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Need info concerning setteling debts

Hi, I need a little advice concerning setteling some debts. My husband and I ran up some debts about two years ago. I had been recieving monies from a trust fund that should have been completely setteled years ago. Untill the recent economic turmoil the checks had been coming. I ran up the debt thinking we would be able to pay them. When the checks stopped we were unable to pay and totally in the dark as this is a irrevocable trust. All of a sudden as dh and I were only days from filing for bankruptcy a "lost check" and letter arrive. Now I am facing trying to settel this debt. I would like to work w/these cc companies on my own. How much is a realistic amount to ask for them to go down on the amount? Should I request something in writing before sending them a check? Any advice would be appreciated.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:02 PM on Jul. 5, 2009 in Money & Work

Answers (9)
  • It depends on how late you are- The later you are, the more likely they are to settle. On the other hand, if you don't settle soon, they may take you to court and perhaps garnish your wages (if applicable) and they could possibly make you sell a car or something like that- but that of course depends on where you live.

    Anyway- back to your question. Whenever you are negotiating it's best to start extremely low. In this case I would say 50 cents on the dollar. If they don't accept, you can simply end the conversation and then call them the next day. In a week or two, maybe you can raise it up a little bit. Keep in mind that contacting them, will make them want the money- so they might start nagging you.

    Okay-moving on- If and when you settle make sure you get it in writing first, DO NOT give them account information and/or access. Send a cashiers check through certified mail.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    Answer by Erica_Smerica at 9:19 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • If you "settle" a debt instead of paying it off completly it will show on your credit report for 7 years, but they'll cut everything almost in half.

    Answer by Jillybeans24 at 9:19 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • I don't know muh about negotiating rates, but I do know that NO MATTER WHO OR WHAT you are dealing with, if you make any type of arrangements, especially regarding your money, GET IT IN WRITING!! I'm adamant about this because I've gottten screwed in the past when I didn't get it in writing! Protect yourself!!!!!!

    Answer by SgtsWife1982 at 11:45 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • Erica,
    Thanks for your advice I was wondering,what is your take on get it in writing? The guy from one cc gave me some sort of number w/letters and told me that it was an approval# for my agreement. Is that good enough? I am scared since my dh has already gotten a paper from one of them giving him 20 days to decided what to do. I really want to get this wrapped up asap. Also,We had already retained a laywer to file bankruptcy. Do bankruptcy laywers usually handel settelments?

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:02 AM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • Yes, bankruptcy lawyers can help you negotiate a settlement. If you've got a good lawyer they should have tried to help you negotiate before continuing the process of bankruptcy.

    Anyway the approval # for your agreement is not good enough. It needs to be in writing saying that "x" amount will count as payment in full for account number _______ (fill in the blank.) and that needs to be signed and dated.

    Then you send them a cashiers check (certified mail- return receipt requested.) and then you keep a copy of that statement and a copy of the check with you for the rest of your life. Other wise they might call you 5 years down the road saying you owe them money... it's a pain in the neck, but it's only to protect yourself.

    Answer by Erica_Smerica at 1:18 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • Try Alliance. Most companies want you to have high credit card debt to help you. I had trouble finding help because I had a lot of small things, old daycare bills, etc. This company negotiates lower payments and then you just pay them once a month. I had about 5k and pay them about $200 a month. I work for a company that provides discounts and they waived the set up fee.

    Answer by tcarter1981 at 1:19 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • Continue:
    Do not worry about the 20 days to decide junk. That's just unsolicited pressure to get you to panic and pay something on it now without getting it in writing. Of course you want to be done with them as soon as possible, but you want to make sure everything is done correctly before you move forward.

    The debt collectors will work with you even after the 20 days are up.

    Good luck and try not to panic! Let me know if you need any more help.

    Answer by Erica_Smerica at 1:22 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • Erica,
    Thanks so much! I was able to wrap up one of them but wow,did they try to get me to do an automatic check over the phone! I was persistant about getting it in writing first. They faxed the offer to a local ups box store and I picked it up. I have till the 26th and just want this to end-I am so happy, we have been dragging this out w/the constant phone calls for about two years. Really appreciate your help as I probably would have done the auto payment w/o a thought.
    I am waiting for the other pople to snail mail me the offer for the cc that sent my dh a summons. They really did not want to go down much on the amount but I was still please w/what we are paying overall to get them all taken care of.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:56 AM on Jul. 7, 2009

  • Oh, I just wanted to add for anyone else who is going through this or thinking about it. My laywer kept the retainer fee $500. He wanted 2000.00 to settel these card for me!
    I know that for some it is not an option to this on your own all in several big payments but this has been better and much cheaper for me and dh. The cc company I talked to yesterday was not very nice about meeting my request of in writing first but over all it is worth it. I have been taking thier abuse for many months,it was not much compared to that.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:02 AM on Jul. 7, 2009

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