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Hunt & Henriques intent to sue letter

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Hi all! I am hoping to get some advice - I am really starting to fall apart here and at a loss for what to do next...

Due to major loss of income changes in my household and health issues, I stopped paying on my credit cards, 2 cards with Citi Bank being among them (to total 12K with Citi B). In June I got a debt validation letter from H&H stating they were a law firm on behalf of CitB; the letter was very confusing and wordy, it was also dated abt 10 days earlier than received (from all I am reading here I do not doubt this was done on purpose, esp. considering H&H is within an hr drive from where I live). I wrote them back abt a wk later asking about payment plans and got no response. I wrote them again (this time faxed with tracking) stating I didn't receive response on letter 1, I explained my household income had significantly changed aprx 10% of what it was when I had the cards and that I had major health issues, and again asked for them to send IN WRITING payment plan options... well, the very next day (per the letter date) they sent me a letter stating their "firm intends to file suit on behalf of Citibank". Wow.  these people are ruthless (like I needed more stress during a pandemic!). 

Any advice on this? I am  seriously considering bankruptcy and have already consulted with an attorney. It sure doesn't seem like they will negotiate a payment plan. Should I write and ask them again? Should I inquire with OC instead? I welcome any and all advice. 



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If this is already with an attorney, the OC won’t negotiate. 

It appears the attorney isn’t willing or is too disorganized to negotiate.  

Bankruptcy would get rid of this debt.  If you are going that route, it doesn’t matter if they sue. 

Another tactic is to take things into arbitration.  Most OCs will go into arbitration, but this may be a way to pressure them to negotiate.  

However, once a case is in small claims court, you cannot arbitrate.  You need to know the amounts of each account, and if the laws of your state permit them to take accounts of that level to small claims.  If so, you would have to arbitrate before they sue.  As in, very very soon. 

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Thanks for the quick reply. I would really appreciate feedback or opinions around my ideas, below... 

As of now, the next step might be that I fax them again clearly stating my income and providing them some options I can afford re mo payments to see if they might agree to terms.  Honestly, my take home is so low that I'd likely be offering up more per month than any court would allow to be attached or garnished. 

You mentioned arbitration - I am not familiar and will read up on it in this forum. I googled it a bit and much of what came up was Citi Bank prefers arbitration over court, and that makes me wonder what they have to gain there (must be something!). 

So arbitration can only be done prior to lawsuit? Also, wouldn't this amount be more than small claims court ? Although its 2 cards  - not sure if they will lump it together or keep them seperate. 

If I don't arbitrate and they won't budge and do serve me, is it possible to ask the judge to not allow garnishment?  The type of work I do, it can be damaging if people do a search on me and see a judgment against me. I am so open to working with H&H to get this handled, I just wonder if that (along with just starting to build my career, my proof at attempts to work with this co, etc) might go a long way (or maybe it won't sadly). 

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You said you can’t have a judgment against you for your career.  I have been in that situation. 

In that case, you have to keep this out of court.  

File in arbitration.  Now.  Before they sue.  That at least keeps it out of court and gives you time to negotiate a settlement. 

Thing is, if you lose in arbitration, which will happen if it goes to the end, they can turn that into a judgment. 

You need to get this into arbitration and you need to settle to keep from getting a judgment. 

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Forgive me for asking so many questions – this is all new to me.

I cannot find my original CC agreements but citi has downloadable versions, so I grabbed them for both cards I had/need to file arb over. It states AAA not Jams.

If I am doing this for 2 cards, both a little about 6K balances/debt, do I file twice/2 separate cases? At $200 each, I sure hope not.

The consumer options are either Desk/Documents-Only Arbitration or In-Person or Telephonic Hearing Arbitration – are you familiar with the differences? It reads a bit confusing to me.

All I want to do is say “hey, I know I have debt, I don’t have enough income right now to pay it all off, can we negotiate a monthly amount of X, or X, or X amount for a duration of time?”… In your experience or knowledge, when collectors get in to arbitration and start to realize the person can’t afford to pay the debt, do they bend/take what they can?

Again, thanks so much you are being incredibly helpful!

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You don’t always have to pay the money up front. 
That gives you a few weeks or even longer to negotiate before paying.  Some cards have clauses in which in some cases they will pay for you.   

Deciding to open one or two cases is a tactical decision.  They both have their advantages.  

Teo cases costs you extra time and twice the money, but also costs THEM extra time and twice the money, so it gives you a better negotiating position.  

If the extra time and money would overwhelm you, file one case.  If not, file two cases.  

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I have spent hours combing the threads on arb and am thoroughly confused lol. Most of what I am reading is arb after being served, not pre-serving/pre-lawsuit. Maybe you can advise again here on some of my confusion? 

I don't understand the steps to take after filling out demand for arb  - will the arbitrators let me know? Does it go to Citi or their lawyers? There's a lot on the board about how to  do arb aft being served, not about prior... Does it involve a ton of paperwork?  Those are sort of my questions. Thanks! 

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