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INFOLAWYER, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses
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Discover Card has sent my account to a collections attorney.

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Discover Card has sent my account to a collections attorney. This attorney's office has sent me Court papers where I have 30 days to respond to. I called them again to try to explain our financial situation, and I offered to pay approx. $100/month. They have finally agreed to this amount. Prior to this recent call, Discover Card and now this attorneys office has only wanted payments of over $400 a month! So now they are not going to take me to court to garnish my wages, but they have increased my balance. She told me she would be sending me a letter to sign. I have the letter "AGREED JUDGMENT" with instructions to NOT DATE my signature. This seems fishy and the details behind it, I am not clear on. I am angery and frustrated about the amount of this debt since my original debt was less than $10K. Once it went to collections/attorney's office, I was told if I could pay it off or make payments in excess of $490/mth it would remain at $10,851.73 but obviously that was not something I was financially able to do since we are still struggling to pay our mortgage payments. Now the debt has jumped to $14,270.02!!!
My last payment was Feb 2010. At that time I paid $186.00 and the final balance on the July 2010 statement when it was "Charged-off" showed $9,451.00. I'm certain that prior to this balance it was much lower, but when I could not continue to make minimal payments and could not continue to pay on time, the interest rate jumped up to the high rate, and the fees is what brought this balance to be in the $9K range. I am interested to know what they balance was when I made the last "purchase"?
I have always been willing to make payments of around $100. The problem started when, I was being charged $300+/- in fees & interest, while struggling to make that $100 payment each month. How can I afford to pay $490? When my husbands pay was cut in half? So because I could not make those kind of payments, and they would not take what I offered ($100-$150), my debt has gone to $14,270.02 plus interest and costs!

My husbands work was cut in half and led to his company (GM) closing and he was unemployeed for a short period. We have tried to sell the house (currently on the market for 14 months now, with already having reduced by $70K and our realtor says if we reduce another $30K more, she is not certain we could sell at that amount!). We have been to credit counseling at the bank in an attempt to reduce our mortgage payments (still no word on this and it's been since October 2010 that we started this with our bank).
I have less than 30 days to send these papers back, signed. I want to make payments. I want to stop my sleepless nights over this one issue. I just do not feel it is right to BE TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS over a debt that was minimal to start with.
My understanding is if I had a large lump of money, we could "Settle" and possibly reduce the debt but only after we make $150 plus interest for 24 months can we "Settle" according to Discover's Attorney.

The paper work states: "Discover has agreed to my payment proposal of $150 a month for 24 months and then I will pay the balance in full."

This debt of now $14,270.02 will continue to increase since there are additional interest and costs acruing..

I need to know what my rights are. I need to know the best way to handle this issue?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I am legal expert at Justanswer and I will be helping you with your question today. The creditor is not required to settle for any terms, but once it puts in writing specific terms it is bound by such conditions and cannot deviate unless the agreement has a defaultclause and debtor has defaulted. Even then a notice to cure is usually included giving you a chance to catch up. If there is no such agreement, through court or a consumer protection lawyer, having this agreement in place will bring finality and peace of mind.

If you have a follow-up question, please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.


If I have adequately answered your question, even though the answer might not have been the one for which you hoped, I would appreciate it if you would please click the GREEN ACCEPT button so that I receive credit for my work; otherwise, though you have made a deposit, I do not receive credit. Leaving a Bonus and Positive Feedback after you accept are also very much appreciated.


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Thanks for allowing me to be of service to you. I wish you best of luck and a prosperous 2011.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I did not find any legal answers to this question. Obviously if I am going to agree to whatever terms they have, I will have a sense of finalality to this issue. I am needing legal answers to what my rights are. What if I do not agree to their terms? What are my rights? I am being charges in excess of $5K for interest/fees/Discover's attorney fees/plus accruing interest for a minimum of 24 months. So is this a case where I would be better off hiring an attorney for my end of the deal? I do not beleive this is fair. During financial hard-ship to be charged over $5K in bogus fees... Certainly, somebody can understand my concerns over this matter? What are my chances at having this balance reduced if I were to spend the money and hired an attorney?
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 3 years ago.
If you do not come to terms and they do not have to offer terms, on suing and securing a judgment they may pursue assets such as bank accounts and lien on real estate. A court usually will not award judgment for all of the interest and fees if it finds them excessive and usually will press for a settlement. For these reasons, negotiating further especially in court can have the balance reduced as courts tend to favor the defendants in these situations especially given bank misconduct in recent years.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying it would be in my best interest to go to court? I always thought going to court was worst? If I go to court, do I need a lawyer? You mentioned "negotiating further" How do I negotiate further? They are putting pressure on me regarding dates and time lines that they have set? I am not familiar with the recent "bank misconduct" you mentioned, so I'm not sure how that would help my case?

 

Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 3 years ago.
If you cannot settle out of court, going to court can lead to favorable settlement terms with the help from the court staff and judge who encourage settlement. The general bank misconduct is the broader situation with mortgage foreclosure and the bank bailouts that tend to have judges more sympathetic to defendants.

If you have a follow-up question, please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.

 

If I have adequately answered your question, even though the answer might not have been the one for which you hoped, I would appreciate it if you would please click the GREEN ACCEPT button so that I receive credit for my work; otherwise, though you have made a deposit, I do not receive credit.

 

 

Leaving a BONUS and POSITIVE FEEDBACK after you ACCEPT are also very much appreciated. If you need additional clarification on this question after clicking ACCEPT, please do not hesitate to click Reply and I will be happy to do what I can to help you further. You can always request me in the future through my profile: http://www.justanswer.com/profile.aspx?PF=11313492&FID=7 If you do this, make sure to begin the question with “This Question is for Infolawyer…”

 

Thanks for allowing me to be of service to you. I wish you best of luck and a prosperous 2011.

INFOLAWYER, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 51085
Experience: Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses
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