Hi Everyone,Earlier this afternoon I got a call from a guy who said he was from a lawyer's office and has gotten me fairly unnerved. He was calling about an old delinquent credit account.Some background:About 7 or 8 months ago we decided to get our finacial life in order. We read alot on these boards and called each credit card and got current with everyone and set ourselves up on a payment plan/budget. We planned on starting to "snowball our payments" this month because my husband got a better job and we have more income. Anyway, we evidently missed this account back when we were sorting though everything and never called them because we have another account with the exact same bank and well, we missed it. Back to today:The guy calls and says he is with so-and-so's law office and that their client is PDI Management. They have been retained to sue me. If I can come up with the payment of $10,900 by Tuesday (my home and their office is 2,000 miles apart) they will not sue me. I explained we didn't have the money but that we are well prepared to make payments. He said we could that but he was suing us on Tuesday morning. I asked if he had been calling or sending letters and had we not gotten them? He said no, that his office was retained to get the money in one lump sum and they were not set up to accept payments. They had just gotten our name this week. So it was not like we had been ignoring their requests. I don't have anyhting on this account in my records after Jan of 1999. I said I had nothing to give and he said he would accept $7,350. I told him I didn't have that either and he said he could take it over three months in payments of $2,450 each month. I can make that either.I asked him to send me the information in writing he said he would but that would take 3-4 days and I would be sued by then and he sounded pretty irritated.I could reasonably come up with $400-$500 to give them each month. Should I hurry and send a payment to show good faith? I'm nervous because I don't really know who they are. I don't want to get sued and I don't know what to do. Does anyone have any advice for me? Your help would be very much appreciated.Incidentally, when I called his office back after and got his voice mail I clicked '0' to speak with an operator and a recording said 'thank you for calling PDI management." So was he trying to trick me by saying his "client" was PDI management? It's my bithday today. Happy birthday to me. :(Thanks for your help.IC
Hm... this has all the markings to indicate that it COULD be a scam.You haven't heard about this debt for over a year, even though you have been in contact with the same creditor about a different debt? That sounds three kinds of odd to me.Find out who he claims you originally contracted the debt with, and then use OTHER means - that other account you say you have with the same outfit - to contact those people and talk to them about this debt. The first thing is to verify that it actually exists.If it and it DOESN'T exist, then I would think that both you and the alleged creditor would be interested in pursuing both civil and criminal charges, disbarment, and other interesting unpleasant things to do with the guy.But if it does exist... pay it as best you can. At this point you'll probably end up with a judgement for it on your credit report. That's bad, but it's too late to do anything about it. Formally agree to pay each month about 1/3 to 1/2 of what you think you can pay... and then pay all you can. (I like low required payments and high actual payments - they get you out of debt but you have some flexibility.)In your snowballing, the debt with the judgement - or anything else with a judge or government agency involved - comes first. The sooner you get the debt paid, the sooner it falls off your record - and stops having other nasty effects as well.
You haven't heard about this debt for over a year, even though you have been in contact with the same creditor about a different debt? That sounds three kinds of odd to me***************************************************************Actually, I don't think it is a scam. I forgot to say that the other two had been sold to another credit card company and we knew. That's what confused us. We went back today and compared account numbers and got fast-beating hearts when we realized that there was a THIRD original account and it hadn't been sold to the same place as the other two which is I guess how we missed it. Thank you for your advice.Also, this guy said that they bought this account so the original credit card company has nothing to do with it. Thanks.
Well at this point there isn't much you can do. I would try to call the guy again and ask to speek to his boss. I would then explain what happened and see if you can't work out something. Tell them that you can make payments. I would think that they would rather get payments than get nothing. I would also let his boss know that you haven't gotten anything about this debt for over a year and just overlooked it when you were figureing out all of your debt. It can't hurt to try. Good luck, and let us know the outcome.By the way: HAPPY B-DAY!!!!!!!!!!!
How fascinating to me! A lawyer is going to call you on a Saturday and a Holiday weekend. Whoever called you is a lawyer about as much as I am thin and virginal. I have 2 kids, near 50 years old and weigh 180 lbs +or -.My dear, you got a call from a pond scum sucking creditor. Now, Happy Birthday. Get an answering machine. Get Caller I.D. Screen the calls. You give no money for the "event" of being sued. Let them wail.There is "due process." Let them sue you. Get a nice outfit. It costs a lot of money to sue someone. Trust me, I am ALWAYS in court. If they come to the door with a sheriff, then pay heed. Otherwise, go about your life one year older.And the most important!!!NEVER TALK TO BILL COLLECTORS!NEVER TALK TO BILL COLLECTORS!DITTO.................No you do not call them back. If in fact they contact you, have the trusty ink pen, take notes, get names and times and this is what you say."I will not accept any more communication with you via the telephone excepting the bill that you MUST send me because I request it today. Do not violate my rights by contacting me again."Short & Sweet. No one gets their important parts in an uproar. And no you send them nothing. Wait for the bill. Take a day or two to peruse said bill. Did I mention NEVER TALK TO BILL COLLECTORS?And who knows, maybe you will get lucky and they will call back and you can sue them... hehe..wdg :>creditor nemesis since........
First of all, relax. As our friend Cable666 said once, if they've made up their mind to sue then that's what they'll do and you have no control over the situation. The fact that he offered a settlement means he doesn't want to sue.Understand that getting sued is nothing special. All it means is a process has started and it's a long way from being definitive. You'll more than likely have 30 days to respond to a lawsuit. Take 29 of those days and then hand deliver the response to the courthouse. Deny everything and demand a jury trial. If you live in a large metropolitian area, you could be looking at a year before a trial date is set. In the meantime, nothing will happen. No wage garnishment and no asset attachment. Use this time to see a lawyer. Let them negoiate with this guy. Also, find out if a Chapter 13 filing is right for you. If you own a home or other assets this might be the way to go. I personally don't think it'd hurt to let your friend know you will not be intimated. Tell him you know nothing will happen until he does something and then, you will execrise your legal rights and slow this thing down to a crawl. Every lawyer that represents a creditor understands one thing. A lot can happen in a year and likely none of those things will help his client.Any settlement you agree to, get it in writting and make sure at the end of the agreed number of payments, the debt in its entirety is cancelled-both principle and interest. Don't agree to anything unless you can realistically meet the payments. Good luck!
Wow that was schisty. Good thing you asked for all the information in writing. Did you get this guys name? You shoul dcall and report this activity to the company, then to the authories if there is no action. I can't beleive that he was " retained " to retreive the money in one lump sum the tried to offer payments of 2400 !!!Ho-Lo
As some of you know I am a bill collector so let me shine what light onthis I can.If you where being sued you'd recieve a notification in writing tellingwhen and where you have to apear in court. This guy never said he wasa lawyer right? he said he worked for a lwyer and when you called himback you got the company he was allegedly representing?he is probably a bill collector breaking several laws.
I hope you got his name and number. I smell a rat.I would then contact him and demand his licence number. I would then contact your state bar assoc. and demand that they validate that he is an attorney licenced to practice in your state.Since you said that he is 2000 miles away, he is probably not in your state. Even if he is real lawyer, he is probably not licenced to practice in your state.If he turns out that (a) he is not a lawyer, or (b) he can not sue you in your state, then you have a violation of the FDCPA. You can then sue them for $2000 plus attorney fees in federal court for this violation.Go get them!
Wildgirl, thank God you're on the watch! I was wondering what your take on this would be!ic, you were smart to call back. I don't think it's a scam per se, since it sounds like you checked up on it & the debt is legit, but it sounds to me like this is a &*^$ collector from PCI Management lying through his teeth to get you to pay up pronto. Wildgirl is right: inform them that they cannot contact you except by letter & then deal with them as best you can. I really, really doubt they will sue, especially if you start making good faith payments. And if they did, all you would have to do is tell the truth in court -- the judge would laugh in their face & make them accept whatever you can reasonably pay.By the way lying or misrepresentation on the part of collectors is a CRIME (were you on the boards a little while ago when some poor soul posted in a panic because some idiot bill collector threatened to have them THROWN IN JAIL?). Write down exactly what he said to you. You can sue them -- happy birthday, indeed! Where's our resident expert on suing the pond scum suckers?Tanaquil
Happy Day Indeed! Did you ever find a attorney after 3 pm on a Friday afternoon? Give me his or name quickly and I will use the services next time I get locked up over the weekend. I have the saved messages from LizardKing about suing the P/S/S and the brethren.And besides what can they do to you if they do turn out to be legit? There is no poorhouse nor workhouse.And I will add one NEVER to my list.1. I will never sell drugs or my aging body.2. I will never eat Ramen Noodles.3. I will never be a bill collector.Now on that cheery note, it has FINALLY stopped raining so I am out to visit the tomatoes.wdg :>Send me those thousands of dollars, and I will make a personal visit to the "lawyer."
If you can stand one more piece of advice, here it is.First of all, I doubt seriously you'll be sued. The guy starts at 10k, drops to 7k+ and then to 3 monthly payments. All in the first call.Since this appears to be the only collector bothering you and, you say you want to repay creditors, I don't think I'd do the cease and desist yet. Call back Tuesday and tell him you and hubby talked it over and came to this conclusion. You've contacted numerous creditors and they are all working with you on a monthly payment and if he wishes to be paid, then he'll have to join the party. Tell him what you can realistically afford to send. If he agrees, tell him your lawyer insist on a contract stating that the payents will settle matters in full. Send nothing until you get an agreement.If he doesn't want to bargin, don't make a bad deal. Just tell him you wish validation of the debt and not to call again until he is willing to let you pay monthly.Now, a previous poster said something about a judge laughing at the collector if you were making paymnents and would order the same payments.Nothing could be further from the truth. I've been in several courts and I've yet to see a judge laugh at anything. The judge will follow the law. If you look at the cc agreement, you'll find something in there that says demand payment in full upon default. No matter how sympatheic the judge may be, the creditor will win and can pursue your assets and wage garnishment.If this thing ever does see a courtroom, you let it get way out of hand. Please see a lawyer before you get to that point.
I'm sure others have already said it, but I SERIOUSLY DOUBT that this guy was, in fact, a lawyer.I think he was actually a scummy collections agent. And if he's willing to use deception on his very first call I would refuse to work with him. Instead attempt to contact your original creditor about this account. Maybe if you explain your situation and are willing to set up a payment plan with them they will help you out.Fool on!FluteboyP.S. I doubt anyone's actually going to sue you, either...
It really sounds like the guy who is calling you is a bill collector. He was trying to scare you into sending money. Since you called back and got the credit company, and not a law firm, that pretty well confirms that.They are trying to frighten you into just sending them some money. You have good intentions and tried to work with them, but they didn't sound like they were willing to realistically work with you. If someone is having trouble making a $100 dollar payment, they won't have $7000 laying around, or $2500 a month to spare. It sounds like a credit collection part of the same credit company that you were dealing with initially.I agree that you need to write down everything this guy said, so the next time you talk with them you can quote it back to them.They are working on the basis that you will be terrified to go to court. I have always answered them with "fine, let's go to court", and they suddenly seem willing to work with me in a reasonable fashion. Don't let them scare you. You are willing to work things out.There are probably a lot of folks that won't agree with me on this, but I have said things like, "fine, I can just declare bankruptcy, and then you won't get anything, or we can work out a payment plan". Never actually intending to declare bankruptcy, but using the same methods that they were using back on them. I mean, if they are going to be that way, just use their tactics until they back off and start being reasonable about a payment plan.Just my thoughts. I just hate to hear that they are bullying you.Beth
Now, a previous poster said something about a judge laughing at the collector if you were making paymnents and would order the same payments.Nothing could be further from the truth. I've been in several courts and I've yet to see a judge laugh at anything. The judge will follow the law. If you look at the cc agreement, you'll find something in there that says demand payment in full upon default. No matter how sympatheic the judge may be, the creditor will win and can pursue your assets and wage garnishment.My understanding was based on what I've read (particularly Mundis' <u>Get Out of Debt</u> which deals at some length with how to deal with collectors & being sued) but I'll defer to your experience.Just curious, though, if a judge will inevitably order payment in full & wage garnishment for a legitimate debt in default (even if payments are being made), why do collectors so rarely sue? I realize lawyers are expensive, but wouldn't the collectors want to get at least part of their money rather than writing off the debt, & couldn't the delinquent debtor be hit for the legal fees? I was under the impression that the reason why collectors so rarely sue for less-than-astronomical amounts is that they know the judge will just order some kind of reasonable payment plan, knowing that the debtor cannot offer anything more. This assumes the debtor is making a conscientious, good faith effort to repay and is not trying to wiggle out of the obligation.Anyway, I think everyone here agrees that they collector was lying and would not really sue after exactly one attempt to contact you! But it is certainly better to resolve matters outside of court rather than in if at all possible, so I agree with jsn7's advice. Get yourself some good legal advice to keep this slime in line.Tanaquil
Tanaquil,A decision to sue is based on how much a collector believes can be recovered in a reasonable period of time. Keep in mind that should a debtor file bk it all comes to a halt. The party that files the suit is in there with every other creditor the debtor has and has blown a few hundred bucks in the bargin in legal fees. Also, the time problem. You can file a lawsuit and a defendant can wait until the day of the trial to seek bk. and there is nothing you can do. Heck, you can even wait until a judgement is returned and then file. It can be a year or more from the date of the orginal lawsuit until the debtor evens files bk. Guess what happens to a debtors assets as time marches on?BAsically, you'll only get sued if the creditor believes you have too many assets to file a straight chapter 7 or, don't understand your rights and will just roll over. I'm amazed that people will accept their wages being garnished.
It's apparent to me that this is a slime collector.1. Don't agree to anything without educating yourself....which you are doing via this board.2. As always, I suggest getting the free book download from www.budhibbs.com and reading it. He lays out what your options are, has a cease and desist letter, and hates bill collectors.3. Everything via certified mail.Interesting that he said he had to have it in one payment at first...but, then started making compromises. Bud Hibbs mentions, as I recall, that it is important that you deal with this BEFORE you make payments or commitments.--Randy
I worked years ago for a collection agency for a brief time. (Lousy work !) If your account was indeed turned over to an attorney, then that is the last straw. It means you ignored the collection agency and they are likely to sue you to recover.Do you have a garnishable job ? Probably so or they wouldnt have sent it to the lawyer.Sure, you can send a cease & desist letter, but that will likely just speed up the garnishment proceedings. Say BYE-BYE to 1/4 of your paycheck. Funny thing is half the collectors in our office were deadbeats themselves. One girl had her car repoed while she was on the phone dunning. I liked the skip trace part. Fun finding people who dont want to be found. But hammering them to get them to pay is another story. Our Standard proceedure was always to demand payment in full and later, try & work payment arrangements.Did a collection agency try that with you ? If so, you could be in trouble as accounts are rarely sent to an attorney if someone is making any kind of payments. We would sue some folks who got "cute" by sending $5 a month and insisting they knew the law while they earned $80,000 a year and had a $10,000 credit card debt. They THINK they knew the law and WHAM ...when they get garnished for 25% of their income....THEN they call and want to pay $200 a month. Too late. If you ignored a collection agency then you may be in serious hot water. If not, its just an agency working out of or with an attorney to help scare more payments.Make arrangements...keep them manageable but MAKE the payments and you should be fine. Again, it was rare for anyone to be sued who was making reasonable payments. Of course, its rare for them to be turned over to collectors if you were doing that to begin with.
Well, most important thing first: Happy Birthday a couple days late! ;-)Secondly, even if this guy may have "technically" been a lawyer (so's one of my co-workers, whose job title is "senior database analyst", OK?), he's acting as or for a collection agency. They lie through their many, many teeth. Their only purpose in life is to get as much money humanly possible out of you. The way the one that got sicced on me worked was that they bought my debt at about 30% of the actual alleged debt. They only make a profit if they get MORE than that 30% out of me. So, they lie, cheat, steal, and otherwise create as much panic and havoc as they can in order to get you to cough up your dough. In my case, it wasn't even a legitimate debt - nobody had any proof of the debt, but that didn't stop them from threatening lawsuits, imprisonment, home and car repossession, you name it! Over a crummy $1100, by the way. Geesh!Do not accept any more phone calls from them. Everything must be in writing from this point forward, and everything you send them must be certified with return receipt - my buddies "lost" every single correspondence I ever sent them about the illegitimacy of their claim, even the registered ones!Good luck; we're all rooting for you!Tamarian
I worked years ago for a collection agency for a brief time. (Lousy work !)If your account was indeed turned over to an attorney, then that is the last straw. It means you ignored the collection agency and they are likely to sue you to recover.Hey. I like your screen name.So you feel that this was a call from a legitimate attorney and not a bluff as the rest of us suspect?I do agree with your advice about send in token payment. Don't bother. You are just wasting your money, and law and judges don't care. I often see advice passed out on this board to always make "good faith" payments. I feel that unless you are in a constructive written agreement that both parties can live with, the debtor is better off setting that money aside for a good attorney than can help them.
This wasn't a lawyer. No one wants to sue, that's a last resort. This was a high pressure sale. He tried to get a lump sum payment out of you by trying to convince you that he was a lawyer and was going to sue. I've had this happen to me and I'm still dealing with the consequences from buying their BS. It was for $100 that I don't even think was mine and I paid them on the promise of no negative credit reports. They smeared my credit anyway. If this is the first time they've called you and are threatening to sue right up front then simply say "Ok, see you in court" and hang up. They'll call back. Tell them that you're not going to negotiate with someone who's suing you and they need to talk to your lawyer. They'll back down. At this point you do what was mentioned before, tell them no more phone calls and we do everything through registered mail. Then negotiate a payment plan. Most importantly get all the terms in writing before you pay a dime. And call the original creditor for this account and verify that it was indeed sold to these jerks. Make 100% sure that this is legitimate. It's not unknown for scam artists like these to try and collect on a debt that has been written off.
Probably not an actual laywer. Their time is not best spent calling deadbeats.But I can tell you that it was rare we ever actually refered accounts to attorneys for collection if there was a reasonable payment in the last few months. Not $5, but maybe $25-50 might well keep them from suing. The thing is, the Client has to front the attorneys fees .It may be the collection agency doing it with the clients cut but still, agencies are under big pressure to perform. they do NOT want to spend even $100 to sue where it was not fairly certain they would recover. We just needed a garnishable job which at the time was full time, minimum wage at least along with 3-4 months of non-payment after we got it. (Which meant 6-12 months total deliquent)The collectors job is to CREATE URGENCY. We would get bonuses & stuff for getting people to fed-ex payments or walk them in. The vast majority pay regular payments to agencies and as long as you keep up somewhat regualar payments, you should be fine.
IC,It sounds like you already have most of this figured out.I recommend pretty much what the other posters are saying about DO EVERYTHING IN WRITING, certified mail with a return reciept. You definitely can't trust anything verbal from anyone who would lie to you in your first conversation. Get them to send you a bill and then start making reasonable payments.Here is a link to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.htmBret
Your advice is just wrong. You dont need to send it certified. It will be honored regardless. And in 6 months of setting up payment arrangements with deadbeats..NOT ONCE did I put it in writing. Asking for it is stupid.Making & living up to payment arrangements just shows a willingness to pay your long overdue and just obligations.I used to get post dated checks and if someone would call me and ask me to hold it a few days, I would do it. Nobody wins if you incur $25 bounced check charges.The key is simply get in the habit of doing the opposite of what got you in collection...paying.I really believe those focusing on the law are ignoring the bigger issues.
NOT ONCE did I put it in writing. . . Asking for it is stupid.What nonsense. Almost everything I did with collections agents was in writing. The little that wasn't was followed up with a letter sent THAT DAY which recapped the agreement made on the telphone, to build a paper trail. I used to get post dated checks . . . LOL! And how often did you send out written notice to the debtor before cashing said checks? What's that? Never? You didn't work for Viking Collection Service by any chance, did you?As I said, collections agents routinely violate the FDCPA.
You dont need to send it certified. It will be honored regardless. And in 6 months of setting up payment arrangements with deadbeats..NOT ONCE did I put it in writing.So just because you did it that way, you expect every other creditor to do it the same? Kind of naive assumption.
Except in rare instances, nobody in our office ever sent any written evidence of an agreement. People just knew that if they lived up to it, we wouldnt be calling them. Neat how that works.Collectors have nothing to gain by pretending the terms have changed.All they want is regular payments that show a willingness to pay your obligation & not having to call you & hammer you all the time.Getting "cute" only makes it harder on yourself.
Most collection agencies indeed did do that. Standard operating procedure.
NOT ONCE did I put it in writing. . . Asking for it is stupid.Asking for everything in writing is the SMARTEST thing a consumer can do - btw, the law still calls people in debt "consumers." I have not nor will I EVER deal with a collection agent over the phone; EVERYTHING in writing, always. I admit that I had debts I couldn't pay for a while, (keeping a roof over my kid's head seemed a higher priority at the time) doesn't mean that I don't have rights. My creditors could have sued, but when I was living in Florida it wouldn't have done any good (AFAIK, Fl still has laws protecting people from wage garnishments; I know they did a few years ago.) Besides, I guess they decided that my highest bill of $720 wasn't worth it.Ishtar
The fact is you are just not likely to get much in writing. Maybe a form letter after no payments in a few months and no phone contact.You dont need anything in writing IF you are honoring your word with the collector. We would type it in the computer. So we have a record of the arrangement. Pretending it was higher just means more work for the collector.
Asking for everything in writing is the SMARTEST thing a consumer can do - btw, the law still calls people in debt "consumers." I have not nor will I EVER deal with a collection agent over the phone; EVERYTHING in writing, always. I think I might be jumping in here late, so forgive me if I'm missing any of the points.If this topic is about whether or not, as one who is being chased by a creditor/collection agency, then here's my take.I would never, ever NEVER pay a dime to any creditor where I might be confused as to what (if any) I owe without getting the facts in writing. To do otherwise would be one of the most UNFoolish things I could think of.I absolutely believe in paying what I owe, and if it ever turned out that I owed to a creditor, I'd surely want to make good on that. However, if this happened, it goes without saying that I want to be very sure that what is claimed that I owe is truly what I owe. Therefore, I'd want to see everything documented first. If the documentation proves true that I do indeed owe money, then I'd do everything in my power to pay it.Hmmm...I must be confused because I couldn't imagine anyone not agreeing with this.Tony...but I still am...Ofbf2Aruba
No, Tony....you're not confused if the person who disagrees with you is Trolling.--Randy
Yes, you missed it. They already ignored a half dozen written letters including at least one from the collection agent. They CHARGED the nerchadise. Asking for verification is like asking someone to prove he is alive. Their credit rating is SHOT and you have ignored a half dozen bills and now you dont know anything about it ? LOLMaybe they just figured the $5,000 they spent got mysteriously paid in full by some benevolent stranger. Yeah, thats it !
I would never, ever NEVER pay a dime to any creditor where I might be confused as to what (if any) I owe without getting the facts in writing. To do otherwise would be one of the most UNFoolish things I could think of.I absolutely believe in paying what I owe, and if it ever turned out that I owed to a creditor, I'd surely want to make good on that. However, if this happened, it goes without saying that I want to be very sure that what is claimed that I owe is truly what I owe. Therefore, I'd want to see everything documented first. If the documentation proves true that I do indeed owe money, then I'd do everything in my power to pay it.Hmmm...I must be confused because I couldn't imagine anyone not agreeing with this.Hey, Tony agreed with me!Ishtar
LOL! And how often did you send out written notice to the debtor before cashing said checks? What's that? Never? You didn't work for Viking Collection Service by any chance, did you?Hey Squawk1200 is something wrong with Viking Collection Service? Just curious, I have a friend trying to deal with them now.
Hey Squawk1200 is something wrong with Viking Collection Service?Well, they didn't treat me right, and I had to sue them. I hope your friend's experience is better. For the long version of the story, see the following message:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15078430
Worsenightmare,Where did you get 25% of your paycheck #?I know the government can only take 10% of after tax income (15% if a government employee). I have aways read only 15% max for ALL creditors can be taken. (government gets theirs first of course).
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