Collections Advice

I have some big debts. What can creditors do to me? What are my rights?

I have several debts -- a couple of them are quite large. What can the creditors do? What are my rights?

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Bills.com Team
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Highlights


  • Review the debt collection process.
  • Understand the importance of debt validation.
  • Respond to any summons you receive.

Thank you for your question about your debt, how the debt collectors will pursue collections, and what options you have.

Charge-off

When a debtor stops paying on a debt, a creditor will attempt to contact the debtor on the telephone and via the mail. When the number of days since the most recent payment reaches 120-180 days, the account is no longer considered current and the creditor is required by generally accepted accounting principles to “charge-off” or “write-off” the debt. Writing-off a debt does not mean the debtor is no longer responsible for the debt, or that collection efforts cease.

The charge-off date has almost nothing to do with the statute of limitations for debts. To learn more about the distinction between these issues, read Charge-Off & Credit Report.

At the charge-off point, the creditor will transfer the debt to a late-accounts department, or has the option to sell the debt to a collection agent. The collection agent will buy the debt at a discount. However, the collection agent has the right to collect the entire balance due plus interest.

Debt Validation

If a collection agent a debt it states you owe, you have the right to do what is called debt validation. If the debt is many years old or you do not recall the debt, validate it.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Collection agents often use aggressive tactics, when contacting the debtor. Collection agents are know to threaten to call the debtor’s employer, file charges with the local sheriff, or say they will park a truck in front of the debtor’s house with a sign that reads "Bad Debt" on it. All of these tactics and many others are illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Start here to learn the rights consumers have in collections under the FDCPA.

Judgment

A creditor -- a debt collector that owns a debt account is a creditor -- has several legal means of collecting a debt. Before the creditor can start legal collections, the creditor must go to court to receive a judgment. A court (or in some states, a law firm for the plaintiff) is required to notify the debtor of the time and place of the hearing. This notice is called a "summons to appear" or a "summons and complaint." In some jurisdictions, a process server will present the summons personally. In others the sheriff’s deputy will pay a visit with the summons, and in others the notice will appear in the mail. Each jurisdiction has different civil procedure rules regarding proper service of notice. (See Served Summons and Complaint to learn more about this process.)

Summons

If you ever receive a summons, you should do as it instructs! This is not a social invitation that you can ignore. In the hearing, the judge will decide if the creditor should be allowed to collect the debt. If the debtor fails to appear, the judge has no choice but to decide on behalf of the creditor.

Therefore, if you receive a summons, the first thing you should do is contact the law firm representing the creditor. Open a negotiation to see if they are willing to settle the debt. If not, it would be wise to respond as indicated in the summons. If there is a hearing, attend it and present your side of the story to the judge. Use facts, tell the truth, dress appropriately, and show the court respect. The court may or may not decide in your favor, but at least you will have exercised your right to be heard.

The court may decide to grant a judgment to the creditor. A judgment is a declaration by a court that the creditor has the legal right to demand a wage garnishment, a levy on the debtor's bank accounts, and a lien on the debtor’s property. Which of these tools the creditor will use depends on the circumstances. We discuss each of these remedies below.

Wage Garnishment

The most common method used by judgment creditors to enforce judgments is wage garnishment, in which a judgment creditor would contact the debtor’s employer and require the employer to deduct a certain portion of the debtor’s wages each pay period and send the money to the creditor. However, several states, including Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina, do not allow wage garnishment for the enforcement of most judgments. In several other states, such as New Hampshire, wage garnishment is not the "preferred" method of judgment enforcement because, while possible, it is a tedious and time consuming process for creditors. In most states, creditors are allowed to garnish between 10% and 25% of your wages, with the percentage allowed being determined by each state. See the Bills.com article Wage Garnishment to learn more about wage garnishment.

Levy Bank Accounts

A levy means that the creditor has the right to take whatever money in a debtor’s account and apply the funds to the balance of the judgment. Again, the procedure for levying bank accounts, as well as what amount, if any, a debtor can claim as exempt from the levy, is governed by state law. Many states exempt certain amounts and certain types of funds from bank levies, so a debtor should review his or her state’s laws to find if a bank account can be levied. See the Bills.com resource State Consumer Protection Laws and Exemptions for an overview of each state’s rules.

Lien

A lien is an encumbrance -- a claim -- on a property. For example, if the debtor owns a home, a creditor with a judgment has the right to place a lien on the home, meaning that if the debtor sells or refinance the home, the debtor will be required to pay the judgment out of the proceeds of the sale or refinance. If the amount of the judgment is more than the amount of equity in your home, then the lien may prevent the debtor from selling or refinancing until the debtor can pay off the judgment. Again, every state has its own rules about property liens, so debtors with a judgment against them who own property should review their state’s laws to learn creditor can and cannot do to enforce its judgment. See the Bills.com resource State Consumer Protection Laws and Exemptions for an overview of each state’s rules. Also see the Bills.com Liens & How to Resolve Them article to learn more.

Debt Resolution

If you have a judgment against you, consult with an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction to learn how the judgment will affect you, based on your individual financial circumstances and your local rules.

It is not too late to contact the creditor or the law firm that either represented the creditor or bought the debt, and present them a settlement offer. Even with a judgment in place, the law firm must spend money to try to collect the debt. Getting a wage garnishment, levy, or lien takes time, and time to a law firm is money. The law firm may settle for a lump-sum payment. See "Debt Negotiation and Settlement Advice" before opening negotiations with a creditor. See "What Are My Debt Consolidation Options?" to learn more about your rights and options for resolving the debt.

Important! Get all settlement offers in writing before sending a check to the law firm or collection agent.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

151 Comments

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  • 35x35
    Jan, 2013
    Ana
    I received a court order, which says I have a bench warrant because of failure to appear at court. I called the court house and they said I had to contact judge office when I did they said I needed to contact the attorney, so when I called him he said this was for a credit card debt which is about 10 years old I believe. I am in PA and am so scared. I am a single mother of 2 and I can barely make ends meet. This lawyer told me that if I can't pay he is not canceling the warrant. I don't know what to do. Now he sent me a interrogatories in aid of execution. I have nothing. I don't own a house or my car. I work to survive and do the best I can to support my girls. Now this guys is basically saying if I don't pay, he will issue a sheriff sale. I don't even know what to do.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2013
      Bill
      Consult with a Pennsylvania lawyer who has consumer law or civil litigation experience immediately. If you cannot afford a lawyer, call your county bar association, or look online, and learn the names of the organizations in your area that help low- and no-income people in your area. Make an appointment with one of these organizations, and bring all of the documents you have regarding the debt, including the court order to your meeting. The lawyer you meet will discuss what I am about to mention below.

      You seem surprised by the court's order. If you are, then you did not receive an adequate notice of the summons and complaint filed against you several months ago. If you did not receive a notice of this lawsuit, then it is likely the plaintiff (the creditor that filed the lawsuit) did not follow Pennsylvania civil procedure rules and give you a notice of the action. Talk to the lawyer you meet about filing a motion to vacate the judgment against you. If you file such a motion, and the court believes your motion, the court will throw out the judgment against you, and possibly sanction the lawyers who failed to follow your state's civil procedure rules.

      If you can get the judgment vacated, the creditor may choose to file a second lawsuit against you. However, this time, it will give you an adequate notice. When you receive a notice of the lawsuit, consult with a lawyer about raising a statute of limitations defense.

      If you received a notice of the lawsuit and ignored it, then you may not file a motion to vacate the judgment on the grounds I just mentioned. However, there may be other reasons to vacate the judgment, which your lawyer will explore.

      If you have no grounds to attack the judgment, then discuss your options for responding to the interrogatories. Do not ignore the court's order. Take action and talk to a lawyer.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2012
    Jaime
    I'm from another country and got transferred in March 2012 to the US by my company. In May when I received my social security number I applied for two leases thinking that I will stay for at least three years. On October they made a lay off and now I'm leaving the country. I don't want to pay for a car I won't be using. What are the possible actions for them to take against me if I don't pay the difference of what they are able to sell it in an auction and of what it is owed? Could they take money out of my US bank account to cover it even when it is in another bank? How would this affect my entry to the US in the future? How can I protect myself? Would you be albe to help/protect me and how? How much would you charge for your services.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2012
      Bill
      James, we are a consumer finance Web site that aims to empower consumers to make sound financial decisions. We are happy to offer some advice (not legal advice, though, as only an attorney can properly do that).

      Your creditor could sue you and that could lead to a judgment. With a judgment, your US bank accounts could be in jeopardy. A creditor can pursue debts for people living outside the country, but that usually happens over very large debts. A consumer debt is unlikely to cause problems re-entering the country.

      The best way to protect yourself is to speak with your creditor, explain that you were laid off and that you are leaving the country, and try to work out some kind of settlement or payment plan on the remaining balance.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2012
    Adam
    My question s about non-federally guaranteed private student loans. have not defaulted on the ridiculous sum yet, but plan to. I live in Ohio now and went to school in Ohio when I took out the loans. I plan to move to PA where wages cannot be garnished if I am not mistaken. I plan to use an overseas bank account. I do not own and property, house, car etc. I own nothing. My credit s already terrible and I do not care. What can they do to me with a judgement given I am essentially "judgement proof" ?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2012
    Lisa
    I dont know what to do. I went on a road trip three years ago with a guy I was dating and he got me to open up a Best Buy card. I didnt think I would get approved because at the time I was over drawn on my bank account by $700 and I as maxed out on both credit cards I have. The guy said he was going to pay and he never did. I dont work because Im on KIDNEY DIALYSIS every single day and I have a 6 year old daughter to raise alone. I only make $600 a month all together. Im on SSI. The money is not there. I dont have a house, or a car to borrow money off of. I cant go and take out a personal loan for all my bills because my credit score is too low. THe collection lawyers send letters to my grandmothers house once a month. The total amount owed is $4400. Orginally spent was $1800. I only make $7000 a year on disability. If I had the energy to work I would, but I cant until I get a kidney transplant.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2012
      Bill
      Lisa, it is clear that you can't afford to pay right now. The collectors can choose to sue you to obtain a judgment. If they do, you should be aware of the rules protecting your SSI from garnishment. This kind of creditor cannot garnish your SSI.

      No one other than you is responsible for your debt. Don't let any collectors pressure your grandmother into paying.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2012
    Lorena
    I just received a summons from a credit card company and I am being sued. I do not have a job and would really want to pay off my debt. I graduated nursing school a year ago and just recently passed my state boards. I am currently looking for a job and might soon have one. Would the card company work with me even if I do not have a job?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2012
      Bill
      Lorena, the only way to know if the creditor will work with you is to contact it. Explain your situation. You may be able to work out a payment plan, but the creditor could choose to pursue the lawsuit. Don't work out a payment plan, unless you're confident you can make the payments. Congratulations on passing your exams!
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2012
    lisa
    I am in NY and have an account in collection that started out at about 2100 dollars. there was an automatic payment agreement for 25 dollars per month on it for 6 months. when that payment agreement ran out i had to get ahold of my ex husband to renew it since he was the one actually paying on it. it took him about 2 months to do this and in the meantime my amount owed went up by about 400 dollars! the collection agency told me this is interest which they backdated since it went 2 months without being paid. is this really legal? 400 dollars interest seems a bit excessive to me....thank you so much for anything you can tell me!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2012
      Bill
      $400 of interest that accrued over two months, on a balance of $2,100 does seem excessive. It may be the case that some penalties were incurred, per your agreement with the creditor, for not making the payment. Ask them to explain their charges. If you are not satisfied with what you hear, contact the New York State Division of Consumer Protection. You can speak with a trained consumer advisor, by calling 1-800-697-1220, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Stacy
    I live in Ohio. I have a default judgment against me for a old credit card debt from 2005. The judgment was granted in 2008. I just received a collection notice from a new collection company yesterday on this debt. It lists the original creditor (credit card company), then it lists the current creditor (company who got the default judgment). My question is, can this new company come after me again since I've already got the judgment on this account? It doesn't seem right! The new company is called Niagra Credit Solutions, I see online they are a horrible company that harrasses people illegally. And isn't the statute of limitations passed by now on this anyway?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      A judgment-creditor has the right to assign (sell) a judgment to a third party. The judgment's assignee has all of the rights of the assignor. The assignor, however, may not also collect on the judgment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Melissa
    Hello! I have a student loan thru Wells Fargo that is now on my credit report. They are offering a payoff at 11K or a monthly payment plan at a little over $400 for 4 years. My question is credit report wise, what is the best option to resolve this matter so it's not as detriment to my credit?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      Best tactic is a pay for delete contract with the creditor.
      1. Resolves the debt permanently
      2. Strikes the derogatory from your credit report, which
      3. Has a positive impact on your credit score

      Some collection agents and original creditors will claim a pay-for-delete violates the FCRA. That excuse is nonsense, and is not based on law. Some may have a policy to avoid pay-for-deletes, but a company policy is not the same as a federal law.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Jennifer
    I have recently paid off all the debt (2 items) that showed up on my credit report. About a week ago I received a letter from the bill collector of a credit card company that I used over ten years ago in college. They stated an amount that I owed and offered to set up a payment plan with me. From my understanding, the statute of limitations in Texas for the company to sue me is four years. I also was under the impression that the debt was erased from my credit report because not only has it been more than seven years since my last payment, but it does not appear on my report. What would my next logical step be? Should I write to them asking to validate the debt and go from there? I'm afraid if I contact them by phone or agree in anyway that yes I did have this debt that it will go back on my credit report.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      Yes, you should validate the debt. That is not an admission that you owe and will not restart the statute of limitations.

      Just because the SOL has passed and the debt has fallen of your credit report does not mean that you can't be sued. It means that you need to use the SOL as an affirmative defense, should you be sued. My guess is that the collector was hoping to scare you into paying.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2012
    Ryan
    I have some concerns regarding my private student loan. I have a TERI loan, and had used my forbearance up a year ago. But now I have been unemployed since July, and they have turned over the account, now $24k to collections. I had sent them a letter a few weeks ago explaining our situation and that I do not have a job to pay the loan back but that I will once I find work. My wife is only working part time and we have only enough with her pay and my unemployment to pay our rent and car note. We are on food stamps just to have food. I don't want to go through bankruptcy, but what are my options? We don't have money for a lawyer. The collection agency sent a letter regarding liquidating the balance. What does that mean? I do want to pay it back, but we are not yet in a position to. What should we do? We live in Texas. Thank you!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      A TERI loan is a private student loan, which is like other consumer debts with one exception — it is very difficult to discharge a student loan in bankruptcy.

      First, arm yourself with information about your state's collection laws. You mentioned Texas. You need not worry about wage garnishment for a private student loan, which is not an issue for you as a Texas resident. (Also, there's the matter of your being unemployed at the moment.) However, if you were employed and your loan was federal, then it would be an issue. If you have joint accounts with anyone, close them now.

      Second, learn to negotiate your debt issue. You may not have the funds to negotiate a settlement today, but when you are employed, use the opportunity to resolve the debt.

      Finally, realize you will eventually find work, and these dark days will pass.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Ryan
      Thank you for your help, that truly helps! Just a few other questions. Does it matter that the loan was originally taken out when I lived in Michigan? I recently moved to Texas when I lost my job back in July. Would I be covered by Texas law since I now live here? Also, should I contact the loan company or should I contact the collection agency for negotiations. What would be better, by phone or be letter? My wife and I do have a joint account that she deposits her payroll in and where I have my Michigan unemployment direct deposited to. Why would we need to close it? We just opened it when we moved here... would they take her money? I really appreciate you for taking the time out to answer our questions. We did not know where else to turn. This has been a Godsend. Thank you!!!
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act collection agents are required to file any action (a lawsuit) in a venue convenient to the defendant. Therefore, if TERI sold your collection account to a collection agent, then the collection agent would have to sue you in your present state of residence — Texas.

      In my opinion, you have nothing to gain at this time by calling TERI or its collection agent to engage in a conversation. When TERI's collection agent eventually contacts you, validate the debt.

      Let us assume for the sake of argument TERI's collection agent files an action against you in Texas for breach of contract because you defaulted on the loan payments. You mount a defense, but it is unsuccessful, and the court gives TERI's collection agent a judgment. It cannot use the judgment to garnish your wages because Texas law forbids wage garnishment for this class of debt. Instead, the judgment-creditor gets an account garnishment on your joint account. "Wait a minute," you may say, "that's my spouse's money in there!" Too bad! The account is yours, too, and there is no prohibition on levying joint accounts.

      Joint accounts are more trouble than they are worth. Close your joint accounts, and open two new accounts at the same bank or credit union. Use the bank or credit union's on-line account-to-account transfer function to share money between the accounts as needed. You need not take this action immediately, but keep this in mind should TERI's collection agent file an action against you.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Ryan
      Thank you for the information! So the best thing to do is have my wife open an account for her paychecks. Now regarding the old joint account. My unemployment only has the option of direct deposit or visa card, no checks. I understand they can't garnish my wages, but can take the account that my unemployment is being direct deposited to, correct? So they may end up taking my unemployment anyway, from what I understand. The collections company did send me a letter regarding my balance, so what I should do then is send a letter in writing asking them to validate the loan. From what you shared with me, once they receive the letter they cannot legally pursue any further collections until I receive the original lender's verification, correct? That would at least bide some time where I might be able to find work and be able to start to repay the loan. On the letter, they request that I contact them to "make arrangements to liquidate the balance" and "make arrangements to retire your obligation". In layman's terms, what are they saying? Thank you again! I too hope these dark days will pass soon.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      Regarding the unemployment deposit and an account levy, I believe your analysis is correct.

      Regarding the "make arrangements to retire your obligation" it appears the collection agent is offering you to discuss a settlement for less than the full balance due. You have nothing to lose by listening to their offer.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Ryan
      Thank you again. What is the best way, in your expertise, to contact them? If I contact them by phone, you get some random person whom you will never speak with again but is immediate. If I write them by mail, which is slower, there is at least a paper trail to follow. The original date of the letter is March 16th. If you recommend I write asking the details about the liquidation, should I also have them validate/verify the loan balance as you had suggested? Many thanks!

      P.S. Is there any warning sign if they do levy our bank account? Do they give you notice or just hijack the account? Thank you again! You're a life saver.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      If you have access to funds you can use to make a lump-sum settlement with the collection agent, why not call and begin preliminary negotiations? Offer 10 cents on the dollar as starting point. If you and the collection agent agree to something over the telephone, ask the agent to mail or fax you a contract.

      If, on the other hand, you have no access to funds for a settlement, then validate the debt immediately. Follow the hyperlink just mentioned to learn how.

      It is unsafe to assume you will receive prior notification of an account levy. Some states require prior notification so the judgment-debtor can file for an exemption. However, many Bills.com readers report judgment-creditors forget this step.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2012
      Ryan
      I just received the validation today from the collections. It is dated May 31. I sent them a certified letter at the end of March. They received the letter the first week of April. They only had 30 days to respond to the validation correct? Since I received the response after 2 months, what does that mean? Any advice on what to do? I appreciate you help as always!!! Thank you again.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2012
      Bill
      There is no time limit on when a collection agent must respond to a validation request. What may be confusing is consumers have a 30-day deadline after receiving the initial notice of the debt to request a validation.

      Please see the Bills.com resource How Do I Validate Debt? to learn what a proper validation is, and your options for your next steps.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2012
    Nicole
    I got a call today about a payday loan that I took out May of last year. Immediately after that loan, I had to close my bank account. I notified the lender as well as all other direct payments/deposits. The lender apparently still attempted to retrieve the funds through the account that had been closed. I was notified by the bank, and I contacted the lender again to tell them that I no longer had that account. I was using my fiance's account at the time, and he did not want that lender to have the info. I ended up getting frustrated and gave up on the lender (I know that is bad.) So now a year later, I got a call from Trident Financial, located in Florida, who called for a statement for legal purposes. They said I was being investigated for check fraud because apparantly when I signed for the loan it was considered an electronic agreement and when they tried to get their money from a closed account it was the same as me writing a bad check. It was no longer considered a misdemeanor. They wouldn't tell me what it was considered now, although. I asked about a payment plan, and offered 50 dollars every 2 weeks, which is really all I can afford as a full time student and a part time server. They would not accept anything less than 200 dollars a month. The collector claimed that he did not have to offer any type of payment plan and that the purpose of the call was only for a statement. They claimed to have talked to the county I live in for location purposes. They knew my parents and called them for a statement and they knew what car I drove. I cannot honestly remember ever recieving phone calls and/or mail about this situation until tonight. I set up a payment that will basically break me, and force me to move out of my apt because I will not have rent money because I do not want to have this crap on my criminal record, which they knew that I had gotten a DUI in 2005. I am going to school for social work, and if I have check fraud, I will never get a job! Is this whole thing just a scare tactic? Or am I actually getting charged with check fraud?? I live in Minnesota and the collector is in Florida. The loan was through Plain Green. After I set up payment, they claimed that all the legal paperwork and judgements were being shredded and dropped.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      Collection agents do not decide which acts are criminal and which are breaches of contract. I doubt the collection agent would be able to convince a district attorney your failure to repay the payday loan was a criminal act. It is common for payday lenders and their collection agents to claim failure to repay a payday loan violates criminal laws concerning check fraud, but that's simply not true.
      2 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2012
    Lucia
    HI I had taken a couple of loans out in 2009 i was paying interest on them then i defaulted due to hardship well a lady left a message to my sister stating on friday stating i needed to call or she was going to take some sealed forms to my work, i called them back and the machine said it was a lawfirm i finally got on the phone with someone n the man asked men if i had an attorney representing me i had non clue wut it was about he told me that i was trying to commit fraud and they were going to take me to court over a $300 i was going to have to pay back interest and i was going to pay $3500 i told him i was a single mother of 3 and unemployed he said i had to pay something that same day or they were taking me to court he was calling me anonymos. so i called check in go where i originally got the loan they stated my loan was sold to a different company but not the one the man was calling from in new york which is Argos alliance he told me i had to give $50 that day to go to walmart and purchase a prepaid card and at the end of the month i have to give 150 a total of $615. is this harrasmentcan and can a 3rd or 4th party collection agency take me to court
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      First, it is unlikely a court would find you guilty of committing any crime. Failure to repay a loan completely is a civil matter, and is not a criminal matter. The person who told you this was a criminal matter was not speaking truthfully.

      Second, you did not indicate your state of residence, so it is not possible for me to explain the rights you have in your state. Therefore, I suggest you consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law experience. If you cannot afford a lawyer, call your county bar association and ask for the names of the organizations that provide no-cost legal services to people with low or no income in your area. Make an appointment with one of the organizations, and bring all of the documents and letters you have regarding the debt to your meeting. The lawyer you meet will advise you accordingly.

      Third, do not pay anyone for this debt, even a small amount, until you consult with a lawyer.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Jamie
    My situation is involving a payday loan. I live in Virginia and I took out a loan for $1500 in Oct 2010. I was demoted shortly after that and then went on maternity leave in June 2011. I do not work and have no active bank account to my name. I am not married, however my name is on the deed to the house that I live in with my fiance. The creditor has turned to a collection agency who is calling from some fraud department. They say that unless I pay the now $1940 loan in full on a debit, pre-paid visa or credit card they will forward my file to the local county clerks office. I have several questions. One: can they put a lien against the house? Second: Do they have to work with me to establish a payment plan once it's in the hands of the collection agency? Three: The man mentioned possible check fraud charges because it was cash that went into my account and payments that were set up bounced. Can they do that? How can I get help with this. I'm afraid they will show up with a warrant for my arrest.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      If you are sued for the debt and a judgment is entered against you, then a lien could be filed that affects your home.

      I suggest that you read the information from the State of Virginia in Payday Lending in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Borrower Rights and Responsibilities.

      I don't believe that they have to work with you, at this point in time, to establish a payment plan. There is a provision for the lender to offer an extended payment plan, but I think that you may have lost that opportunity due to being delinquent for such a long period. You can verify that with the Virginia State Corporation Commission's Bureau of Financiallnstitutions toll-free at (800) 552-7945 or at their Web site.

      While the collector can sue you to collect on the debt and on charges it suffered due to your account having insufficient funds or resulting from a check that you bounced, it still must observe the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). The State of Virginia also says, "The lender is also prohibited from threatening or beginning criminal proceedings against you if a check you provide to the lender bounces. If a lender knowingly violates this prohibition, the lender is required to pay you a civil monetary penalty equal to three times the amount of the dishonored check." You are not subject to arrest for your debt. I recommend you speak with an attorney that handles cases involving the violation of FDCPA.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Julianna
    We are trying to buy a house, and after running our credit we learned that my husband was (apparently)a co-signer on a loan that his ex-wife had repossessed. He doesn't remember co-signing on the car, but they were married when she bought it. The car was repossessed over 4 years ago and is showing as a charge off. We have no idea what any of the details are, on the debt. What action should we take to verify? It appears to be with the Original Creditor, and has not been sold to a collection agency. The car was repossessed in Nevada and we are currently in Utah. If worse comes to worse, we may be able to pay off the balance or settle the debt, if they will delete it from his credit. This is the only thing keeping us from qualifying for a house, right now, So we are doing everything we can to get rid of it.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      If getting rid of the derogatory item from your credit report is your main concern, then you may attempt to do a pay for delete. Just paying off the item will not remove it. However, by acknowledging the debt you may restart the statute of limitations, which may have expired.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2012
      Julianna
      Any advice on offering a settlement to pay for delete? We are considering offering to pay 50% with a pay for delete. Also, by sending an pay for delete offer, are you saying that we would be acknowledging the debt and they can restart the statute? Why or how is that possible? Should we just dispute the debt, first? The LAST thing we want is to re-age the debt.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2012
      Bill
      When first contacted in writing by a debt collector, validating a debt is a smart choice.

      I suggest that you read the Bills.com article about pay for deletes.

      What constitutes acknowledging a debt varies from state to state. I would make a statement that I am offering a settlement to obtain a pay for delete, but that it is not an admission that you owe the debt. A lawyer can advise you whether that is sufficient in your state.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Lahoma
    I have a payday loan i took out i was paying on the loan but it was never going down i eventually stop paying now i have company call me and my relative saying there try to serve me for court stating i had the intend of defrauding a institution they are harrassing me at work my family at home i dont even know how they got my family number is there anything i can do about this
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      First, read the Bills.com resource Payday Loans Information page to learn your basic rights and liabilities. Second, contact the attorney general's office in your state to learn your rights when repaying a payday loan. Some states require payday lenders to accept a payment plan. If you are not in one of those states, negotiate a settlement where you pay an amount you and the lender agree to over several weeks or months.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    Julie
    We are currently working with a Debt Consolidation company to clean up his debt. We recently ran a credit report on my husband to ensure we did not miss any other possible open debts. It seems he had a credit card back in 2008 for $315 which he did not pay (This is the amount reflected on the credit report). We've never heard from the CC company or from the Collection agency in all this time. The Debt Consolidation company contacted the information provided on the credit report and per the collection company, we now owe $2000. The collection company is not able to explain to us why the bill is now $2000 while the credit report shows $315. What can we do? We can pay the $315 but do not feel the $2000 is justified.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      A surprising balance is common due to original creditors and collection agents adding fees, interest, penalties, and mystery charges to a collection account. As egregious as the example you shared is, this is not the worst Bills.com readers reported.

      One open secret in the debt collection trade is that collection agents buy collection accounts from original creditors for pennies on the dollar. Assuming a collection agent now owns the account, offer it 10 of 15 cents on the dollar. That may seem like a tiny amount, but it will still be a huge gross profit margin for the collection agent. Negotiate a pay for delete.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    Gabriela
    credit card company put lien on mom and she didn't receive proper summons and if she did she is illiterate now she is going through divorce and the credit card company wants their money with the settlement money. please advise as she has to sign papers on friday.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      Consult with a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in the state where your mother resides to help her learn more about her rights and liabilities. You mentioned divorce. It is likely your mother is already consulting with a lawyer about that issue. Help her gather all of the documents and letters she received regarding the debt issue, and bring them to her divorce lawyer. He or she will advise your mother accordingly.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2011
    Roderick
    I'll try to use the words correctly: if a debt collector sues and wins against a debtor, and request to garnish (or is it levy?) the bank account, and if MA allows $425 to be exempt, if the account has less than this amount, let's say $300, can the account still be frozen by the bank?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2011
      Bill
      A bank levy is in some states called a bank garnishment. The bank can only freeze the assets above the minimum amount limited by the state laws, at the time it receives the notice of levy. However, the creditor can obtain multiple bank levies, so if the bank account goes above the minimum, it won't be protected if a new bank levy is placed.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    SHEILA
    I took out a payday loan about 2 years ago and defaulted.The debt was for $768. I paid half of it in March & never paid the remainding balance with the debt collected now I get a call saying that they are gonna sue me in court & I should contact my local court house. How do I get this information? And can they even do this. I currently reside in Houston, TX (Texas)
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      Two reading assignments for you:
      1. Payday Loans & Hot Checks in Texas discusses how Texas law regulates payday loans. In particular, it discusses resolving delinquent payday loans.
      2. Texas Collection Laws discusses your rights and liabilities as a consumer in Texas.

      It is possible legally, but not cost-effective to file a lawsuit to collect $380. Your county court system may have a public Web site that displays lawsuits filed in that court. Call your county clerk of courts office to learn how it publishes the list of lawsuits filed in your county.

      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    Bill
    I had a payday loan about a year and a half ago and made regular payments on it, however the company I worked for failed to do the direct deposit on schedule and paid us paper check 3 days later, after the bank account had wrecked, my mother even transferred money into our account several times to fix it, eventually the company I worked for changed names and most of us lost our jobs. The two loans were almost paid off and today my Mother in MD was horrified to hear their attorney stating there was a warrant for my arrest, is this even legal to discuss this with someone other than me. I am currently not employed regularly I get here and there work from the church, who said to try and negotiate a payment, what should I do. Distraught in NC
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      I can't give you legal advice, but will share some information with you.

      A debt collector may not lie or mislead anyone when collecting a debt. Saying that there was a warrant for your arrest is probably a lie. I am skeptical that it was even an attorney who was speaking with your Mom.Debt collectors can contact third parties to locate your address, phone number, and location, but are not allowed to discuss your debt situation with others.

      You should speak with a lawyer that specializes in cases involving violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. If you have a strong case, the lawyer will collect a fee from the people whom I believe are violating your rights.

      I would not commit to a payment plan, until the other issues were investigated.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    Kellien
    I have a 7 private loans with Salliemae, one of the 7 recently defaulted. I called & they said I ill need to wait a week to know what my repayment situation will be. Can you tell me, will they want the total amount of $22,000 paid in full or do they usually take payments to pay it off?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Stacey
    I have a medical bill that was sent to collection; the bill was the result of an auto accident. And there was a lawsuit filed against me by the collection agency. Since this, my auto insurance has paid the original due amount to the medical provider. It is my understanding that the contract between the medical provider and collection agency is basically cancelled, and I was told interest fees would be disregarded. My question is, since there were fees incurred from the pending lawsuit, can the collection agency still try to collect money from me for those fees?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with your insurance company to learn exactly what terms it agreed to with the medical services provider to settle the debt. Generally speaking, the insurance company has a fiduciary duty to pay all of the bill, including the interest.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Clint
    I took out a small signature/personal unsecured loan of $1100.00 , I recently lost my job and the means to pay it back. The creditor is unwilling to accept token payments to settle the debt. They sent me a letter stating they would take legal action very soon filing a breach of agreement/theft of services against me in civil court (in Texas). How likely is it they will actually follow through with these threats? or is this another tactic used by small loan companies to scare me into making a payment? Lastly With no job and No assets besides personal belongings (TVs, DVD Player , radio bed, etc.) Would I be considered "judgment proof" in the state of Texas?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      I cannot predict the likelihood of a creditor filing an action against a consumer because from a macro-economics perspective, there is no rhyme or reason to the incidents of breach of contract lawsuits. Does the creditor have the right to file a lawsuit? Based on the facts you provided, the answer is probably yes. Will it for an $1,100 loan? The odds are the answer is no, but the answer really depends on the aggressiveness of the plaintiff.

      The concept of a consumer being judgment proof is slippery because it is not written into any state or federal statute or any case law. I would be remiss if I pronounced you judgment proof without knowing your age, health, earnings potential, any rights or claims you may have, and so on. Consult with a Texas lawyer who has consumer law experience to learn more about your rights and liabilities. See also the Bills.com resource Texas Collection Laws for an overview of relevant Texas law.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    marta
    my husband purchased a new car and my son was suppose to make payments ..he lost his job and has been looking for a job but has not found one.we have made a few payments on the car but my husband is on diability and we can not afford the payment..what happens if we do a voluntary repo? we live in Texas. I know we are responsible for the balance after it gets sold..but what else happens?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Two reading assignments for you, which will answer your questions:
      1. Voluntary Repossession Questions, Answers and Solutions will describe repossession in general, and voluntary repossession in particular.
      2. You mentioned Texas. See Texas Collection Laws to learn more about your rights and liabilities.

      You mentioned the deficiency balance, which we discuss in the first link. Also, a voluntary repossession will impact your credit report.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Elija
    I have made many stupid mistakes in my life...I just lost my job, I have no money at all and I have credit cards with debt for online gambling. Could i send a debt dispute letter or notice of insufficient validation? I haven't gambled in two years, I repent and don't know how to deal with the situation...sorry and thank you.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      If you owe the debt, then disputing it won't be enough to make the problem go away. If you don't have the income to either set up a payment plan or to try settling the debt for less than you owe, by negotiating with the creditors (either on your own or by hiring a debt settlment firm), then you may want to consult with a bankruptcy attorney.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Troy
    The IRS levied my checkng account even nthough we are in appeals with them. They took everything. My question is does this mean that since they levied my checking that automatically a tax lien was filed? This happened today. Should I check my credit report to see it or is there going to be some lag time? Thanks
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      The IRS has made some adjustments to IRS lien process. How much you owe is a key factor in whether the IRS files a lien. The IRS states that they have increased "the IRS lien filing threshold from $5,000 to $10,000. Liens may still be filed on amounts less than $10,000 when circumstances warrant. The IRS will not retroactively apply the new $10,000 lien filing threshold and automatically withdraw a previously filed lien."

      When in appeals, collection efforts are put on hold. The bank levy seems to indicate that your appeal was denied or never received. I recommend calling the IRS Office of the Taxpayers Advocate at 1-877-777-4778 ASAP.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      amanda
      i currently have payday loans out and can no longer afford the payments. i sent emails out to the companies stating that i can no longer afford to make payments and that in the state of new jersey pay day loans are illegal. i receive a call from one of the companies that are located in delaware and they said that i signed a contract and is still liable even though they are out of state? do these companies actually take people to court for a loan that is less then $600.00?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      Payday loans are an expensive means to solve short-term financial problems.

      Contact the New Jersey Dept. of Law & Public Safety Office of the Attorney General and ask if New Jersey law allows Delaware payday lenders to file actions against New Jersey residents for breach of contract regarding payday loans. Take notes, including the name of the person you speak to, the date and time, and any citations of New Jersey statute the person quotes to you. Explain the results of your call to the collection agent.

      If the Delaware payday lender files a lawsuit against you, take all of your notes to a New Jersey lawyer who has consumer law experience and ask for help in drafting a response to the lawsuit.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Melissa
    I sent a debt validation letter to a phone company that sent what they said was my final bill to collections, so I did receive a copy of the final bill in the mail from the collector as their attempt to validate the debt, my question is is this all they have to send to me or should I ask for more from the collector?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      While I can't give you legal advice (only an attorney can properly do so), it is my opinion that you received proper notification, if along with the statement the collection agency provided proof that it has the right to collect on the debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Jennifer
    I filed bankruptcy in 1992. I do not reccomend bankruptcy unless there are no alternatives left. True it crushes your credit but gives you a clean slate. But, you must ask yourself can you live with yourself after it is all said and done. Knowing that you rightfully owed all those bills to people/companies and got off with a bad credit score? Folks, if you have any moral compass at all trust me when I say the knowledge stays with you long after the dust has lifted. I think that a person would be better off trying to negotiate/settle rather than file bankruptcy. By the way, don't forget you have to stand before a judge and tell them in your own words why/how you got in this financial bind in the first place. That is very humbling.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      As you said, there is no perfect, one-size-fits-all debt resolution solution. All have their positives and negatives, and what is the least-bad solution for you might be the most-bad solution for me. It all depends on each household's goals, needs, and circumstances.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    tony
    my best advise to anyone with a lot of debt ? file chapter 7.. it will wipe out all your debt. your credit will be ruin for years but you will get to start debt free again. college loans can't be file under chapter 7 or 13.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Thank you for your comment. The problem is defining what "a lot of debt" is. Not everyone qualifies for chapter 7, or if they do, can accept the secondary effects of bankruptcy. For example, for some people with security clearances, a bankruptcy may jeopardize their clearance. (Consult with your human resources staff or leadership to learn more.). Also, there is a hard limit on the time span between bankruptcies, which is not the case for alternate strategies.

      I am not saying that everyone should avoid bankruptcy. There is no perfect, one-size-fits-all debt resolution strategy that fits everyone in every circumstance. See the Bills.com Debt Coach to get a no-cost, no-gimmick online analysis of your debt and the costs and benefits of each resolution option.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    John
    I am paying 29.99 % on a 10 year old V-8(gas guzzler) BMW. Owe 7000 and I am debating to sell the car for parts and use that money to pay the debt down and try to still make the payments without the car or just turn the car in. The finance company is always rude with me and I never do anything to deserve that. I already had bad credit before I came to then so I am thinking to myself to just say screw it and turn the car in. I am a 21 year old disabled vet. I am thinking I should switch my checks to paper and steer clear of bank accounts and turn this dam car in. Advice?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      I have no idea if your plan is viable because I do not know the market value of your vehicle. If your vehicle is worth more than $7,000, then parting it out is probably a bad idea. If it is worth less than $7,000, then your plan may be a good one if high-value components, such as the air-bags, engine, and transmission are in good shape. But if the bags are blown and the transmission is shot, then parting it out is a bad idea.
      1 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      John
      It is worth about $5600.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Kevin
    I have a secured loan through One Main finacial. The security is my vehicle. My wife lost her job and I can no longer afford to pay the loan payments. My mom retired from her job and has let me use her new car to commute to my job, 80 miles a day. Besides not being able to pay the loan, I no longer need the $17 a day car that the lein is on. I told them today I couldnt pay the loan anymore and was going to bring them the car. They told me, "we are not in the used car buisness, and we dont want your car. we want our money". I told them again I could no longer pay the payments and they said if I had not caught up the payments in so many days they would have the sherrif come with a repo man and get the vehicle. I asked them where they wanted me to bring the vehicle, and again they told me they did not want it. what do I do?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Well, whether they like it or not, they will be in the used car business... but you may have them still coming after you for the deficiency balance (what is owed after they sell the car). See our page on voluntary repossession for much more advice and tips.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2011
    Sierra
    I have been receiving collection letters indicating a delinquent debt on a credit card. The collection agency indicated a debt in the amount of $5,300. The original balance for that account was $1,835 but Citibank added $3,465 worth of additional fees after the account became delinquent which brings the balance to $5,300. When this delinquency shows up on a credit report it does not show the original amount of $1,835, it show a credit limit original amount of $3,500 and a recent balance of $5,300. How can I get credit reporting agency to correct or show the original balance 0f $1,835 and not the $5,300. And in the state of Texas can a credit card company apply limitless amounts in fees to a delinquent account?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2011
      Bill
      The amount of interest that can be added in Texas is governed by The Office of Credit Commissioner. Whatever is legally allowed to be charged can show on the credit report.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2011
    Amber
    I live in Illinois. We could not afford to pay a payday loan back and stopped paying it in February of this year. Now they have contacted my husband saying that they will suspend his license if we do not pay them back. They have not filed a judgement yet but said that they will. They said we have to pay them 380 dollars a month for 4 months to clear this. Can they really suspend his license? What should we do because I cannot even afford the 380 a month right now as I am unemployed and we have a mortgage and 2 car payments to pay
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2011
    mac
    I have a Court hearing that was re-scheduled from May April 28 to June 1 2011. The creditor has requested for a Summary Judgement nad we were supposed to appear on that date. Then the Lawyer representing the creditor mailed me a letter showing that judgement has been done on May 13. I receievd this letter May 15. Is this Judgement valid when I was not heard in court? Would this be a confusion on ther side of changing dates? Please advice.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      If I understand the circumstances behind your question correctly, the plaintiff informed you your hearing date was at some point in the future. Then a few days ago, it sent you message indicating, whoops!, the hearing had just taken place, and guess what, you lost because you did not appear.

      If my interpretation is correct, this is outrageous. Consult with a lawyer in your state about filing a motion to vacate the judgment. I hope you kept copies of all of the messages you received from the plaintiff's lawyer, because they are worth their weight in platinum. In addition to filing a motion to dismiss, your lawyer will also file a complaint with your state bar to have the plaintiff's lawyer disciplined.

      Do not allow this injustice to stand. If you cannot afford a lawyer, call your county bar association and ask for the name of the organization that provides no-cost legal services to people in your area with low or no income. Make an appointment with that organization, and bring all of the platinum documents relating to the debt and the court dates. The lawyer you meet will be overjoyed at helping you knock down the plaintiff's lawyer a peg or two.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2011
    kathy
    I had a PO box at the UPS store in NC, I ended up getting a default judgment against me in 2003 from a credit company’s attorney it was for $7000 which I spent while in collage and could never keep up, (I was never personally served, the summons was sent USPS certified mail and the signature was not mine, it was the guy that works at the UPS store), anyway I never went to court and that’s long past, I have never made any payments on this account after the Judgment, my last payment was in 2003 before I got injured, I now live in CA, but I do not and have not worked here and have not applied for any credit, so on my credit report it still looks like I live in NC, my question is; from reading all your great pages, I know in NC they can renew a Judgment 1 time, is it before the 1st 10 years are up or how long do they have? Do they have to serve me with summons again? What if they don’t know my address? Also my original judgment has just fallen off of my credit report but is still enforceable for 3 more years, if they renew the judgment will it show up on my credit report again? And how can they renew it if I live in CA now? I do not get any calls or letters here and they still assume I live in NC…thanks in advance for your informative answer to this all the others I’ve read…
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      As you mentioned, most states allow a judgment-creditor to renew a judgment. The rule for doing so is simple: Ask the court for a renewal before the date of expiration. If the judgment-creditor is tardy by even a day, the court will deny the renewal. The judgment-debtor is not notified if a judgment is renewed. As I read the FCRA, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a judgment may not reappear if renewed. In other words, renewal does not restart the clock.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      kathy
      So if I understand correctly, they can renew a judgment before the original 10 years are up, and they do not need to serve me with summons or even notify me? If my physical address is in CA and I have a checking account in CA can they levy that or do they need to domesticate the judgment in CA before hand? Also please explain what usually happens to a judgment after the 10 years if no one renews it, I know it does not show up on your credit report but it does show up as a civil defense on your records somewhere, like if you do a background check you can see it, does this fall off your background check after the 10 years if not renewed, or what exactly happens to an old, unpaid, and un-renewed judgment?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      A judgment-creditor can renew a judgment that is about to expire unilaterally and without notice to the judgment debtor. In other words, the judgment debtor does not need to approve the renewal, nor will he or she receive a notice of the renewal.

      A judgment from a North Carolina needs to be domesticated in California to be enforced by a California court against a California resident.

      A judgment is a public record. A diligent investigator will find it. A lazy or lackadaisical investigator will not find an expired, out-of-state judgment. An expired judgment has no monetary or legal value.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2011
    Dawn
    If I voluntarily gave my mobile home repo'd can I file bankruptcy on the balance?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2011
    steve
    I have just voluntarily ended a bankruptcy. I have a car that I want to give back. Should I wait for them to get it or should I voluntarily return it. Don't they send a letter or something I haven't heard from them yet and it's been two months already?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      Some creditors are very aggressive about repossessing a vehicle when a borrower misses a payment date. Others are very casual about repossession. None are mind readers. Contact the lender and state your wishes clearly. Ask where you can drop off the vehicle, and to whom you give the keys.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2011
    John
    My elderly parents (both retired and on social security-~$2100/month total) recently moved to West Virginia. They have $100K in credit card debts and realistically have no way of ever being able to pay off all of this debt. They cannot claim bankruptcy because they borrowed money from friends to build a small house and recently transferred ownership of the house/property to these friends. They are very concerned about creditors coming after the house. I believe in West Virginia they are each entitled to $25K if they are forced to sell the house. If so, how long do they have to live in West Virginia for this to take effect? What options do they have? Thanks.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      Your parents should consult with a West Virginia lawyer who has experience in bankruptcy law. I am not suggesting that bankruptcy is their only option, but they need legal advice from someone who can review their entire financial picture and explain their options.

      What I am about to describe is possible under law, but is by no means a certain roadmap that your parent's creditors will follow. The credit card issuers or their collection agents have the right to petition the West Virginia Bankruptcy Court for an involuntary bankruptcy. In doing so, the bankruptcy trustee may be able to unwind the sale or transfer of the property to the friends if the trustee believes the transaction was not at arms length and was intended to hide the asset from the court.

      As I mentioned earlier, your parents need to consult with a West Virginia lawyer. Yes, a lawyer's time is not cheap, but taking the wrong action could be very expensive indeed.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      John
      Regarding my parents, we have already talked to a bankruptcy lawyer. We were told my parents could not file for bankruptcy because of the property transfer (which was in December 2010). Although it was too late, he told us that a 'deed of trust' should have been filed when my parents' friends lent them the money. With their limited income and large debt, I'm afraid the only thing to do is to default on their credit card debt and take their chances. Trying to deal with the credit card companies is an option, but there are 10 separate accounts. I've read some bad things about some companies that help with credit card debt, so we're not sure who to trust.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      There are bad apples in the debt resolution field, but the FTC changed the rules in the fall of 2010 for how companies operate, which is making it harder to find a bad company. Complete the Bills.com debt relief form to get a no-cost, no-gimmick quote from a pre-screened Bills.com debt relief partner. Our partners do follow the law, and I have worked with them for years so I have confidence they operate ethically as well.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2011
    Anthony
    It has been four years and 30 days since I paid my mortgage in califonia. How do I stop the lenders from collecting any mortgages based on violation of the 4 year statue of limitation?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      In all states but Wisconsin, it is perfectly legal for a collection agent or original creditor to attempt to collect a debt after the statue of limitations expires. If a collection agent or original creditor sues you after the statute of limitations has expired, you have an affirmative defense of statute of limitations that you can raise to get the case thrown out of court. However, the collection agents and original creditors can continue to collect the debt privately after the statute of limitations expires (except in Wisconsin). You may wish to sen the creditor a do-not-contact letter, which will prevent the creditor from contacting you on the telephone.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Anthony
      Thank you for your reply. My concern is that just sending the Bank a letter to stop contacting me about the mortgage isn't going to be enough for them to stop a trustee sale on my home. We are talking about a House Mortgage not a credit card. Isn't there some legal forms I should fill out and file in the Court Of Law to dismiss them from collecting any mortgages from me? Also what can make the 4 years statue of limitation defense not be a valid defense on my part even though I haven't made a payment in 4 years and 30 days?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      Thank you for your follow-up. Please see the Bills.com resource California Foreclosure Process to get an overview of where you are in your foreclosure. You mentioned a trustee's sale. Therefore, I will assume the lender is not using the California courts to foreclose. Because the foreclosure is occurring outside of the court system, in other words privately, no state statute of limitations applies.

      If there is a legal doctrine you may apply, it is a form of estoppel called laches. Black's Law Dictionary defines laches as the "unreasonable delay pursuing a right or claim...in a way that prejudices the [opposing] party". Consult with a California lawyer who has experience with foreclosures to learn if laches applies. He or she will review the details of your deed of trust and title to see if you have other legal theories you may use to fight the foreclosure.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Anthony
      Thank you kindly for your Fast reply. There are only a handful of Non Judicial states for Foreclosure process, and Califonia is one of them. So basically you sre stating that the California 4 year statue of limitaion defense does not apply to my Mortgage situation since I am in a Non Judicial state (California)and it is done privately through a Trustee Company? The mortgage company has failed to collect any mortgages in 4 years and 30 days. It seems as though I would have some type of Rights for the Statue of Limitation.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      A mortgage lender has two options for foreclosure in California — judicial and non-judicial (private). If the lender uses judicial means, the process is longer and the timeline is controlled by the court. If the lender opts for the non-judicial process, the timeline is set by statute and is much shorter.

      You believe the California's statute of limitations applies to your situation, and I disagree. Consult with a California lawyer who has experience in real estate law, who will devote more time to researching your question than I.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Anthony
      Thank you again for your fast reply. I am a little confused as to the answer isnt direct to omy question. Question is, 1)Does the California 4 year Statue of Limitation apply for Mortgages since we are a Non-Judicial State in Califonia?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      1. Assuming a California statute of limitations applies to this situation, the time limit for an action related to a mortgage is six years (Calif. Code of Civil Procedure 336a (2)).
      2. It is not clear to me that Calif. Code of Civil Procedure 336a applies to California's non-judicial foreclosure process, which is found in Calf. Civil Code § 2920-2944.7. I can find no reference to a statute of limitations for the California non-judicial foreclosure process.

      Consult with a California lawyer who has experience in litigating foreclosures. He or she will research the case law thoroughly, and can give you precise advice according to your specific facts.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2011
    Armando
    I live in NY and was interested in knowing if the statue of limitations is 4 or 6 years on an auto loan. I signed the auto lease(5yr contract) in 2003 and the first delinquencies were in September and December of 2003. The account was removed from my credit reports in January 2011 but debt collectors are accessing my credit report (TransUnion) lowering my score (Hard Inquiry). My other question: Is this legal?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      According to the Laws of New York CVP Article 2 § 213, a plaintiff has six years to take action on a contractual obligation or liability. To learn more, read New York’s Debtor and Creditor state statutes.

      Regarding the hard-inquiry question, yes, the collection agents break the law if they are acting as you described. See the Bills.com resource Hard Inquiries to learn how to respond.
      1 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Armando
      Thank you Bill. Your links are very helpful. I believe I have a good case on my hands against these Debt Collectors. I am a little confused regarding "Statue of Limitations" on an auto loan (New York State Law, Uniform Commercial Code § 2-725) Here it states it is 4 years, which leaves me a little confused as compared to the 6 yrs mentioned on CVP article §2-213. Does the 4-yr apply here in this case?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      I am not a New York lawyer, and I recommend you consult with a New York lawyer who has experience in civil litigation to get a more learned answer to your question. In my opinion, which as I just mentioned you should not trust, New York UCC § 2-725 applies to sales that fall under the UCC. You mentioned in an earlier message the dispute in question involves a lease. It is possible that a lease falls under the UCC in New York, but the plain language of the UCC says otherwise to me. New York CVP § 2-213 uses the word contracts to describe the legal documents it covers. A sale has a contract (implied or expressed), but not all contracts involve a sale. You mentioned you believe you have a good case against the collection agents. Find a New York lawyer who has experience litigating consumer law cases, and ask him or her about the statute of limitations issue and whether he or she will take the case against the collection agents on a contingency basis.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2011
    billy
    i was 55 days late on my farm tractor and my lender is trying to take it what can i do , should i just let them take it .
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      Call the creditor and become current on your payments. Read the Bills.com resource Voluntary Repossession to learn more about this process and how to prevent it. Please ask any follow-up questions you may have on that page.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2011
    Gyan
    What happens to the payday loan if not paid for a period of 2 years?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Bill
      A payday loan is an unsecured debt. If a debt is unpaid, a creditor has the option to collect the debt privately or file a breach of contract lawsuit against the debtor. See the original answer above for a discussion of the possible remedies available to a creditor if it wins a lawsuit and receives a judgment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2011
    joan
    I am currently in default on a citi assist private student loan, totaling $13000.00. I filed for bankruptcy in September of 2010, and was unemployed for two months in 2010. I also pay $400 in other loan payments per month on top of a car payment, other bills, and expenses. The account was picked up by Diversified Collection Services whom I tried to contact numerous times in writing and via phone to make payment arrangements with. Finally, after several weeks and attempts on my part they called me back. I was told that I have to either pay the amount in full or at the minimum a percentage of the amount due, the lowest number I was given was $3000 at which point monthly payments would not be affordable. I tried to work with them to come to an agreement but the woman told me that proceedings would take place on the 22nd which is less than a week away, she said good day and hung up. I have received no written notice of these "proceedings" nor do I feel as though they were responsive to my calls/letters. What happens now? Any advice? I thought after bankruptcy I could finally get my life back on track, but apparently student loan companies have no sympathy for a poor economy, the high cost of living, family death, and unemployment. HELP!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Bill
      I understand why you are unsure what 'proceedings' are set for next week. If you have not received a summons, it does not sound like you have already been sued. Perhaps the agent was trying to intimidate you into paying them at the level they seek? Perhaps they plan to sue you? I don't have a lot of good advice for you, unfortunately. I think you can try to call the collection agency back and attempt to speak with them again. Other than that, I think you need to consult with an attorney, so you can look at your options. It is important for you to fully understand how the laws in your state allow the creditor to collect in the debt, so you know if your wages can be garnished, for instance.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2011
    Steve
    I have a large debt that was recently sent to a collection agency, the interest went from 6% to 18%. I am currently unemployed and am unable to make the payment. What are my options as far as how to try and resolve this? And is it legal for them to raise the interest that much?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      Your first question is a bit open ended, so it is difficult for me to give you a list of your choices. Please read the Bills.com series, Debt Relief Options for a general discussion of how to resolve consumer debt. The answer to your second question can be found in the contract you signed at the time the debt was created and in your state's collection laws.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2010
    Justin
    Bill, You're saying that a creditor can continue to charge interest rates in the high 20's even after charge off?????? Post judgment collections is no picnic. Unless the Statute of limitations is expiring come end of the month, why would a creditor want to sue and get a judgment just to be subjected to state laws that cap interest on judgments to a much lesser rate? This maybe the legally possible, but I've worked in the collection industry for 6 years at both agency and legal level and in my experience it's rarely practiced. Most collection agencies and law firms lack the sophistication to keep compounding interest and accounting records like the lenders. Justin
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2010
      Bill
      Yes, a creditor can continue to charge interest at the default rate, even after an account has been charged off. A creditor could choose to sue and go for a judgment, even if a judgment would cap the interest rate, because a debt is far easier to collect on with a judgment in hand. Once a creditor has a judgment, wage garnishments and bank levies are available tools for collecting on the debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2010
    Bill
    Each state has its own set of statutes of limitations. Consumer-friendly states such as California and Texas have brief statutes of limitations. Ohio, on the other hand, has long statutes of limitation. See the Bills.com resource State Statutes of Limitations for a start on answering your question.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2010
    Lisa
    What is the statute of limitations on suing for the balance of a repossesed vehicle?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2010
    Bill
    Jeremy: Consider a short sale. In law, a purchase-money loan is just that. The money went straight from the lender to the buyer (or escrow agent) and never was in the borrower's possession. If the facts you described in your message are accurate, your HELOC was not a purchase-money loan, and therefore not covered by California's anti-deficiency statute.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2010
    Jeremy
    I bought a home to renovate and resell in 2006. A private lender made a loan on the property for $300,000. I used my own money $60,000 to renovate the property. For some reason, this private lender did not record the loan as attached to the property even though this lender held the trust deed. This private lender needed his money back so I got a HELOC from BofA for up to $$350,000, paid off the original private lender, used another $50,000 to pay the interest and several other fees, and then put the house on the market to sell. The home did not sell and so I got a renter, then the renter left, I lost my job, and moved out of the state (California). The home is now worth about $240,000 but I still owe the $350,000 HELOC. It has not foreclosed in over a year now and the lender, BofA, is seeking the debt from me. What should I do?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2010
    Jeremy
    I purchased a home with an 80% loan from Wells Fargo in 2007. I borrowed the other 20% from my relative with the understanding that after I closed on the home I would get a HELOC and pay off the loan to my relative. I got the HELOC 20% and paid off my relative. I lost my job in 2008 and fell behind on mortgage payments so I decided to move from the home since I could no longer afford it. The home foreclosed and sold at auction for $50,000 less than the 80% 1st loan with Wells Fargo. I received a 1099-c from Wells, filed with 2009 taxes. My concern is that the HELOC 20% with BofA is seeking that I repay that loan. Technically, this was a purchase money loan, but theoretically, it is not considered to be at first glance because I got it about 1 months following the close of escrow. What can I do about this problem? BofA calls and sends mail often to collect the debt.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Bill
    Missing a payment will limit your options and hurt your credit rating. Before you make that choice, look into refinancing your car. Maybe you can find a better interest rate and a lower monthly payment. The Bills.com Savings Center, available at the top of most pages on Bills.com, is a good place to start your search for a lender willing to refinance your auto loan. Select the 'auto loan' dropdown option.

    If that option does not work and you cannot afford to make the payments, please read about voluntary auto repossession.

    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    RYAN
    In 2008 I purchased a motorcyle for $14,000. I purchased it on a promotional payment plan in which i would pay interest only at a low mthly payment for the first two yrs. At the time i was single my plan was to pay my car off and double down on my motorcycle pmt. it would have worked but since then i have married and and have a one year old son. my wife was laid off and cant find work. my pmt has jumped from $160 mthly to $365 with a 20% interest rate. i simply cant afford it and think the interest is way too high. not making my next pmt and have tried contacting the loan company with no response. any suggestions or advice??
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Bill
    Co-signing on a loan is very risky, which is why I generally recommend against someone co-signing. Anyone considering co-signing should read about the effects of co-signing. Once your daughter co-signed, she became legally responsible for the debt. Sadly, this means that she can suffer aggressive collection efforts. I suggest that you and she read about Illinois Collection Laws. Please ask any follow-up questions you have on that page.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Annette
    Hi, My daughter co-signed a private student loan. Now, of course, the borrower has not made a payment and they are coming after my daughter. This happened about 5 years ago in the state of Illnois. The loan balance has now doubled, (over $40,000.00). My daughter can hardly even pay rent let along pay someone else's student loan. Can you offer any advise?.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Bill
    See the Bills.com resource North Carolina Collection Laws to understand your rights and liabilities under North Carolina law.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Laurrie
    I have a judgement against me in the state of NC and the debt collection agency (old credit card bill) is sending threatening mails. I am unemployed, have no savings and own no property and still looking for work going on 2 years now. What can they do to me or is their something I can do to them?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Bill
    In theory, it is possible for creditors to place a lien on non-homestead property in Texas and then foreclose. However, this is unlikely because of the profound negative public relations blow-back on the credit card issuers should their collection agents take this hyper-aggressive action. See the Bills.com resources Texas Collection Laws, Negotiate American Express Debt, Debt Negotiation and Settlement Advice, and What Are My Debt Consolidation Options? to learn your rights and liabilities and how to resolve the debt.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    tamra
    I have two outstanding credit card debts from about two years ago. One is to American Express for about $5000 and the other to Chase for about $4000. I live in Texas. I've been told that the credit card companies can't try to force a sale of my house, but that they could try to force a sale of some property that I am about to inherit due to the death of my mother. Is this accurate information for these small debts? I've never gotten anything about them taking me to court and there is no judgement against me. Would they go forward with something if they find out that I own land?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Bill
    I cannot provide you with legal advice. Bite the bullet and return to your bankruptcy attorney and pay the hourly fee necessary to 1) unwind the judgment against you or your spouse, and 2) determine if you have a cause of action for a violation of federal bankruptcy laws. If the facts you provided are accurate, the $10,000 debt should have been included in your bankruptcy. If it was, then the creditor violated federal law when it sought the judgment against you or your spouse. I hasten to add that my observation is based only on what you wrote here, and as I mentioned in my first sentence, is not legal advice.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Laura
    Help! My name is Laura and my husband is Gene. My husband has a Levy against his personal property and I can not get anyone to help us. Here are the facts and I have photocopies of all papers. I attempted “The American Dream” of owning a small business. In 2007, I purchased a bar/restaurant in my name only and incorporated under Blondie, Inc. The bar was empty of equipment and supplies, so I decided to take a Home Equity Loan Revolving Line of Credit from National City Bank. Gene needed to co-sign this loan due to his name being on our home. I received $56,000.00 and a debit card from National City H.E. loan. I purchased needed items needed to start the business, including restaurant equipment totaling $16,000.00 from a company called Curran-Taylor. I signed the contract with Curran-Taylor, Gene did not. Apparently, National City did not cover the full amount and paid Curran-Taylor only $6,000.00. Curran-Taylor then contacted me for the additional $10,369.35. Curran-Taylor at that time sent me a letter stating that I knowingly wrote a check for NSF. I did not. I was in the process of losing the business for lack of business and informed Curran-Taylor that I would be filing for bankruptcy. At no time did National City contact me for any wrong doing and I continued to pay the monthly payment on the H.E. loan, nor did Curran-Taylor attempt to take me to a Magistrate for payment. There was absolutely no legal action taken against Gene or myself related to any wrong doing. I closed the bar in Dec. 2007. In Feb. 2008, I was notified that the building was in foreclosure and was locked out of the building and was unable to retrieve anything from inside including Curran-Taylor’s equipment. I then filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in my name only per advice from the bankruptcy attorney, to relieve all business debts. I fought to keep our home and agreed not to place the H.E. loan in bankruptcy and agreed to continue paying on the H.E. loan. I am currently paying $466.00 monthly on the H.E. loan. National City Bank then split into First Niagra Bank and PNC Bank. I currently am paying PNC Bank. The bankruptcy Case No. 08-22249 was discharged in July 2008, and was eventually closed. I listed Curran-Taylor in the bankruptcy under Schedule F, Unsecured Debtors. At no time did Curran-Taylor nor their Attorneys, Leech, Tishman, Fuscaldo & Lampl (Lisa Schronbeck) (412) 261-1600 attend any of the bankruptcy hearings nor did they contest any of the proceedings. I then started receiving letters from Lisa that we were being sued for payment. I then continually replied stating that I had filed for Bankruptcy and the case was discharged. In Nov. 2009, I received notice to attend a Motion to Compel Responses to Aide in Discovery of Execution hearing, in the Washington County Courts. I was unable to attend hearing due to work and canceled hearing date. I was not notified of new date. In Dec. 2009, I received letter from Lisa stating that I had until Dec 31, 2009 to give all information requested. I complied and sent Gene’s information and sent information that Blondie, Inc. dissolved in 2007 with no assets. In Feb. 2010, we received notice of 2 Writs of Execution for Gene. My name and Blondie, Inc. was also listed on this notice. I replied to Lisa via e-mail stating that to take Gene’s 1996 Dodge Ram Pickup truck would be a hardship as we do not live on a bus line and that was his sole transportation to work and that there must be other options available. I received no response from Lisa. At the end of May 2010, we received notice from the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department that we had a levy against Gene’s Truck and his personal property. I then attempted to obtain assistance from attorneys. I called all listed in phone book to no avail. I was told that the bankruptcy was closed and they couldn’t help. I called the Bankruptcy Trustee, Carlotta Boehm, who stated the case was closed and she couldn’t help. I called Employee Assistance Program at work, they advised me to call American Bar Association. I did and was informed that they could give me 1 name of an Attorney for $40.00 and there was no guarantee that they would take the case. I had already called attorneys in phone book to no avail. I then called David Levandansky State Representatives Office. Their office could not help because they are State Level not County Level. I then contacted the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department and spoke with Deputy Dan Macioce. He stated that case didn’t sound right and I faxed him all correspondence and bankruptcy papers. I did not hear anything back from him. On June 10, 2010, we received a letter from Lisa that there was a reissuance of the Writ of Execution. We still didn’t hear anything from Deputy Macioce and thought that he was taking care of investigating case. On June 29, 2010 at 4:45 AM, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Forward Township Police officer sat outside our home. They apparently saw that I had seen them and the Deputy came to the door and served the levy paper to take Gene’s Truck. We complied giving him the key. They proceeded to load the truck onto a flatbed in the middle of the road in front of our neighbors. I stated that they could have come at 10:00 AM and they were making it appear that the truck was in repossession. The truck was totally paid for. Isn’t there a law stating that once a vehicle is levied upon the owner of the vehicle has a right to operate that vehicle until the date of the sale or auction? The sale is scheduled for July 9, 2010. On June 30, 2010, I went to work 3:00 pm-11:00 pm and was notified by Gene that we received another letter from Lisa stating that there was a levy against personal property. I became extremely upset and stressed that I had to leave my shift in the middle and then I had to take an emergency personal day July 1, 2010 to go to Pittsburgh to straighten the letter out. On July 1, 2010, Gene and I went to the Allegheny County Sheriff’s office and were informed that case originated in Washington County and they just execute the orders. The Deputy advised us to go to the Bar Association. He also informed us that it may take a lifetime for repayment and that Curran-Taylor can take anything that we own for the rest of our lives up to the $12,175.61 that Curran-Taylor states we now owe. We then proceeded to the Bar Association Office and was informed that the attorneys only do telephone appointments. I then called the Bar Association and was informed that it would be $40.00 for 1 attorney’s name and the attorneys usually charge $200.00 an hour if they would even take the case. The Bar Association then informed me if we could not afford that amount, we should call Legal Aide. I then called Legal Aide and was asked for monthly income. I informed her and she stated we make to much money for legal aide and to obtain a private attorney. I then informed her that we were living paycheck to paycheck and could not afford a private attorney. Legal Aide then informed us that she could not help us. Gene and I then proceeded to go to the Civil Court Division at the County Building, to inquire about the levy against the personal property and to apply for an injunction. We were instructed to go to the 7th floor and attend the Motion Hearing courtroom. We were instructed by the courtroom clerk there to obtain an attorney. On July 9, 2010, the auto auction was held. On July 13, 2010, someone dropped off the license plate to our home placing it between door and screen door. We were not at home. Our neighbor said that she thought she saw someone looking into our sliding glass doors which are on the same deck as the front door at that time. On July 14, 2010, Gene received a bill of sale from the pickup truck being sold at auction. Apparently, the Attorney Lisa Schroenbeck for Curran-Taylor bought the truck for $300.00. I thought this was a conflict of interest. The Kelly Blue Book for his truck on July 14, 2010 is listed as $5,470.00. The truck needed tires and inspection only. He also received another levy for personal property. Isn’t there any injustice here? How the attorneys can place any price they want on items that we worked hard to obtain and pay for. On July 15, 2010, Gene received a check from the Attorneys Leech, Tishman, Fuscaldo & Lampl for $300.00 dated July 8, 2010 (one day prior to the auto auction). The letter that was sent with the check from Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office stated that this was an exemption. What does that mean? If we could afford an attorney or find one that is willing to help us, we would certainly obtain one. I don’t understand the legal system and feel that there is injustice. We are hardworking people and attempt to do the right things. I don’t understand the purpose of filing bankruptcy and still have creditors harassing and collecting payments. Is there a law to prevent this from happening? I thought filing bankruptcy was supposed to give people a fresh start without fear of losing everything. I don’t understand how to stop this harassment and stress. How do they distinguish what is my personal property and Gene’s? Why is my name and Blondie, Inc. still listed on all the documents? Why didn’t Curran-Taylor contact National City H.E. loan for non-payment or take me to the Magistrate at the time for non-payment? Did Curran-Taylor receive any money from the Bankruptcy? Did Curran-Taylor write off the debt on their taxes in 2007? Is Curran-Taylor therefore allowed to claim any profit from the 2007 claim of loss? Lisa Schronbeck will not answer any questions, therefore what is the purpose of contacting her. She did not attempt to discuss any other options for payment. I do not know what else I can do to prevent seeing what little things we do own go to auction, or how to prevent future embarrassment to have items taken from our home in front of our neighbors by the Sheriff’s Office like we are criminals. I feel like our civil rights have been violated because my and my husband’s right to own any property and our right to privacy has been invaded. We are U.S. citizens who are attempting to recover from the unfortunate demise of “The American Dream” and can not stand up to a larger business. I have lost time and wages on my employment due to increased stress and attempts to correct the above. I feel like a criminal and have done everything by the law from starting the business and Incorporating the business to filing the bankruptcy, even complying with the Motions to Compel. My husband turned over the key to his truck. When will this end? What will happen to our rights if my husband loses his job after 25 years of employment if he can not obtain transportation there? He will never be able to own a vehicle as long as there is this outstanding charge and debt. Do we have the right to have legal representation? Hopefully you can assist us in our endeavor to prevent this from happening. You may contact me at any time and I would be more than happy to fax you all the papers to review.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2010
    Bill
    Go up the chain of command. Make two payments if you find a sympathetic person willing to give you second chance. Start looking for a vehicle you can afford if your efforts fail.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2010
    Ted
    I recently bought a new truck, I missed a payment. I am currently 29 days late on the payment. I have received many phone calls at work and many notices in the mail. Now they won't take my payment at all and say they are going to repo my new truck! I'm NOT even 30 days late and have not missed any other payments! What should I do?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    nick
    Iam posting this to let any small mom and pop stores know what can happen to you if you fail to pay back american express on time we have had an ae small business card for 8 years and have always paid them back in 2009 we paid them back over 200 thousand we started having trouble about 14 months ago the business in our town has dropped a lot ant the internet slowed to about half to make a long story short starting in 2010 we were not able to pay our full amount back ae said they would put us in a 12 month program since the 1st of jan 2010 we paid them back 9053.00 balance left is about 22 thousand we talked to ae 4-1-10 they said we needed to send 780.00 to stay in the program we sent 1000.00 they cashed the check and turned us over to arsi to sue us we called arsi as instructed terry petrell 805-379-8500 left a message call was not returned i guess they want my 1988 moble home as and old marine and vietnam vet i will not quit and will keep sending them payments please please consider this letter before you go with ae thank you for reading this
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Bill
    You are asking me to offer an observation about a contract I have not read for a resident of an unknown state. Read your contract. If you do not want a repossession on your credit report, I urge you to get your finances in order and make the payment as soon as possible.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Evelyn
    I bought a car and the payment was due on the 1st of April, well I missed the payment, and was told I am in a first payment default. what is the grace period for this... I can make the payment on the 29th of April.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    See the Bills.com resource State Consumer Protection Laws and Exemptions to learn if your state permits wage garnishment. Wage garnishment will be a last resort for the creditor. Creditors will always want to negotiate a lump-sum settlement or reasonable payment plan instead of garnishment, account levy, or lien.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Dee
    If I voluntarily give my vehicle back since I lost my job for many months can my current salary be garnished for the deficiency? I have a new job, but the pay is only 1/4 to what I was making, so I will not be able to keep the car. Once repossessed can I contact the lender to make arrangements to pay the deficiency amount or do I have any choice at all.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Bill
    I would be curious to know what cause of action the payday creditor may have against the third-parties you mentioned. It is common for payday loan collectors to make outrageous statements in an attempt to intimidate debtors. See Advice on Pay Day Loan Collections to learn more about your rights and how to resolve payday loans.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Judy
    I have a collection agency, telling me that they are going to sent me a summons to court on a bad check charge, and all of the people I put down as references as well. Can I be charged was a bad check charge, for not paying a payday loan back? Can they sent summons to the people I have as references?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Bill
    If I understand what you wrote in your message correctly, you are a collection agent and are asking for advice on how to negotiate a debt with a collection agent. Please review Debt Negotiation and Settlement Advice for tips and tactics you may find helpful. Regarding your reference to the FDCPA, you may be thinking of §808 which reads in part "...the following conduct is a violation of this section: (1) The collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law." (emphasis added) §808(1) raises the questions, 1) are interest and fees allowed in your credit card agreement, and 2) are interest and fees allowed in your state? I cannot answer those questions because 1) I have not read your credit card agreement, and 2) I do not know your state of residence to determine what fees and interest are permitted in your state.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      JB
      This 'reply' is somewhat confusing. If I am understand the reply correctly it indicates it is not legal to apply interest to collection accounts but other articles on the website indicate it is legal to apply interest to a collection account. Am I missing something? Specifically, does the state of Kentucky allow interest to be added to collection accounts? Any distinction between revolving collection accounts and medical with regard to the adding of interest?
      1 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      Each state sets the rules for obtaining and collecting a judgment. In some states, the amount of interest a collection agent can charge is limited by the state's usury laws. Similarly, the amount of interest that can be charged on judgment is set by each state legislature.

      In Kentucky, if a creditor receives a judgment, it can charge 12% compounded annually. (KRS 426.720) The Kentucky consumer usury rate is the prime rate plus 4% or 19%, whichever is less, for amounts less than $15,000. There is no limit for amounts greater than $15,000. (KRS 360.00) I was unable to find any indication in Kentucky law that classifies medical debt separately from other unsecured debt.

      The key issue is whether the contract you signed allowed the creditor to tack on interest. If so, federal and Kentucky law allow interest to be charge on your debt providing it does not exceed Kentucky's usury rate.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Kristy
      No, she stated she had a collection agent call her. she has a bad check she is being accused of for paying a pay day loan. Her check was no good and they want the money and they are contacting her references as well to obtain the money. You read the question wrong.. Thanks
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Crystal
    Question, I had a capital one account that charged off in 2006. When it charged off it had a final balance with interest of $531, which my credit report still reflects. The problem is, that it has been sold to collection agency since then and they have added over $500 in interest which makes my balance $1,076 and that relflects on my credit report as well but seperate from the capital one. When I contacted the agency today the lady told me that the $1,076 was the balance owed and the extra interest was from their company. When I asked about a settlement she said she would have to get it approved by her "supervisor" and will contact me tomorrow to let me know, when asked how much would the payment be she said it would be the original $531 so they basically knock off all of their supposedly "legal" but assumably "illegal" interest. Now, I am a collector and according to the FDCPA regulations a collection agency cannot add interest? So my question is, is this legal? and how do I fix this?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Bill
    First, look to the document that created the LLC to see if the duties of each partner are articulated and how the other partners can resolve the situation. Second, in most LLC articles of incorporation is the stipulation that if one partner declares bankruptcy, that partner is removed from the organization and his/her share is divided among the remaining partners. Your LLC may be set up to function similarly if one partner is insolvent. Third, I recommend you consult with the attorney who helped you form the LLC and raise these issues, and see if there are other possibilities for removing your deadbeat partner.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Enrique
    My partner who has a 10% share in our Limited Liability Co.(LLC)has defaulted in his Credit card bills and does not have the capacity to pay these bills.Do his creditors have the right to establish a lien on his 10% share in our Company,? What is the proper procedure to remove this partner's share from our company. considering that he has not been attending to his job and he also owes the Co. an amount that is more than the value of his 10% share?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Bill
    The creditor has the legal right to file a lawsuit against you in a court of law. However, you are asking me to predict the behavior of an unknown creditor, which is impossible for me to do. That said, in my observation payday lenders as a group are especially zealous in their collections efforts. You should plan for and expect a payday lender to use all legal means at its disposal to collect the debt. See Advice on Pay Day Loan Collections to learn more.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Latasha
    If I never pay back a payday loan, will I be taken to court?
    9 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    I infer from your question that the precipitating event was a voluntary repossession. Please see Debt Negotiation and Settlement Advice to learn more about how to handle the negotiations regarding the deficiency balance. Remember that the deficiency balance is an unsecured debt. See What Are My Debt Consolidation Options? to learn more about your rights and options for resolving the debt.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Rudy
    I live in Florida Fort Lauderdale, and with the economy I don't have money and can't pay an attorney. In a letter I received from an attorney they ask me to write them what I want to do, and I was thinking to write them that I don't have any money, and if they lower what I owe for the truck I gave them back, them I can maybe pay them $50 a month, or they will not have anything because I don't have anything. I wonder if they can go after my car, or furniture etc? Or what? What should I do? Thanks, Rudy.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    Credit scores are calculated using a proprietary formula. Therefore, it is impossible for anyone to say with certainty how much a certain event will increase or decrease your credit score. To learn more about how credit scores are calculated, see FICO Score Calculation.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    William
    If I return a leased car before the lease expires, how much my credit score will go down ?
    0 Votes