Bill, I recently completed a refinance with Quicken Loans/Rock Financial, and in it, I consolidated my Equity Line ($102K Pay-off; and both my and my wife's Discover Cards; along with an MBNA Credit Card. I worked with NCO Financial Systems; (my spouse's Discover card's collection agency); West Asset Management; (my Discover card's collection agency); and Enhanced Recovery Corporation, acting on behalf of MBNA (or their successors) regarding our joint VISA account. (which I believe has been bought by Pallino Receivables). The agreed upon settlement amount is $13,289.20; about 45% of the original balance. I got into this mess, when I became disabled, and my wife lost her job; and became ill during her period of unemployment. Currently I receive Social Security Disability and a montly payment from a Private Disability insuer (Prudential). This makes both my gross and net income about $2700 per month, which I do not pay taxes on. My wife works currently about 9 months of year and makes about $2900 net/montly -- which between the two of us is about $5,655 Montly. There still is an unnegotiated debt of about 28,000 worth of debt -- $16,400 (AMEX and has been in collection for a years; another 8K from Chase also in long-term collection; and about $4K in smaller debts. Of the two larger debtors the only two I haven't had contact with are American Express, and Chase. What techniques would be best for intiatiing a payoff agreement with these parties? The procedes from my new mortgage allow up to $16,8K for AMEX -- but this is based on full payment; and the smaller Chase Financial debt never even came up. I would like to be able to fully dischage these debts; at the best agreed-upon rate I could obtain. I also have $19,600 cash out from my new mortgage; and together with what I could negotiate with the other debtors; (having $16.6K allocated towards AMEX - but I am not restricted to that figure -- if I can make a better deal - I make out much better; I'm debt free -- and I have no intention of getting into this mess again. I still do have considerable medical expenses; but without the huge debt payments - I believe I can manage comfortably and perhaps start saving some money for retirement. (I'm 53; my wife is 54). Finally; and importantly my wife and I live in Massachusetts and all these situations came about here (we're both long-time Massachusetts residents). I would appreciate any advice you would share with me. Thanks very much in advance! Dave G.
How you should handle these account depends primarily on the age of the debts in question, based on the date you last made a payment on the accounts.
In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for the collection of most debts is six years. If more than six years has passed since you last made a payment on any of these accounts, you may not want to pay the debts at all, as the creditors are likely barred from taking legal action against you to collect on the accounts.
I will give you a longer answer, but I highly recommend that you get a free debt consultation with one of Bill's approved debt help partners, by clicking here: /debthelp/debt/
Now, back to your situation and the statute of limitation issues: if fewer that six years have elapsed, settling the accounts with the proceeds of refinance loan, as mentioned in question, is a good way to resolve the debts while saving yourself a significant amount of money on the balance claimed by the creditors.
From your question, I understand that your mortgage refinance lender wants you to use the $16,000 cash available from your refinance to payoff your American Express account. However, if you can negotiate a reduced balance settlement on the American Express account, you may be able to use the remaining funds to negotiate settlements on your Chase Financial account and the smaller accounts you mention in your question.
The likely reason that the Chase Financial and the other smaller accounts were not mentioned by your lender when discussing the payoffs required to proceed with your loan is that these accounts are not appearing on your credit report. When discussing a refinance loan to repay debts, most lenders pull a credit report and use the information on the report to decide which accounts need to be paid using the loan proceeds. As you mention, the lender has allocated approximately $16,000 to payoff your American Express account. However, if you are able to negotiate a lower settlement amount with AMEX, the lender may be willing to give you the difference in cash, which you could then use to negotiate settlements on your Chase account and the other small accounts. For example, if AMEX will settle its account for $8,000, you could use the remaining $8,000 to settle with your other creditors. You should contact your lender to find out if they will provide you with a portion of the loan proceeds in cash if you are able to negotiate a lower settlement amount on your AMEX account. If the lender agrees to give you cash out of the proceeds, you can use the funds to negotiate settlements with your remaining creditors. Once you have the funds available, you can contact the creditors directly to negotiate the best settlement terms possible.
While you can negotiate settlements with your creditors on your own, you may find it helpful to hire a professional debt negotiation firm to assist you in negotiating settlements with your creditors. These firms' experience in working with creditors can frequently give them an advantage over consumers who are trying to negotiate settlements on their own. If you would like to consult with a professional debt settlement agency, I encourage you to visit /debthelp/debt/
If you enter your contact information, we can have a reliable debt settlement firm contact you to discuss the options available to you. I can also suggest exploring contacting one of the leading negotiated debt settlement firms, named Freedom Debt Relief (www.freedomdebtrelief.com )
I wish you the best of luck in resolving your debts, and I hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.