stinkinlincoln

Who is smart & could get me started in my path to california settlements?

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-i had 2 businesses get wiped out by our 4 year drought here in cali. business locations are closed & inventory is in storage.

 

-i had a sole proprietorship & racked up over $100,000 in unsecured debt with multiple credit cards, utility companies, etc

 

-The easy way out would be bankruptcy since i have so many companies i have debt with. but prefer to explore my options and use bankruptcy as an absolute last resort.

 

-my wife was not included and all my debt is in my personal name, yet if any constellation, all business debt was kept separate.

 

-have a house with 150k equity. id love to refi & pay everything but i cant because im subject to modification waiting periods (4 years). It isn't in sell-able condition & really isn't in condition to sell.

 

My status:

    My debts are 90-120 days past due.

     -i am just now starting to get collection calls & i know for sure i have one CA "golden gate?"    im not sure what debt it refers to.

     -i have not spoken to/answered any collection or OC agents.  (besides my wife who accidentally answered one)

     

 

My first question is "where should i start"?

      -id like to settle with these companies. 

     - im not concerned with my credit at this time. and am willing to wait it out & or go to court if needed.

     -i have some savings i could offer settlements (but to be clear no where near 100k). 

     -my goal is to settle for as little as possible. 

 

 

Very Much Appreciated! 

 

 

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all under a DBA so essentially under my personal name & credit. i know i know... .hindsite is 20/20. 

 

as for the BK, it would be a personal bankruptcy. Lawyer says potentially my wife wont be effected, despite what california laws & community property laws state. my experienced lawyer says in 30 yrs hes never seen a spouse been targeted by creditors AS LONG AS THE DEBTS ARE SOLEY IN MY NAME and or the business. of course im not a lawyer and cant validate what a creditor or a court would do. I look at it like alot of things. theres exceptions to some rules. 

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Honestly, I don't believe anything you do at this point will slow down or speed up the collection efforts.  The FDCPA will not apply to any debt incurred for business expenses, so there is really nothing you can respond to them in letters or on the phone that will have much effect.

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All original creditors, business in nature, there is really no reason they would want to settle for much off the debt. This early in the game ( yes it is a game) they probably won't go for much less than 80% of what's owed.

About the only thing you can do is offer them 20% less than you are willing to pay, and negotiate up. Couldn't hurt to try.

Oh and as far as going after your wife, yes they probably would. There are many people who try to hide assets, etc. under spouse, they know this. They figure you as one asset. Being in a community property state, if and when they sue, most likely they will include her as well. They may file something like "Jane doe spouse" if they can't find her name.

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in regards to:

 

Honestly, I don't believe anything you do at this point will slow down or speed up the collection efforts.  The FDCPA will not apply to any debt incurred for business expenses, so there is really nothing you can respond to them in letters or on the phone that will have much effect.

     

     Is this just common knowledge they wont protect debt incurred for business expenses? because although it is for business expenses, its under personal credit since my businesses were sole proprietorships.

 

Is this actually in their legal language. if so, I don't seem to see it in their federal trade commission text.

 

can someone please clarify 

 

Thanks

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bump

 

 

is there a different course i should take in trying to settle seeing as tho my debts are business incurred? how does my chances at success change from a settlement/ judgement standpoint.

     Do i have any protections or "advocate groups" who protect my rights(if any) on fraudulent collection practices for sole proprietor debt? this debt equates to around 100,000 and if i have no hope in settling, maybe bankruptcy is my

best bet. i really dont wanna lose my home

please help.

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I have Recieved a letter from GATESTONE regarding my AMEX debt of 6,XXX. i have confirmed it is the correct amount owed. 


the letter states:


"your account has been placed with Gatestone & co international. a collection agency. this communication from a debt collector is an attempt to collect a debt...yada yada yada.
unless you notify us in 30 days that you dispute the validity, we assume the debt as valid.
balance may increase due to addition of accrued interest."



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For $6k with AMEX, I would use arbitration.  That amount is right on the line of whether AMEX will actually follow you into arbitration (at an expense of at least $5k to them) or whether they will just drop the collection efforts because they don't want to pay arbitration.

 

If they do follow you into arb, you would have a better chance at a much lower settlement because now they would be on the hook for a bunch of arb fees. The longer arb goes on, the more they will pay.  Settling with you will limit their costs, so that gives you a better negotiation leverage.

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okay so in laymans terms (if i spelled that right). how do i get to ARB? 

 

also if i have 8-10 non cc debts (utilities, direct tv)

and i have room on a personal card, should i wipe out as much as i can so that  i have less creditors to deal with? and then stop paying on that personal card. cause it is current.

thanks

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Write a letter to AMEX indicating that you are electing arbitration to settle disputes in accordance with their credit card agreement.

 

 

 

Send it certified mail return receipt requested. This give you proof that AMEX received the letter.

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okay so in laymans terms (if i spelled that right). how do i get to ARB? 

 

also if i have 8-10 non cc debts (utilities, direct tv)

and i have room on a personal card, should i wipe out as much as i can so that  i have less creditors to deal with? and then stop paying on that personal card. cause it is current.

thanks

 

You know what, I changed my mind.  You need to be very careful with arbitraiton on this one.  I forgot you are dealing with a potential business debt here.  If this card was a business card from AMEX, you may be stuck with sharing the full cost of arbitration which would be thousands of dollars.  You first need to know what kind of AMEX card this is and get the card agreement to see if it allows for CONSUMER arbitration.

 

For arbitration, read your credit card agreement.  That "fine print" they send you that no one pays any attention to - that is the thing that you need to start reading for AMEX and all of your defaulted accounts.  That "fine print" is what gives you the details on what you can do and what they can do now that your accounts are in default.

 

As far as your second question, there is no way I would put defaulted utilites on a credit card.  Most of those utilities - especially phone, satellite, internet, etc, all have arbitration agreements.  Those companies hate arbitration more than the banks do. Use that to your advantage.  File a CONSUMER arbitration claim and usually you will find your debt will vanish so they dont have to pay for arb.

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the amex card is TRUE EARNINGS BUSINESS COSTCO. lll see if i can dig up the agreement...online maybe? but i believe its a business only card.

 

the Utilties, phone satelite and electric are business in nature.  

 

heres the cardmember agreeement i found online, looks like they will pay for mediation, atleast thats how i read it. 

 

https://web.aexp-static.com/us/content/pdf/cardmember-agreements/trueearnings-business/TrueEarningsBusinessCard.pdf

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