If the letter is from a lawyer

If the letter is from a lawyer, contact the lawyer and offer 60% to settle, if he does not take it, slowly walk up to the original debt.

Do not admit that you have it right now, but will take a couple of days to get. The reason for contacting the lawyer instead of the original creditor is that the lawyer will operate within the law unless he is stupid.

If the letter is from a collection agency, contact the original creditor and do the same thing, but start at 40%.

If all else fails and you wind up dealing with the collection agency, do not accept any of the penalties. If it is a collection agency, and there is truly a court date, then they have to give you all of the information for the court date to include the name and contact info of their lawyer.

The good news, if it does go to court, the judge will issue a payment plan and the creditor, collection agency, etc must accept it. If you walk into court with a certified check for the $5k, they will generally accept it and then put you on a payment plan for the remainder. The bad news, the judge can add ‘reasonable’ court costs to your judgment. Also, if you no-show the court case, they can claim they cannot contact you and ask for wage garnishment.

Don’t offer up front. Ask them what can be worked out, if anything. Avoid you telling them, they will try to get what they can. So you saying upfront I have $5000 will cost you at least $5000 when they would have accepted $3500. However, now that it has gone to a suing point, I didn’t get as good of a settlement as I did working with them before the court date was actually set. So You say something like I have XX amount of $$ now, even though you have $5000, they’ll say, oh I can’t accept that, then you ask what can you accept?? If you can come up with it, great!! If not, they’ll tell you sorry, we’ll see you in Court. Where you will have Court Costs and the balance and interest.

A judgment is when you are taken to court for a debt.

A judgment is when you are taken to court for a debt…you pay the court expenses by the way…they don’t have to show up either….the judge decides what you will pay on the bill monthly and then he moves on to the next person…this is entered as a judgment against you and is on your record at the credit bureau for 7 years.

Is having a court judgment for debt affects employment? is there imprisonment for non payment of debt? how can i negotitate with my credit card companies to lower the interest rate or waive late payment fees.

It could affect employment if the prospective company runs a credit check. The judgment will affect your credit in a big way. There is no imprisonment for debtors, otherwise half the country would be in jail with all of our out of control spending.

Give your creditors a call and ask what they are willing to do for you. I like to get everything in writing first, but I don’t always get it, then I have to decide if I can trust them (stop laughing everyone!) or just insist on written info or don’t go with their proposal.

Thank you for everyones advice. I am waiting to receive the papers becasue my parents live in a different state than me( I live in New York and have for 6 years, they live in Ohio). Then I can see what this is all about. I’m not sure if my court date is even in Ohio or New York becasue my parents didn’t open it. Will I have to be there? I can’t take time off work right now becasue we are so busy. My mom did mention that the court date is Feb 14th- Happy Valentines Day haha.

I will definitely try to contact the creditor once I see who it is and try to make a deal with them. I hope there is no time limit that has run out already though and responding to these papers? What should I offer them- the full amount up front including fees? I am afraid that it will be much more than my original credit card bill.

The only debtors prison in the USA is the prison without walls that debtors may find themself in if they are unable to pay a creditor off in a timely manner . Loan shark interest fees, over the limit fees that usually got there because of the L S interest, and late payment fees are the main
reason for this prison.

I saw on Lou Dobbs this evening that the US Senate banking committee
is looking into unfair practices in the CC industry. My favorite author , Elizabeth Warren testified. Her book ALL Your Worth is a keeper. Lots of great info in this down to earth book written by the Harvard Professor.

Those who lobby for the CC and banking industry must be busy on the hill with this hearing going on. Hopefully they will not be successful and some changes will be made. Kudo’s to Elizabeth Warren and Democrat Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut!

Check your state laws

First, check your state laws to see if you (or your parents) were properly served. laws vary from state to state on the proper way to serve someone. (e.g. some require that you get physically served, while others say that publication in the newspaper and/or certified mail delivery will suffice).

If your state is one of the fortunate ones that have the law where they physically have to serve you, then the collection agency committed an FDCPA violation by “threatening to sue with no intention of doing so.”

I’d call after going and getting the papers you apparently got and see why they sent it to your folks instead of you. That sounds fishy.

As someone mentioned earlier, they will contact anyone they can find. I still get notices at my mother’s address claiming I owe some money and I haven’t lived there in thirty years!! (On a side note, since she passed away in November, bill collectors call while I’m trying to clean up her house. It’s a bit of a shock when I tell them she has died and can’t pay anything at this time).

In California, $5000 would be considered small claims (someone correct me if I am wrong) and no lawyers are allowed. I still have not seen an answer (or I missed it) to what it means to have a judgment against you.

Are you being sued or are they taking you to debtor’s court? Try the Free credit counseling services. Do you have an actual copy of the the suit and do you know the name of the credit card company that is suing you?

Call them up and tell them that you would like to settle

If you call them up and tell them that you would like to settle the matter they will work with you and set up a payment plan or they will drop the interest and tell you to pay the balance. But you have to call them and let them know you want to pay.

Also, I don’t know what happens if you are being sued, but I think if they can save money by not taking it to court, they may talk to you. Contact the creditor directly, see what they can settle with you and get it in writing BEFORE you send them any money. Maybe you have a Legal Aid type thing where you live and they may be able to help you…not sure how it works. People on this board have mentioned that the remaining balance is reported as income, but I don’t know anything about it. I never settled a debt, but that is the way I would handle it.

Good Luck. Amazing how they contact everyone you have ever known. Once, a long time ago when I couldn’t pay my bills on time, the creditors called my uncle, who I wasn’t really close to but I ran his TV repair business for a month while he was out of the country. They called him asking how much money he could send them to pay my debt.

What I did was called the office that was filing the law suit. They knocked off very little, and I was able to pay the amt. they asked for in full and avoid court. I did get a paper, that said the court date was settled before hand or something like that. At first they did offer me a monthly payment plan, however, they were still going for the judgment. All I could do to avoid the judgment was pay it in full. Well, with the amount they were allowing to discount. I think it was around $400 dollars discount on a $2500 bill. So my advice is call and see what’s up to avoid going to court. If you have the $$ and that is what you want to do.

Looking for insight…….

Hello all,

I’ve been a blog member for a short while, reading postings and learning as we all go along.

We are considering cashing in our resp and rrsp to pay off debt. We are having difficulty keeping up. Between us we have a decent wage and a disability pension. We have home equity but not enough to rectify this situation.

Any thoughts would be good to hear.

Bill.

Answer to the last quesiton.

I’m feeling pretty cynical today, so keep in mind that’s where thisresponse is coming from. ūüôā

But first, the positive stuff: give yourself a pat on the back formaking the first step and communicating! That’s major progress!

Second, I’m not so sure it’s a bad idea to scare him with fearful¬†numbers and show him he spent twice what was budgeted. If you do this¬†in a kind and loving way, it might get through. I’ve learned that with¬†some people (namely, my dear spouse) the nice, subtle messages just¬†don’t work. Saying very bluntly “I’m worried about our expenses from¬†last month–we spent double what we made, and I’ve got a real problem¬†with that” might actually work.

Again, I really really empathize with you on this. We are going¬†through similar struggles and it’s very frustrating. I’ll reiterate my¬†plea to the group: if anyone knows the magic formula to getting one’s¬†spouse on the same financial page, please tell us!¬†Scare him to death, before reality and life does it for you.

I was studying for a class and must have been thinking about your¬†situation in the back of my mind. Lately I’ve been trying to consider¬†each purchase in the terms of how many hours I have to work to earn¬†the money. Like my car bought a month ago is equal to what I earned¬†by working 341 hours. Compare your husband’s purchases in terms of¬†how many hours he works to pay for them.

For example, say he earns $10 per hour. He buys tools worth $1,500.¬†He must work 150 hours or 3.75 weeks (40 hour work week) to pay for¬†them. Or say the rent is $1,000 a month. That’s 100 hours or 2.5¬†weeks.

Don’t know if this helps you but it’s been helping me when I want to¬†buy things. There’s a book I want to buy that is equal to 2.5 hoursof my pay. It’s the only thing keeping me from buying that ¬†book;¬†thinking how long I’d have to work to earn the money to pay for it.

Some questions.

  1. Has anyone experience with Discover Card or Chase Visa where they were successful in working out a plan with the card holder to repay the debt? If so would you please share some of  the steps you took.
  2. Has anyone used Care One Credit Counseling?¬†American Express is really treating us rotten. The minimum payment keeps changing.. I go to pay online and pay more than the min. shown, but then I get a letter stating I have an overdue payment, and then they tell me it was really $50 or more on top of what the minimum shown.¬†I’ve had this problem 2 months in a row.¬†My interest went from 12.99% to 27.99%¬†I just noticed this the other day.¬†I told them 2 months ago I was struggling to make payments and my husband will soon be getting out of his job and doesn’t have a new one yet. I asked for help, and they basically said, “goodluck with that”.¬†Now they are treating me like crap by raising my interest.¬†Anyway, out of all my credit cards, I want this one taken care of, but I’m thinking of consolidating all.
  3. Okay so got the hubby to sit and help me put together a budget. But ¬†out of nowhere he went and spent money that was for his tab at work(he didn’t even get the money to work before he spent it.) So apparently I didn’t get the communication that I had desired out of him. He’s been good at taking his lunch but has been supplementing his lunch with bought things that he shouldn’t even eat for his health. So he helped put the budget together but otherwise doesn’t care.¬†Any ideas of on how to communicate with him other than scaring him to
    death with hard truths and fearful numbers of what he did last month?  ie he spent double what we made on absolutely nothing that I can say was worth it.

Thanks.

Oprah winfrey and suze orman ebook

I thought i may have seen something here about this not too long ago.

A few months back, there was a link on oprah winfey’s web site where you could download¬†an ebook of suze ormans. this book took you thru things one month at a ¬†time for, i think,¬†six months to get your finances in order.

Does anyone here have that link or the ebook in pdf format that they can share share with me.

I downloaded the book when i heard about it but, since that time i had a hard drive failure and lost the ebook and a lot of other things too.

This book seemed to be more for women but, i would like to read it if i can find it. in the mean time i search for it and see if i can find it myself.

http://www.oprah.com/community/thread/44532

This link may help. In need it myself. thats what i was looking for exactly.

Listening to shows like ramsey et al…

I feel great when I hear/read/whatever of people getting their debt paid off. But, I also hear/read/whatever their yearly income is over ¬†$60,000.00 and I’m only earning about $15,100.00 this last year and also about $3,000.00 from SSI this last year.

I have paid off a lot of my debts ad one of my dad’s debts when he died. I estimate it at an amount of $40,000.00 and some change total, I have $11,780.00 something (Including their interest charges and such) left to go. I’m snowballing it now. This month, I had to take my dogs for their boosters and was able to pay it off in CASH and not owe the vets’ office!! What a feeling!!!!!

I guess all I hope to say here is that if *I* could do it, there’s hope for anybody to do it.

Despite the fact I do not earn as much as those folks on the radio, I *DO* have a paid for house. IMO, this helps a lot.

Bear up folks, I broke the $3,000.00 mark on another one of my debts just today, down from $3,144.00 to $2,953.00… then I have others, but sometimes, breaking those little milestones is a big morale booster. I did go to the market and bought much needed healthy fare for my meals and lunches etc… I have to eat well due to medical needs. I was able to pay CASH for the $154.00 food list, for most of the month. All I’ll need to return for is salads, milk, bread and cereal perhaps before March.

You are doing well. Having a paid for house makes a big difference! In my opinion, if in nobody elses. That is a large chunk of money that goes out every month and not having to pay a mortgage payment is one thing I truly look forward to down the line.

I think that’s all that has saved my bacon. My folks knew with my eye damage jobs would be few and far between, so when they paid the house off and made me trustee, then owner, it saved me a lot of grief of rentals, mortgages etc.