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Trying to settle debt with Cohen & Slamowitz


mojo111
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Hello everyone,

I am new here, and I came across this forum recently, and have just begun trying to educate myself on the whole debt collection processes that I will eventually go through.

I've gone through some financial hardships during the first half of this year, and have not been able to make payments to my credit cards (5 in total. approx. $15,000) - 2 accounts with Capital One, 1 with Discover, 1 with Bank of America, and 1 with First Hawaiian Bank. All I believe have been charged off, except for the Capital One accts.

This past week I received a letter from a law firm called Cohen & Slamowitz, LLP saying that they have been retained by Discover Card to collect the debt I have with Discover, $1400.

I would like to eventually settle all my accounts, hopefully in the 40-50% range. I want to try to avoid having judgments against me, and having to goto court. I just recently put my parents house in my name, and I have a steady income now, so this puts fear in me that they will try to put a lien on the house, or wage garnishment.

Few questions I have:

Is it too soon to offer this CA a payment to settle this account since it has just been recently bought?

From your folks experience, is it better to wait a certain period of time to approach them to get a better deal?

If I plan to go the settlement route, do I need to send a DV letter to these people?

If I wait it out what are the chances that I could get sued by these people? Is there a certain time period after the retain the debt that they actually go through with suing?

I have a lot of learning to do, but a forum like this is a great starting point.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks guys!

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"retained by" does not mean bought. C&S are probably just a collection agency hired by Discover to hassle you. ALWAYS DV a CA. NEVER settle with a CA...they cannot make agreements binding on the original creditor (OC) and they lie just for practice.

Chances are very good that all your debts are still owned by the OC. If you have money to work with, call them directly. Talk to the "resolution department"...see what you can work out, but, don't agree to anything until you get it writing and you're certain you can see it thru.

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I called Discover trying to talk to someone to offer a settlement on my account, but they said I would have to deal directly with Cohen & Slamowitz, I am little unclear on how to approach this, should I first send a DV letter to them and wait it out, or just call them and try to settle with them? and if they agree on an amount then get it in writing?

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If you are within the 30 days, send the DV anyways. They cannot start suit until they answer it so it will give you some time to get your resources together if they do answer.

In any case, once they reply with the DV (or if you decide not to go that route), simply call them and start the negotiation process. Inform them however that any deal made will be in writing and you will overnight them a cashiers check or money order, no access to your account. If they say they cannot do that and will sue you, tell them to go right ahead, you will then settle with the attorney who will put it in writing and accept a cashiers check or money order.
 

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@WhoCares1000

 

If they say they cannot do that and will sue you, tell them to go right ahead, you will then settle with the attorney who will put it in writing and accept a cashiers check or money order.

 

 

I wouldn't tell them to go ahead and sue.  That could cost the OP more money.  A lawsuit can limit your negotiating power if your state allows garnishment, and you have wages that can be garnished.

 

If Discover won't deal with him directly, he should call the attorney if he wants to settle before a possible lawsuit.

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I received a letter from C&S regarding settling the account, they basically are offering me to settle the account ($1400) through 3 options.

1. 35% Discount - One Payment of Only $930

2. 20% Discount - 3 Monthly payments $380 each

3. No Discount - 23 monthly payments of $60 each.

 

Payment to be made out to Discover, not them.

 

I've decided that I just want to get this over with, and not risk being sued, and will send in the 1 payment of $930 in the form of a money order. I've read about this form, and they have a ton of bad reviews about them, kind of sketchy. The only thing I am worried about is them coming back to me down the road and say I owe them the balance on the account, or sell it to another CA. How can I protect myself from this? Should I request a paid in full letter from them once I send in this payment in? Is there anything else I would need to ask for from them before or after I send in payment?

 

Sorry for the newbie questions!

Thanks a lot guys for the help. Much appreciated.

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If C&S is the attorney retained by Discover, they do have the right to make an agreement on the behalf of Discover. This happens all of the time where the parties come to an agreement on the courthouse steps with the opposing attorney. You can call Discover and verify that they hires C&S and if that is true, the letter and money order should be enough to prove accord and satisfaction should they try to go after you for the rest.  If they have not, then you can come to a settlement with Discover directly.

However this is done, make sure you have something in writing, that you staple the money order to that item in writing and then you keep it for the rest of your natural life someplace that you can get to it if need be. The money order is the best route to go rather than access to your bank account.

As for the OP wanting to settle rather than fight, realize that in this case, the OP has a major asset and now has a decent income. In other words, the OP has quite a bit to lose if they lose the fight. Sometimes it is better to settle, cut your loses, and move on and in this case, I think the OP is better off doing so as long as the OP settles in an intelligent manner to cover their rear end because we know that C&S it lying if their lips are moving.

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