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Roger, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 31770
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Hello, Im working on settling unsecured debt. I targeted

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I'm working on settling unsecured debt. I targeted my 4 highest debts for settlement. I settled on 3 for average of 40% in May 2013. I'm having trouble with one checking credit line that won't budge from 90%. At the end of May I talked to a collector who said they charge off at 180 days then it goes to collection.
I foolishly made a payment to show good faith, at their request. Then they just got tougher. I received a letter saying I had 10 days to pay in full last month so I made a small payment to buy time. I talked to the collector last week and she gave me the info about 180 days. Since I made the payment it bought me 30 days to bring it back down to 76 days past due. I know 90 is the usual number to settle. Now they sent me the same letter demanding full payment.
One of my targeted accts just sent to collections at 100 days so I had no trouble settling with their agent (not sold) for 42%. $9,000 for $38,000 so not bad. I wish I had not gave them the payment because I'm back where I started with them last month. They are the last one targeted. The other accts are smaller balances and I want to use paying them off as a remedy to my credit score woes.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy litigation attorney. Thanks for your post.

Are you asking whether or not bankruptcy is the best option OR are you asking something else?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No. I'm not doing bankruptcy. I'm settling debt. If you want to pass it to someone else, I can wait until tomorrow.



Just let me know what you're asking, specifically. I'll be glad to respond. Thanks.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

A. What is cosequence of waiting to settle w collection company vs original creditor?


B. Why would they send a letter threatening legal action in 10 days, when less than 90 days past due?

A. The worst thing about waiting is that additional the collection agency will add its fees to the balance, additional interest, and other expenses. Thus, it will drive the balance up.

B. There's nothing that prevents a creditor from seeking legal action once an account is 1 day in default. Usually, they wait 45-90 days, but that's not the law. So, this creditor apparently chooses not to wait long before putting the account into collections.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the last person i spoke to said they charge off after 180. i worked with their loss mitigation dept and they want 90 percent to settle.

The decision to charge off a loan/debt is subjective and is up to the creditor. It can collect as long as its within the statute of limitations. You're generally much better off to settle before the account goes into collections or is charged off for credit reasons and also to avoid additional charges.

As for the amount to settle, if you can offer a lump sum that is around 70% of the balance, most creditors will accept. However, if you want to payments over time, there's usually no discount.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

right. citi stopped talking to me after 90 and sent it to their agent who settled right away. no extra fees. lump sum, yes.


i think this last creditor is playing games. they are calling my cell even though i sent a letter restricting to call only home phone.

As you've see, these collection folks are ruthless. However, if you have told them in

writing not to contact your cell and they continue, you can file a complaint under the FTC's Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (

You never know - - the threat of a FTC complaint may be just the right thing to get your matter settled.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i already tried that in one of my written offers. i think i will wait until end of month to talk settling. maybe i should just send a letter and include my original stating i know my rights.


so this is just over 5,000. is it worth it for them to go to court when they know i offered 2,800 t settle/?

I've seen creditors sue for far less - - so they definitely can and probably would sue eventually. That said, if you an offer a generous lump sum then you should have a very good chance to settle this and put it behind you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My experience with the 3 I settled with is that they never accept the offer you present and bump it up. This company has been firm at 90%. The representaive that told me 180 days to write off also said they would likely take 80% if I offered it. I started low at 20%. I plan to wait until after the 20th and offer 50% again then negotiate. They gave me an email address and I think I'll email them and send a copy of the letter I sent telling them to only call the home number.

My home number is XXXXX an internet number and I record voicemails to text on there. I had it forwarding through to my cell (my only real phone). I can tell on my cell phone records if it's not on the google voice inbound record and is on the cell record, but it's kind of complicated to use to sue. I changed it over today so only the google voice number shows up on my cell phone record when it comes through and since they are the last collector I won't get that many calls. I don't want to spook them into not talking to me. I also send the calls right to voice mail from their phone numbers. Can I sue them after I settle? I can keep these records and threaten to conter sue if they do decide to sue me.


They also sent me an email address for their loss mitigation dept. I think I'll send them an email with a low ball settlement letter to make sure it's a good address then send them copies of what I sent earlier with limits on how to contact me. Please advise me on the best way to confirm they recieve these instructions. Certified mail only certifies they recieved something from me, but email records are more detailed and I think easier to prove what was sent.


I took a loan from my 401k to settle debts. I want to get this done, rebuild my credit and try to get a HARP on my house before the end of the year to offset the tax burden. I'm also paying on my daughters student loans that I cosigned and that's how I got in trouble with my payments and it wrecked my credit. So I figured might as well settle now, since my credit was already wrecked. I have the abilty to get back on track once I get rid of my high payments. Sallie Mae won't negotiate so I'm stuck helping her for a while. If I can help her stay current for 2 years Sallie Mae will release the cosigner.


Thanks for your help.

˜What would be the basis for your suit?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The basis would be that they called me on my cell when I specifially restricted them to the other number. I was told you can sue for violating consumer credit regs.

USUALLY, you must instruct the creditor to make no contact with you in order to have a claim that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was violated.

Also, in most cases, such a violation results in a fine from the FTC as it's hard to establish damages for a personal claim.

But, the creditor doesn't want a claim against it by the FTC, so it could be a card you can play and it may motivate the lender to try and settle.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Kirk,

I really appreciate your help. I did play that card last month. I sent a letter with a 20% offer and said that I knew they called when they should not have called (with dates and time). They rejected my offer and ignored the instructions too. I also spoke to the woman who called me on their recorded line and noted the date and said " not call my cell or work numbers; I sent a letter saying to only call the home phone that I gave you." I also recorded the same instructions when they called me on my home/google voice phone. It's the regular collections phone number that calls my cell not Loss Mitigation dept. In Ohio you can record a phone call without telling someone if its in Ohio. Key is in Ohio. I hit the record button as soon as they put me on hold or transfer so they don't hear the notification. They won't talk to me if they know are being recorded. I don't want to piss them off, so I do speak to them sometimes. The regular collections folks are the ones that did not get the instructions to only call the number I gave them. They get frustrated with getting voice mail then call my cell. (Got ya)


The letter I sent was a form letter that I used from a debt settlement website. (paid) It was a harship letter that limited their calls to the home/google voice phone number and cited the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act with a link to the government webpage.


As far as playing the FTC card, what do you think of me sending the loss mitigation the low ball offer again via email, and if they respond resend the hardship letter and the letter stating I have documentation that they violated FTC rulles.

i think it's fine to do that, but collectors aren't going to flinch at threats of FTC violations because they hear it so much from debtors. Of course, some claims are true, but the majority are unfounded complaints. Thus, you may really have to provide proof of the issues before they take your claims serious.
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