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cortrightlaw
cortrightlaw, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 513
Experience:  Attorney practicing Bankruptcy Law including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13.
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I have about a total of $5600.00 in medical bills that have

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I have about a total of $5600.00 in medical bills that have been sent to collections. The breakdown is this: There are about 6 collection agencies total(from 6 original creditors), and 20 accounts in collections. Some of these collection accounts are as little as $80. Each collection agency has about 4 accounts. I have MS and had medical issues when I sadly had no insurance. Some of these bills are back from 2007, and some from 2010. The two collection agencies with the biggest amount to collect are NCO with a total of $1638 (4 collection accounts total) and Central State Recovery with a total of $2828 (7 collection accounts total). Both of these two medical bills were from 2010.

I make about 700.00 per month max as I can only work part time due to medical issues. I am also in school. I do not wish to be sued, so I was thinking backruptcy. However, I would hate to do that for only $5600 in total medical bills. How successful are Debt Settlement Companies really? I read that they can reduce your total debt by 50%, but I also read that you personally can probably do that yourself as many collections agencies will start off with an offer. I also know that debt settlement companies charge a % of what is saved as well as a monthly fee. With that said, I am better off looking up and researching what forms and verbage to use and try to settle on my own? Is bankruptcy my better route? I graduate from school in June and would like to look for work. Would bankruptcy or having 20 collection accounts look worse to a potential employer? Now, I do have about $2500.00 that my fiance is willing to give me to settle my debt. With all that in mind and with my concerns, what do you think would be my best route to go?

PS: The Brachfeld Law group (who I hear has questionable tactics) has pulled my credit report back in November. Does this mean that they are working with an agency like NCO and are about to contact me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cortrightlaw replied 2 years ago.

cortrightlaw : Give me a minute to review your question
cortrightlaw :

I agree the amount is a little low to file bankruptcy on, but then everything is relevant, your income is also very low, and you do not want to be sued.

cortrightlaw :

Debt settlement is usually not a good way to go, most of the companies that do that are scams, taking large fees and not settling any debts.

cortrightlaw :

You could do it yourself if you had some money to offer them, medical bills will usually take a significant reduction but you have to be prepared to send them the money the same day after you make a agreement. They usually do not let you make payments on agreements.

Customer:

Will these collection agencies, like NCO, delete the collections account from my credit report if I pay a 'pay for delete' fee? Is Brachfeld Law Group a collection agency that buys debt or are they representing a collection agency?

cortrightlaw :

They will not delete them, they will show them paid for less then owed.

Customer:

If I was a able to pay some of the small ones, like for $80, in full, would they be more willing to delete? Also, how do I send them money? I have read that one should not give a collection agency banking information. What is the role of the Brachfeld Law Group?

cortrightlaw :

They still probably will not delete it even if they tell you they will, and do not give them your bank information and they will hound you for it, you can send them a money order, or a western union.

Customer:

And who are Brachfeld? Do they actually buy debt or just represent a collection company?

cortrightlaw :

Not sure, they probably bought the debt, that is usually how it is done.

Customer:

Since these are indeed medical bills, at what percentage do you think i can settle for, best case? I have heard 50%, or even up to 70% if the debt is old. For example, I have $954 from back in 2007. If I propose to send them $350 asap to settle if full on $954, how likely would they be to take this? I heard collection companies buy debt for pennies on the dollar.

Customer:

Hello?

cortrightlaw :

Start at 25% and do not go higher then 50%

Customer:

Very well. One final thing. If I was able to in fact get these 20 collection accounts settled and on my report it showed that it was 'settled', would that look better then bankruptcy to settle this to a potential employer? Thanks for your help.

cortrightlaw :

I think it would be hard to get them all settled, but it would look better on your credit report, very few employers look at credit reports.

Customer:

Really? I have $2500 to work with now and have a total of $5600.00 in medical bills. If they are willing to settle for approx 40%, wouldnt that make it possible to settle more easily?

cortrightlaw :

If you have that amount in cash then I think you have a good shot at settling them especially since they are medical debts, they are usually more willing to negotiate, even if you ended up having to pay some of them in full which would be okay, definitely give it a shot, you will just need to be persistent.

cortrightlaw :

Have I satisfactorily answered your question? If I have please remember to click the GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time (doing so does not end our discussion), i will gladly clarify my response or respond to follow up questions if needed.

Customer:

I do have one final follow up question. In addition to the above mentioned debt, I do have, according to my credit report, $14,900 debt to US Bank. HOWEVER, back in 2008 I hired a settlement company (perhaps a bad idea) and had the work out a settlement. I had 2 accounts with US Bank at that time, one was a line of credit, and one was a credit card. After several months, I received a letter via email from US Bank that all my accounts are considered 'paid fully' and are now closed. But, according to my credit report, the credit card with US Bank with a $14900 balance still is there and is written as a 'charge off'. I disputes this via the three credit agencies and it came back 'verified'. My concern is that they will sue. If I have an email that says all accounts are paid and closed from US Bank, should I submit that to them or wait to see if they sue??? Thank you for your help today!!

cortrightlaw : If your email lists your account numbers and the closed accounts
cortrightlaw : Match with what is on the credit report go ahead and send that as proof of your dispute. And if they ever sue you you can use the email as part of your defense.
Customer:

The email does not list the numbers, but instead says that all US BANK accounts are now considered paid in full and closed. With that work?

cortrightlaw : Probably not it has no specific accounts that are included and who is the email even from
cortrightlaw, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 513
Experience: Attorney practicing Bankruptcy Law including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13.
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cortrightlaw
cortrightlaw
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Attorney practicing Bankruptcy Law including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13.