustrated here because I was under the impression that my account would not go to collections when I set up the payment plan on 3/14.  It sounds like the original lady that I talked to that setup the payment plan didn't know what she was talking about.  There's pretty much nothing else I can do at this point with citi right?  I just have to deal with the CA at this point right?

 

I had a few questions in dealing with CAs as well:  

 

Is there a point in sending a debt validation letter if I know this is debt that I owe?

 

What is the exact process of finding an amount to settle with if I am not talking to them over the phone?  Do I just send them this letter (http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forms/sampleletter6.shtml) with the amount that I want to settle for?  If they reject, do I just send them another one with a different amount?

 

Does length of time a debt is with a CA affect credit score?  I'm asking this because I read in the guide that the older the debt, the smaller the settlement.  

 

Is there ever a time when it's okay to accept a payment plan?  I'm just worried that I won't even have enough money to settle for an amount.  

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I just got off the phone with someone from citibank and they weren't able to retrieve it back from collections.  I'm a really frustrated here because I was under the impression that my account would not go to collections when I set up the payment plan on 3/14.  It sounds like the original lady that I talked to that setup the payment plan didn't know what she was talking about.  There's pretty much nothing else I can do at this point with citi right?  I just have to deal with the CA at this point right?

 

Stop your payment plan with Citi, then immediately.  Scum bags. 

 

Is there a point in sending a debt validation letter if I know this is debt that I owe?

Yes, absolutely!

 

 

What is the exact process of finding an amount to settle with if I am not talking to them over the phone?  Do I just send them this letter (http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forms/sampleletter6.shtml) with the amount that I want to settle for?  If they reject, do I just send them another one with a different amount?

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/debt/settle_debts.shtml

 

Does length of time a debt is with a CA affect credit score?  I'm asking this because I read in the guide that the older the debt, the smaller the settlement.  

The older the derog, the less it affects your credit. 

 

 

Is there ever a time when it's okay to accept a payment plan?  I'm just worried that I won't even have enough money to settle for an amount.  

NO!  Never accept a payment plan.  It's better to save up on your own and then offer them a settlement for less than owed. 

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Thanks for your help with this so far.  I can't tell you how frustrated I am with Citi right now but in the end I understand it was still my fault I let it get out of hand.  I really just want to clear this mess up as soon as possible.  This is my first time dealing with this and I do feel a little overwhelmed with all the information on this site.  My goal would be to settle for an amount and I just want to make sure I have the process down correctly:

 

1.  I just sent out a debt validation letter

2.  I've already verified with citibank that they sent it to Client Services, INC

3.  I've checked that a license is required in the state of Nevada for collection agencies - I've looked through a business entity search and I'm not sure if they have a license in Nevada.  On the back of the letter they first seems to list about 7-10 states that they are licensed in and Nevada is not on there.  I've tried to look at the Nevada Attorney General site and couldn't really find anything.  Is there any other way to verify this?  Or can I just mail the CA to verify that they have a license to collect in the state of Nevada?

4.  If they end up verifying everything, the next step would be to try a settle for an amount right?  It sounds like the best way to do this is negotiate over the phone and then if we agree on an amount, send over the agreement in writing.  My question here is if I can't get to an amount I can afford, do I just basically deflect and try again in a month?  

 

Does this sound about right?  Am I missing anything here?  Thank you for all the help so far!

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I would call the state AG's office or write them and let them know that there is a possiblity that a collection agency is unlicensed and is operating in the state.  Can't hurt.  

 

You can definitely try settling, but make sure you get everything in writing.  Don't settle until they will take what you have as a lump sum in cash.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

CitiBank usually handles their own collection process and uses Client Services as their out-sourced collection service.  Citibank still owns your account and Client Services is just their assignee.  Yes Citibank lets CS handle all communication and collection attempts.  If Citi ever sells your account and charge it off it will show on your credit report, as 'charged off' by Citi and Client Services never actually reports as assignee.  That is not to say that Client Services can't buy your account as a Junk Debt Buyer (JDB) and then start their own collection attempts and report it as 'in collection' to the CRAs.  

 

I'm learning daily and it has been an interesting journey.  Keep reading and asking questions on the forum it's a great source of information and help.  There are no stupid questions!  Several posters are quite knowledgeable, i.e. BV80, Admin, nascar are a few names that come to mind.  There is also a wealth of information on the net for help, I search (Google) on any legal term or reference mentioned and read as much as possible, get a copy of the FDCPA regulations, there are .pdf copies all over the net.  Get your state's information about collections and exemptions also, each state is somewhat different.  I monitor my state's court dockets for collections so that they don't try to slip by 'unserved'.  

 

If your are dealing with CS/Citibank then they are authorized to settle the account with you, but never settle with them or anyone who is in a JDB buyer or assignee role without having an iron clad signed agreement with them.  REMEMBER, if it isn't written it didn't happen.  CMRRR (Certified Mail with a Return Request Required) everything you send to CS or other JDBs.  Also Debt Validation (DV) is useless to an assignee or OC (Original Creditor) they will only send you copies of your statements or ignore it.  But a DV is your most important document and process when dealing with a JDB. 

 

Sorry but I get rambling at times, comes with age.

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