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JD
JD, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience:  Over 11 years in practice as a litigator ... civil and criminal
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i have a debt in collections and the collection attorney contacted

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i have a debt in collections and the collection attorney contacted me last year about it. i paid 2000.00 of it and want to pay off the total amount due which is now 8000.00. i was out of work and making a 100.00 a month payment. i did not know or realize that the new payment plan was only for 6 months and in february they did not auto draft the 100.00 payment. i am now delinquent on that payment. what do i do. i tried to get a loan to pay off the debt, but obviously with that on my credit, nobody will touch me. i have since returned to work, but can not come up with the total amount due.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

First... don't panic. Collection agencies and attorneys who represent them make a practice of using threats, intimidation, and guilt to prey on the debtor's sense of reason and fairness. They make you feel as if you are some sort of criminal and belittle you in an effort to force you to pay more. So you need to take control of the situation and realize that you can only pay what you can pay. We will make every effort to pay this debt, but you must decide today that you will no longer let them intimidate or harass you.

 

Now...

 

What type of debt is this? Have they sued you? How is your credit status otherwise (delinquent on anything else)? Have you consulted an attorney of your own?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

it is an unsecured debt. not credit card. no they have not sued. my credit status otherwise is good. i am not delinquent on other accounts. i have not consulted an attorney until now. this account fell through the cracks. i was medically incapacitated and my husband took over the bills. this account was in my name only and it totally slipped out of mind.

 

Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.
What was the original balance and what is the balance now? What interest rate are they charging? Would you consider your debt to income ratio high at this point in your life? What, if anything, have they threatened? Are you able to make regular payments now?

Edited by JD on 4/9/2010 at 5:50 PM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the original balance was 9500.00 the interest kept accuring to around 10500.00. the balance now is approximately 8000.00. they have suspended the interest, it is no longer an interested account only principle. my debt to income ratio is moderate. i was told that because i defaulted in february that payments were no longer a viable resolution, that i would have to pay the debt. no threats yet, they are just relentless. i am and have tried to obtain a loan and have been denied because i need collateral. yes i can make regular payments. i thought that i was making payment until i received numerous phone calls out this.

 

Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

This is an intimidation tactic. While I can guarantee you nothing, I cannot imagine they would go to the expense of filing a lawsuit when you are presently willing and able to pay. I recommend you write them a letter, explain how the mistake occurred and that you are willing to work out a reasonable payment plan.

 

All future communications should be in writing.

 

If you fail to get a response, or if they make any further contact then I recommend you consult a local attorney to write this letter for you again and with the threat of legal action for the continued harassment as well as bankruptcy (probably an empty threat... so discuss that with the lawyer).

 

As I said... these jerks are simply trying to intimidate you. However, suspending the interest and making payments is good for you so we need to keep that up if possible. If you put this all in writing I cannot imagine they will not agree (even if they want to argue about it first). Their only other option is to sue, which would be silly when the debtor is already trying to make payments on the debt.

 

If they sue... they sue. It is not a big deal. You will walk in and acknowledge the debt (with a lawyer's help) and set up payments through the court. Simple. This is why they really do not benefit from suing.

 

Please reply if I can help further.

 

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Edited by JD on 4/9/2010 at 6:13 PM EST
JD, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience: Over 11 years in practice as a litigator ... civil and criminal
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