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Mark Cappel
UpdatedJan 26, 2010

My bank sold my second mortgage to a collection agent. How do I negotiate this debt?

My 1st and 2nd mortg. are with the same bank. I have not paid my 2nd since May 2009. I am 1 & 1/2 months late on my 1st. My husband's salary was cut in 1/2 this past summer. I called the bank regarding my 2nd and they told me to call a 3rd party -- which is a debt collector. I looked on the bank's website and saw no information (i.e. acct no, last payment, etc..) on my 2nd. Has my 2nd been sold as a nonsecure loan for pennies on the $ to this 3rd party? The 3rd party is still using the same account no. I had with the bank, however, they said I can reestablish my loan with them without paying ANY interest. They are very persistant that I pay them $2000 by the end of the month via: cashier's check that I will overnight to them. Then my payments will be $xxx.xx a month that I will pay directly to them. My 1st will be up-to-date soon as I'm paying more each month. I called the bank and told them I would be sending a payment this week and that I would hope to be caught up soon. I don't believe that I will be foreclosed on. The bank is Chase. Live in Michigan.

Based on the information you provided, it is safe to assume the bank holding your second mortgage sold it to a collection agent. Based on the nature of the debt, it is likely the collection agent bought the debt for pennies on the dollar. (Collection agencies will also work on a contingency basis where they will keep 20%-35% of the amount collected.)

The collection agent is attempting to strong-arm you into accepting their deal. Because you did not mention the amount of the second mortgage, it is impossible for me to opine if the deal offered is attractive or reasonable. Remember you are in the driver seat -- you have the money the creditor wants. Foreclosing on your second mortgage is a legal possibility, but it is unlikely given the depressed value of home prices today.

Start your negotiations with a lump-sum of 10 cents on the dollar. Some will expect that much, and others will want more. When you reach an agreement, get it in writing, and be prepared to send the creditor a check for a lump-sum settlement immediately.

To learn more about mortgage collections, read Second Mortgage Foreclosure and Negotiating Debt.

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




DDeborah, Jan, 2012
Thanks for all the great info. My second has gone to collections and they are suing me for the full amount. Can I still negotiate with them?
BBill, Jan, 2012
Yes, you can still try to negotiate a mortgage settlement. If they are unwilling to settle, speak with a bankruptcy attorney, to see if you can either strip the second mortgage or discharge the debt. If you can do either, then you may also want to use that as leverage to negotiate a settlement, if you wish to avoid the harm that bankruptcy would do to your credit.