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Griffin Law Firm
Griffin Law Firm, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  I am an attorney licensed in both CA and WA
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My son recently went to Consumer Counseling to get into a debt

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My son recently went to Consumer Counseling to get into a debt management program for 2 cc he had which had a combined total of $2600.00. He was due to make his first payment July1. He recieved a call from a lawyer from FL. that was verying threatening about repayment for one of the cards. They basically said if you can't pay us the full amount then we are sending it to lawyers in your county in TX to get it. The lawyer said they would not accept monthly payments.
What do you recommend he does at this point?
First of all, make sure your son keeps a record of his contacts with debt collectors and the statements they are making. Most creditors will not sue over $2600, let alone over 1 card that is only part of that. If that person calls again and claims to be an attorney, ask for their name, what state they are licensed in and what their bar number is. Tell him you will call him back after verifying his credentials. If they have violated the Fair Debt Collection Act, your son may be entitled to recover money from them. As far as his debt management program, he should check with the program provider to make sure that the credit card in question is going to participate. Here are some examples of the types of activity prohibited by debt collectors:


Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact. For example, debt collectors may not:

    * Use threats of violence or harm
    * Publish a list of consumers who refuse to pay their debts (except to a credit bureau)
    * Use obscene or profane language
    * Repeatedly use the telephone to annoy someone

False statements

Debt collectors may not use any false or misleading statements when collecting a debt. For example, debt collectors may not:

    * Falsely imply that they are attorneys or government representatives
    * Falsely imply that you have committed a crime
    * Falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit bureau
    * Misrepresent the amount of your debt
    * Indicate that papers being sent to you are legal forms when they are not
    * Indicate that papers being sent to you are not legal forms when they are

Debt collectors also may not state that:

    * You will be arrested if you do not pay your debt
    * They will seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages, unless the collection agency or creditor intends to do so, and it is legal to do so
    * Actions, such as a lawsuit, will be taken against you, when such action legally may not be taken, or when they do not intend to take such action

Debt collectors may not:

    * Give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit bureau
    * Send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency when it is not
    * Use a false name

Unfair practices

Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, collectors may not:

    * Collect any amount greater than your debt, unless your state law permits such a charge
    * Deposit a post-dated check prematurely
    * Use deception to make you accept collect calls or pay for telegrams
    * Take or threaten to take your property unless this can be done legally
    * Contact you by postcard
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks this was helpful information. He wants to pay it off. But he will not be able to pay the balance at one time. His father and I are not going to bail him out that is why we sent him to CCCS. He was careless with his credit cards and payments so he was trying to get it right. What type of settlements are possible with a collection agency? I mean if a person does not have the full amount how do they think they will pay that in one payment?
My guess is they will take payments. I think your son spoke to the wrong person on the wrong day. I am seeing much bigger reductions in what credit card companies will accept right now due to the economy and the desire to get something rather than nothing.
If our exchange was helpful, could you click the green accept button so I can get credit? Thanks!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok one more thing and I will let you go. The company was Best Buy. Once a company turns them over to a collection agency then how do collection agencies generally work to get payment?
The collection process depends on the company. Many larger companies have in-house collection departments. They may have different names, but they are working to collect the money for the parent company. Some companies may hire an outside collector. At some point if they are unsuccessful, they will sell the debt to a what I refer to as debt scavengers. These companies will buy the debt at a reduced amount--say 40 cents on the dollar and then they make their profit by collecting 70 cents on the dollar from the debtor. If this company is unsuccessful, they will eventually sell it to another scavenger for less. Eventually, the debt ends up with someone who paid pennies for it and is trying to collect any amount any way they can. It leads to some real unscrupulous practices.
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