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Old 02-12-2008, 05:54 PM
 
5 posts, read 25,554 times
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I have a question. I just received a letter from a collection agency concerning a debt owed. I could not pay the debt because I was not working. I am in the position of being able to pay the debt now but feel that the amount stated that I owe should be reduce because half is due to over the limited fees, past dues fees and late fees. What should I do?
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,408 posts, read 9,549,648 times
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If you had paid the debt when you got into the position to pay it, they wouldn't have had to send it to a collection agency and you wouldn't have the extra fees to pay. I think you should pay the whole thing, but it seems like you're looking for someone to tell you it's OK not to - wait around long enough and someone will tell you what you want to hear.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:07 PM
 
5 posts, read 25,554 times
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Actually, I not. I don't mind paying for actual purchases made. I do mind paying for excessive fees added just so that the bank can make a profit, even when they knew that I was out of work. What I'm looking for is "advice" on the matter. Since I am "NOW" in the position to pay the debt, I don't mind paying it. From reading professional to amature advice on the matter, call them, don't call them but write and request a "debt validation", is the collection agency legit, etc I was looking for some clarity. From reading a lot of the post here, I was hoping to be lead in the right direction, not criticized. Thank you!
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,667 posts, read 8,144,319 times
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The collection agency has probably been commissioned to collect your debt. These are businesses in which employees receive paychecks. The fees related to your collection is how these paychecks are funded. People make a living doing this. They really aren't concerned with your individual circumstance, as they're gambling that people will continue being late on payments and they can continue collecting. I'd pay it, as they may take legal action, and there may be some fine-print that says you'll pay for that too. If it's a lot of money, you could check with an financial attorney.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:12 PM
 
5,092 posts, read 9,595,498 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luroni View Post
Actually, I not. I don't mind paying for actual purchases made. I do mind paying for excessive fees added just so that the bank can make a profit, even when they knew that I was out of work. What I'm looking for is "advice" on the matter. Since I am "NOW" in the position to pay the debt, I don't mind paying it. From reading professional to amature advice on the matter, call them, don't call them but write and request a "debt validation", is the collection agency legit, etc I was looking for some clarity. From reading a lot of the post here, I was hoping to be lead in the right direction, not criticized. Thank you!
Sure. You can just ignore the typical condesending jackassery on the topic. They usually fall away when an intelligent discussion of the topic arises.

First is understanding what has happened. When your account was placed in "collections," it is often sold off at some rate of 50 cents or below per dollar claimed against you on the account. So depending on the scumminess of the first operation, they probably tried to run the total with late fees, higher "default" interest, and whatever else they dreamed up.

Following that the typical collection operation will try to collect all that claimed on the account and more of whatever they try to add on -- attempting to more than double their money. If you ignore them, it will typically be turned over to a real scum operation that will pay 10 cents or less for what is claimed and try all over again.

First thing in the real world for you is figure out how long the chain on their dog is. Namely what was the date of the last activity on the account? Last transaction you endorsed -- whether charged to or payment made BY YOU. Typically, that date plus some time -- often six months -- is the basis for the limitations of how long they have to bring a civil suit for collections against you. So what was that date? And what state are you in? (varies by state law).

Be very careful on any spoken or written conversation with any collector. In some states even promising to pay ANYTHING is taken as grounds for re-setting the date of the limitations. Do NOT offer to pay anything [until after] you have gotten your act together.

Last edited by Philip T; 02-12-2008 at 08:22 PM..
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,201 posts, read 12,105,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip T View Post
Sure. You can just ignore the typical condesending jackassery on the topic. They usually fall away when an intelligent discussion of the topic arises.

First is understanding what has happened. When your account was placed in "collections," it is often sold off at some rate of 50 cents or below per dollar claimed against you on the account. So depending on the scumminess of the first operation, they probably tried to run the total with late fees, higher "default" interest, and whatever else they dreamed up.

Following that the typical collection operation will try to collect all that claimed on the account and more of whatever they try to add on -- attempting to more than double their money. If you ignore them, it will typically be turned over to a real scum operation that will pay 10 cents or less for what is claimed and try all over again.

First thing in the real world for you is figure out how long the chain on their dog is. Namely what was the date of the last activity on the account? Last transaction you endorsed -- whether charged to or payment made BY YOU. Typically, that date plus some time -- often six months -- is the basis for the limitations of how long they have to bring a civil suit for collections against you. So what was that date? And what state are you in? (varies by state law).

Be very careful on any spoken or written conversation with any collector. In some states even promising to pay ANYTHING is taken as grounds for re-setting the date of the limitations. Do NOT offer to pay anything [until after] you have gotten your act together.
Referring to the text in bold above, I had an incident a hundred years ago involving a fitness club I had tried and then dropped within the trial period. The club continued to bill me, tacking on late fees. When it was turned over to collections, that agency continued with late fees, and I'm presuming it was to keep the account "active" so that the limitation for bringing suit would never come to an end.

I don't know if collection agencies are truly allowed to do this or if it's a state by state thing. But it's my opinion luroni that whatever amount you owed the original creditor is what you need to pay, assuming that your contract with them did say that they had the right to charge late fees and such. Others here will tell you how to make the payment so that it's properly recorded and the collection charged off and finished.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,408 posts, read 9,549,648 times
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Looks like you got the advice you wanted.

I still say that it would have been more advisable if you had paid when you found yourself in the position to. It's a bit of a stretch to believe that you only found yourself in a position to pay on the same day the letter came from the collection agency.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:23 AM
 
5,092 posts, read 9,595,498 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawipafl View Post
Referring to the text in bold above, I had an incident a hundred years ago involving a fitness club I had tried and then dropped within the trial period. The club continued to bill me, tacking on late fees. When it was turned over to collections, that agency continued with late fees, and I'm presuming it was to keep the account "active" so that the limitation for bringing suit would never come to an end.
The next sentence beyond the bold was to emphasize BY YOU. So if they keep doing goofy stuff and fail to bring suit in a timely fashion (somewhere between 3 and 6 years depending on what state you are in), they lose their right to bring suit.

btw, the health clubs are designed to be scams from the front to end, and (generally) do not even think about bringing a lawsuit as they would get it thrown out and you could countersue for damages they have caused you. Whole other topic, but their intent is to con you.

Quote:
I don't know if collection agencies are truly allowed to do this or if it's a state by state thing. But it's my opinion luroni that whatever amount you owed the original creditor is what you need to pay, assuming that your contract with them did say that they had the right to charge late fees and such. Others here will tell you how to make the payment so that it's properly recorded and the collection charged off and finished.
The key point at the start of this is to NOT "just pay something" or even promise to pay. Those may be consiidered transactions on the account and start the date all over. That "good faith" start is what may step luroni DEEP in the bear trap that has been intentionally laid out to trap the folks who trust these people. These are NOT Good People Doing Good Things. Their intent is create the debt and then profit from it. No real goods or services produced or deliveried -- just social and economic parasites.

But it still should start with luroni going back and looking at the transaction date.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,201 posts, read 12,105,326 times
Reputation: 3699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip T View Post
btw, the health clubs are designed to be scams from the front to end, and (generally) do not even think about bringing a lawsuit as they would get it thrown out and you could countersue for damages they have caused you. Whole other topic, but their intent is to con you.
That's why in my case, since I actually owed nothing, a cease-and-desist letter forced the collection agency to stop. However, luroni's case is different, and you're offering some really great advice.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Martinsville, NJ
6,151 posts, read 10,883,503 times
Reputation: 3935
Quote:
Originally Posted by luroni View Post
Actually, I not. I don't mind paying for actual purchases made. I do mind paying for excessive fees added just so that the bank can make a profit, even when they knew that I was out of work. What I'm looking for is "advice" on the matter. Since I am "NOW" in the position to pay the debt, I don't mind paying it. From reading professional to amature advice on the matter, call them, don't call them but write and request a "debt validation", is the collection agency legit, etc I was looking for some clarity. From reading a lot of the post here, I was hoping to be lead in the right direction, not criticized. Thank you!
It's not the fault of the company from which you made the purchase, or the credit card company, or the collection agancy, that you were out of work. Perhaps it's not YOUR fault either, but you incurred the debt. Pay your bills. You say you don't want to pay fees "just so that the bank can make a profit." But what other reason does a bank, or a collection agency, have for it's existance? htey are there to make a profit. You promised to pay them the money you borrowed, plus interest, plus fees, when you took out the loan. Stop looking for a way out, or for someone to tell you it's ok to try to stiff them. Pay the debt you incurred & go on with your life.
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