Victoria8055

Pre-Legal Notification From MCM

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Hey there. So I received a ‘Pre-Legal Notification’ letter from MCM on 6/18/20 (i’ve been out of town since the 16th and just got home yesterday) and it states ‘Midland Credit Management has made several attempts to contact you regarding this account, and MCM is now considering forwarding your account to an attorney in your state for possible litigation. If we don’t hear from you or receive payment by 7/18/20, we may proceed with forwarding this account to an attorney’ 

 

The full balance shows $1.744.79. I’m currently unemployed due to the pandemic and have no idea when I will be re-employed. I’m not going to go into the details of the debt, but I was advised by a close friend to make a post on here and ask you guys how I should proceed from here. I’m extremely stressed out over this whole thing and really need help on how I should proceed and what I should do/respond with. I barely have $10 in my bank account right now due to being unemployed + having to take care of my mom, and i’ve been her caregiver for the last 8 months and having to pay her medical bills (hence why I barely have $10 in my bank account at the moment) 

 

Any help/advice you guys could give me on this would be extremely, and I mean EXTREMELY appreciated. 

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We don’t have enough information to help you much.  We at least need the name of the original creditor, and the state and county.  
 

That being said, you might need to send a DV letter out in a few days.  That is normally the first thing to do, but in your case it is the second thing to do.  
 

Keep it short and simple.  Such as:

”I dispute this alleged debt and demand validation “. 
 

They are not legally permitted to collect until they validate.  They probably will, but it will buy you a little time to plot your next steps.  
 

For your first step, Midland has a policy of dropping some accounts in hardship cases.  Some people who post here have had luck with that even after being sued.  So contact them right away and ask about the hardship case policy.  See what you need to do to qualify.  It is possible they will forgive your debt.  Don’t admit to owing the debt when you call.  Just say it is a debt Midland says you owe.  

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20 hours ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

We don’t have enough information to help you much.  We at least need the name of the original creditor, and the state and county.  
 

That being said, you might need to send a DV letter out in a few days.  That is normally the first thing to do, but in your case it is the second thing to do.  
 

Keep it short and simple.  Such as:

”I dispute this alleged debt and demand validation “. 
 

They are not legally permitted to collect until they validate.  They probably will, but it will buy you a little time to plot your next steps.  
 

For your first step, Midland has a policy of dropping some accounts in hardship cases.  Some people who post here have had luck with that even after being sued.  So contact them right away and ask about the hardship case policy.  See what you need to do to qualify.  It is possible they will forgive your debt.  Don’t admit to owing the debt when you call.  Just say it is a debt Midland says you owe.  

I apologize!!! I’m very new to all of this. The original creditor is Comenity Capital Bank. The state is Missouri, and i’m not sure of the county. Is it the county that I live in, or the county that the original collection took place? If that makes sense? Again, I apologize, i’m super new to all of this and you guys are really my only hope on getting this figured out considering I know absolutely nothing about this, nor do I have the money for a lawyer. 

 

So how should I go about contacting them? And what exactly should I say? Like how should I bring up the hardship policy and everything without admitting to the debt? 

 

Thank you so so so much. Seriously, thank you. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your help so far. If you could help to sort of guide me on what to do on this whole thing, I would seriously be forever, and I mean FOREVER grateful. I just want to get this figured out 🥺😩

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I think the Midland hardship program is on their web site.  Look it up.  See what it says. 
 

Then, call the number on the letter Midland sent. Give your case number and ask about their hardship program. Ask what you would need to send therm to qualify.  
 

You can say “this letter says Midland has this account.”   Don’t say “I owe this money to Midland. “. 

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23 hours ago, BackFromTheDebt said:
 

I think the Midland hardship program is on their web site.  Look it up.  See what it says. 
 

Then, call the number on the letter Midland sent. Give your case number and ask about their hardship program. Ask what you would need to send therm to qualify.  
 

You can say “this letter says Midland has this account.”   Don’t say “I owe this money to Midland. “. 

So you say I should contact them first about their hardship program before sending the DV letter? Like I said, I don’t know much about this, but wouldn’t I want to send the DV letter first, and then after them verifying the debt, then move on to hardship part? Considering i’m not owning up to the debt or anything like that, so I would want them to verify that the debt was mine in the first place before moving on to the hardship case part? Because if it truly wasn’t my debt, I would have no reason to ask them about the hardship program before getting verification that it even was my debt? 

Just wondering. You know a lot more about this than I do obviously. I just want to make sure i’m doing everything right. 

 

And I tried to look up their hardship policy online and didn’t seem to have much luck finding anything unfortunately. So i’ll just have to call them and speak to them about it directly. I just want to make sure that sending the DV letter shouldn’t be my first step over contacting them via phone and inquiring about their hardship policy. 

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23 hours ago, BackFromTheDebt said:
 

I think the Midland hardship program is on their web site.  Look it up.  See what it says. 
 

Then, call the number on the letter Midland sent. Give your case number and ask about their hardship program. Ask what you would need to send therm to qualify.  
 

You can say “this letter says Midland has this account.”   Don’t say “I owe this money to Midland. “. 

So you say I should contact them first about their hardship program before sending the DV letter? Like I said, I don’t know much about this, but wouldn’t I want to send the DV letter first, and then after them verifying the debt, then move on to hardship part? Considering i’m not owning up to the debt or anything like that, so I would want them to verify that the debt was mine in the first place before moving on to the hardship case part? Because if it truly wasn’t my debt, I would have no reason to ask them about the hardship program before getting verification that it even was my debt? 

Just wondering. You know a lot more about this than I do obviously. I just want to make sure i’m doing everything right. 

 

And I tried to look up their hardship policy online and didn’t seem to have much luck finding anything unfortunately. So i’ll just have to call them and speak to them about it directly. I just want to make sure that sending the DV letter shouldn’t be my first step over contacting them via phone and inquiring about their hardship policy. 

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You have 30 days from the time you receive the letter to send out a DV letter.  You have a little more time.  
 

Once they get the DV letter, they are not permitted to collect until they validate.  If you are working with their hardship program, they might have to stop working with you as soon as you get the DV letter.  
 

That is why I suggested contacting their hardship program first.  If you qualify, that ends collections.  A DV letter merely slows things down a bit.  A strategy of going for hardship with arbitration as a backup can win.  You want to win.  

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So I just went ahead and called, and before I could proceed with giving them any sort of account number, they asked me for my name. I called off a dummy number just to be safe so they couldn’t track anything (not sure if that’s a thing or not, but I wanted to be safe). Do I go ahead and give them my name? They acted like they couldn’t help me without giving them my name. 

 

Also, I noticed that my last name on the letter is spelled wrong. Is that something that could be useful? 

 

Thank you so much for you help so far. I truly, truly appreciate it. I hate to keep asking you for help, but unfortunately, you’re the only person I have to help me with this. I literally have no one. So again, I really can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate this. 

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When you are dealing with the debt forgiveness team, there is no reason to hide any information or make it any more difficult for them to work with you.  There is some rather private information you may need to give them.  Give them whatever they ask for.  
 

You are now in full cooperation mode, until and unless such attempts have failed.  

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So I just spoke to them, I told them I received a letter stating that they have this account, and that I wanted to inquire about their hardship policy. I informed them about me currently being unemployed and having been unemployed for practically almost the entire year, as well as being the primary caregiver for my grandmother and having been for a few years now. They mentioned a temporary hardship policy that would suspend collections for 90 days, but that’s it. They also mentioned they could do a $50/month payment plan, and I told them i’d have to do more research into the account and everything going on with it before proceeding with anything like that. He did say that their intention was to be contacting a local attorney in my area about the case. 

 

So what exactly should I do now?

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You have three choices, one of them is terrible. You decide which path you want to follow and follow it.  
 

1.  Do nothing.  This is terrible. They will sue you, win the case, and depending on the state they can garnish your wages when you get back on your feet again.  
 

2.  Continue to cooperate.  Get a 90 day deferral and then pay $50 per month until the balance is all paid off. 
 

3. Fight them.  Learn everything you can about arbitration. 

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So should I go ahead and send out the DV letter now? And what about my name being spelled wrong? I feel like that should be something. How can they collect on a debt from someone if they don’t even have the correct name (i.e. my name being spelled wrong)

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51 minutes ago, Victoria8055 said:

So should I go ahead and send out the DV letter now? And what about my name being spelled wrong? I feel like that should be something. How can they collect on a debt from someone if they don’t even have the correct name (i.e. my name being spelled wrong)

It could simply be a typographical error.  If you send a DV, wait to see the spelling of your name on possible documentation that might be sent to you in response.  

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5 hours ago, Victoria8055 said:

So should I go ahead and send out the DV letter now? And what about my name being spelled wrong? I feel like that should be something. How can they collect on a debt from someone if they don’t even have the correct name (i.e. my name being spelled wrong)

Which path will you follow?   If you want to fight this, you can probably win. Your first step in fighting this would be a DV letter.  
 

Some people disagree with me, but whenever I sent out DV letters I would include something like “I elect arbitration for all disputes regarding this account.”   That probably won’t help, but occasionally it helps. And it never hurts.  

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Well I honestly don’t really have any other choice but fighting it. And when you say I could fight this and probably win, are you saying that with or without a lawyer? I also went ahead and recorded the entire phone conversation I had with the MCM rep as well. 

 

Even without the pandemic, there’s no way I could get any employment right now due to my grandma’s current condition. I could probably be out of the house for a max of 2 hours before she would need me for something. She pretty much requires constant around the clock care. Luckily my mom has been taking care of her medical bills (prescriptions, doctor appointments, etc) since I hit $0 in my savings, so that’s been a blessing. 

 

I know this probably doesn’t make a difference, but this whole thing stemmed from a few years ago from my ex-boyfriend who was abusive and manipulative (also pulled a gun on me when we were in the car once) manipulated me into buying him a dog and stating he would pay me back for it. Not only did he never pay me back for the dog, but he also left me on the hook for the payment as well as selling the dog after we broke up (I came home with bruises all up and down my arm and one on my chest/neck area where you could see part of it if I wasn’t wearing a turtleneck) and that pretty much sealed the deal for the relationship. 

 

So yeah. That’s how I found myself in this whole position in the first place. I’m completely broke from using the savings I had left after losing my job due to the pandemic to care for me and my grandmother + pay for her medical bills. To put it lightly, it hasn’t been a great year for me. 

 

Thank you for all your help so far. Again, I truly, truly can not begin to even explain how much I appreciate it. You have seriously been great to me. 

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It's my understanding that Comenity has a very good arbitration clause in their agreements.  Even though the discussion of arbitration is very premature right now, it's something that can be extremely helpful if things get that far.

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- Backfromthedebt: I sent out the DV letter today, I added what you told me to say as well. 

 

- LaneBlane: What does that mean? Sorry, i’m extremely new to all of this stuff and have no idea what that means or if it’s a good or bad thing....lol. Trying to learn as much as I can about this stuff. 

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2 hours ago, Victoria8055 said:

- LaneBlane: What does that mean? Sorry, i’m extremely new to all of this stuff and have no idea what that means or if it’s a good or bad thing....lol. Trying to learn as much as I can about this stuff. 

If they eventually file a complaint in court, you have a very good chance to move things to arbitration.  This is something you don't need to think about at this early stage.  Hopefully it won't get that far.

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I find it better to plan ahead.  You probably have a few months before you need to go to arbitration.  That gives you time to learn all about arbitration.  I would strongly suggest reading up on some of the arbitration threads on this forum.  The more you learn, the more confident you will be if and when you need arbitration.  

I was one of the first people on this forum to use arbitration.  It not only saved me tens of thousands of dollars, but also let me sleep at night.  

So, learn and be confident.  Their biggest weapon is your fear and lack of knowledge.  If you learn and are confident, that is 90% of the battle.  Their biggest fear is someone who knows enough about arbitration to beat them.  

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