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glasscrump

How to evade questions by JDB

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I was reading about how you should not answer questions by the JDB related to your financial situation. But what if I am trying to request a lowered monthly payment and total amount because I am on social security, with the ex paying me a few hundred to get by, and I barely have enough to make rent? How much of this should I reveal? Can I just ask for the lowered monthly payment without providing a reason for it?

Also, if I do get asked a question, and I don't want to answer it, should I just say directly, "I don't want to answer that question"? It seems like I could sound unreasonable if some of those questions are legitimately trying to size up my situation to determine whether a lower amount should be granted.

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If you were a suspect in a crime, should you answer the police without an attorney present to advise you and who knows the situation? Of course not and it is the same here. When you are dealing with a JDB, you are in an adversarial relationship. They may seem nice but any information that they collect from you, they will use against you later. Also, a collector with a JDB is usually lying if their lips are moving and they are forming words in a known or unknown language. It is because of that, you don't answer the questions.

In any case, once a debt hits a JDB, you do not want to do payments.  Instead, take the money and save it up and then once you get a set amount saved, offer that money in full settlement of the debt. That will be easier and puts you in the drivers seat. If you cannot settle debt, simply tell the collector that you are looking into the debt and they you will talk to them again in 4 weeks. If they call before the 4 weeks are up, just remind them you told them 4 weeks and hang up. No sense getting into long discussions with a collector.

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7 hours ago, glasscrump said:

But what if I am trying to request a lowered monthly payment and total amount because I am on social security, with the ex paying me a few hundred to get by, and I barely have enough to make rent? How much of this should I reveal?

Do they already have a judgment?  If the questions are part of a debtors exam you have to answer all of them or you risk being placed in jail for contempt until you comply with the court ordered exam.

If you are simply being asked to pay a debt (and they have not sued yet) simply ignore them beyond stating all your income is from SSI and is protected.  They cannot garnish your SSI or levy the bank account it goes into unless you keep more than 2 months worth of benefits in there.  DO NOT deposit the money from your ex into that SSI bank account as it is not protected.  SSI funds only in that bank account.

Beyond that you are on SSI and exempt from garnishment or levy you need not say anything if this is not a debtors exam.

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Hi, there has been no judgment or any lawsuit yet. There was a letter by the JDB saying I could pay a lower amount than the full amount or pay a bit more but in installments, but all those options were too much for me to pay, so I was thinking about contacting them, either by phone or letter for an even lower monthly amount. But if I called to ask for lower payments, I wondered what kinds of questions I would need to answer when trying to explain my situation. If I request to pay a lower monthly payment, but then said something like, "I don't want to talk about my financial situation with you," I would assume the JDB would either just decline the request or make me sound unreasonable.

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2 hours ago, glasscrump said:

Hi, there has been no judgment or any lawsuit yet.

That helps.  You are in California.  The SOL on credit card debt in CA is 4  years.  When did you last pay on the account that PRA is trying to collect on?  If the SOL for suing you has expired then the next step is to simply send PRA a letter stating you refuse to pay and to cease and desist contacting you.

2 hours ago, glasscrump said:

I was thinking about contacting them, either by phone or letter for an even lower monthly amount.

If you are barely scraping by each month I would not be looking to pay them anything considering that you are on SSI and collection proof.  Do NOT put yourself in financial jeopardy to pay a bottom feeder like PRA.

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You have very little leverage before a lawsuit is filed.  You could try to negotiate with them, but I think you will soon discover that they give very little.

 

After they file suit, if you do some research on this board and show them that you understand the "game", they will often dismiss or at least offer you a much lower amount.

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Pay them nothing.  Tell them nothing.  They have NO power over you unless and until they sue you and get a judgment against you.

 

By using the information on this board, you should be able to defeat them if they do sue you.

 

I would send them a DV letter disputing the debt.

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Some very good post here, the most important of which are do not say a thing or respond to them at all at this time. And they can't garnish your SS wages anyway, so there's nothing to lose here.  Save everything they send you, but file it in the pay no mind list for now.

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If you contact a bottom feeder in any way offering any type of payment it will have the same effect as chumming shark infested water.

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I appreciate all the responses so far. But again back to the main concern I had, which is that for whatever reason, if I choose to talk to the JDB on the phone asking them for a low monthly payment and they ask my income and expenses, what is a reasonable way to let them know that I want to keep the topic on just the monthly payment offer and not go into details of my financial background? Is it even reasonable to keep my income, expenses, and other hard-luck situation to myself if I'm the one contacting them on the phone to ask for a settlement payment plan?

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Tell them that you refuse to answer said questions and if they do not accept your offer, there is nothing more to talk about and hang up. I know, better said than done but that would is how you would do that with another party.

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On 6/8/2017 at 2:46 AM, glasscrump said:

I appreciate all the responses so far. But again back to the main concern I had, which is that for whatever reason, if I choose to talk to the JDB on the phone asking them for a low monthly payment and they ask my income and expenses, what is a reasonable way to let them know that I want to keep the topic on just the monthly payment offer and not go into details of my financial background? Is it even reasonable to keep my income, expenses, and other hard-luck situation to myself if I'm the one contacting them on the phone to ask for a settlement payment plan?

OK, I respect that it's your money, your life, etc.  But I have to ask why on earth you would choose to pay a JDB if you are not being forced to by a court?  And if you are on Social Security and having trouble making ends meet?

These bottom feeders pay pennies on the dollar for debts.  I can understand someone feeling they have a moral obligation to pay an OC, but a JDB?

 Also realize that, depending on your state's laws, making any payment, even a dollar, can restart the SOL clock.  So if there are 6 months to go before it's out of statute, if you pay them anything the SOL restarts and they have 4 more years to sue you.  Whereas if you left them alone, the SOL might expire, without them suing you,  and you will never have to pay them anything.

If you question why they would sue you if you are making payments, consider that unexpected stuff happens in life.  For example, suppose your car breaks down.  You can either fix the car or pay the JDB.  You can't afford to do both.  You need transportation, so you fix the car.

IMO, the best way to deal with a JDB, in a case like this, is to pay them nothing, and don't talk to them.  But, hey, to each his or her own.

But if you do want to pay them, I would recommend using money orders, not checks.  They can get your routing numbers off your check and clean out your account.  I would also recommend getting any agreement in writing, before paying them anything.

 

 

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