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  • BrokeinMD
    replied
    Has anyone ever sued their collectors on here who continued to harass you while under an Automatic Stay? It seems the medical bill collectors don't get it. One of mine even continue to bill me when they're prohibited to bill me any balance being one of my insurance company's "preferred providers". If anyone has any success stories, please share! I'm getting ready to draft a couple of nasty notes to them, as my attorney told me to do it (and I pay the firm for what?). So, I guess I sig the dogs on them if they bill me after they receive my nasty note? I would love anyone to share their stories, if you have them. Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • dirkdigler
    replied
    .

    Leave a comment:


  • lovemybugs10
    replied
    How do I do this???

    "Debt collectors are a different beast. ALWAYS go through the motions of requiring a collector to validate/verify the debt they are claiming."





    Originally posted by treehugger1 View Post
    I've posted a lot of my opinions related to your question at various places in this forum. I'll repeat a few for you.

    The first question you should ask yourself is how much of a stomach do you have for dealing with potential collectors and collection activities? If your feathers are not easily ruffled, then there are only a few actions others can take against you. While these are few, they can have heavy implications.

    Are you judgment proof? Do you own assests? Do you know your state exemptions against actions that might be taken through a judgment? In many states the exemptions for judgments are similar to those for bankruptcy. This won't stop liens against future sale of real property, but exemptions can stop forced sales of real property. Be familiar with your state laws. Google "your state name" followed by exemptions or judgment exemptions, etc.

    If your state is a wage garnishment state, be prepared for any local creditors and/or collectors to go after the non-exempt portion of your wages. In my state the limit is 25% after taxes. I can live quite fine on 75% of my takehome.

    Learn the small claims amounts for your state. Small claims actions move quickly. Debts above the small claims threshold generally require the action of a suit. A lawsuit can take time to move through the courts. I would be careful about fighting the tide against a debt you know you owe. While you can temporarily stall creditors/collectors in a court case, if you owe the money, eventually you will not win. It is not a good thing to get too many judgments backed up against you. My plan has been to work with folks who have judgments against me (currently two). One will be paid off, and a notice sent to the courthouse that the judgment has been satisfied, next month. I'm negotiating with a collection company on the other judgment. I'm quasi-judgment proof. The only "assets" I have are my wages. Garnishment can be a "pain" for creditors/collectors in my state, if a large amount of debt is involved. In Oregon, a writ of wage garnishment only lasts for 90 days and then needs to be renewed. Big creditors don't want the hassle of renewing or running the risk of "waiting in line" behind a current writ, only to have their writ expire LOL.

    The big problem is fees and interest can grow quickly. This is not a problem if you know you will be declaring BK in the future. Judgments can be a problem if they lead to a lien against real property or autos. This can create a 'secured' debt.

    Some folks advocate not talking with any of your creditors. I preferred to speak with all of mine. I just refuse to make any promises I can't keep. Debt collectors are a different beast. ALWAYS go through the motions of requiring a collector to validate/verify the debt they are claiming.

    I've never told a creditor "I won't pay them." I have told my creditors I can't afford to pay them what they want on a monthly basis, including their freaking interest. Most major creditors finally caved in and I have new payment programs at reduced interest with five-year pay-off plans and interest down ot 1.75% - 2.00%. All this could collapse if I get a wage garnishment against me for an extended period of time. But, there is very little anyone can do to me for something that is beyond my control, so I'd just go back to square one.

    Sorry about the long response here. But, when it comes down to it, if you have very few assets, there is not much that folks can do other than sue you. Even then, sueing you and collecting on a debt are two very different actions. A lawsuit simply gives the creditor/collector other avenues of trying to get any money/assets you might have.

    Protect your cash assets. Bank accounts can be "garnished." Is your paycheck direct deposit? If so, then you should move to a paper check. Collectors and creditors can be ruthless when it coems to ignoring the laws. You don't wan tto wake up some morning and discover your account is empty. While such actions require a court order and are illegal without a court action, there are plenty of folks who are willing to ignore laws. While you might eventually sue and get your money back, it doesn't help you in the present.

    Local creditors and collectors can act quickly.

    In terms of your credit, kiss it goodbye if you quit paying your debts. My scores fell from the 790 range to 480 in a few months. I don't care.

    Another thing to consider is your employment. For instance, I make very good money in a very stable job. In my circumstance I let my monthly debt payments out-pace my monthly income. I'm not ready to go down the chapter 13 path at this time, but knowing that in a worst case scenario BK 13was available, empowered me.

    In conclusion, while it may not be a crime to not pay your debts, there are consequences for not paying. Know what the consequences are in your state. Sit down and list all your debt and creditors. Take your best guess at the risk involved in not paying each of them. Those you deem the most risky (local, how quickly they can act, etc), you might want to attempt to work with.

    Have a plan of action. Eventually, you will need to address "not paying." If you know that BK is in your future, no big deal. If you can adjust your lifestyle to accomodate wage garnishment, no big deal. If you have assets, you have a problem.

    Probably more info than you wanted. But, it comes down to, "How much can you stomach?"

    Leave a comment:


  • flyinbroke
    replied
    Originally posted by wender View Post
    what happens if they sue? can they garnish your wages? what part of your wages can they garnish?
    Depends on where you live. A lucky few states (I think 4 total) have laws that completely exempt wages. Most can garnish percentages. You need to read up on your state's rules.

    Leave a comment:


  • rrj
    replied
    Originally posted by rrj View Post
    I would like to know the answer to this too, i have had 3 credit pulls from 3 credit collection agency in the past 2 months, i just filed nov 17

    I was in communication with them, I gave them my lawyers name and case number

    they still pulled it.

    Leave a comment:


  • wender
    replied
    Originally posted by wayne-o View Post
    some creditors dont do anything some (american express, discover) are very aggressive and will sue.
    what happens if they sue? can they garnish your wages? what part of your wages can they garnish?

    Leave a comment:


  • lookieloo
    replied
    Also, in most cases you don't have to retain the attorney for the calls to end simply tell them you are filing and they will usually stop calling for fear of violating the Automatic Stay. At that point they will call your attorney or ask did you file at which time he will say yay or nay and if you plan to file.

    Any payment you make within the 90 days immediately before filing can be refunded to you. Regardless of whether or not you plan to include an account in Bankruptcy filing all of your creditors will be notified which may result in all of your accounts being closed.

    Take heed to what you purchase on the credit card at least 6 months immediately before you file if it is over $1000 in total and not deemed a necessity you can and might be sued. If you have a car the bank MIGHT require you to sign whats called a reaffirmation agreement which will be filed with the court and simply state you agree to continue to pay monthly and that debt will not be discharged in the bankruptcy. Also be sure to verify which of your accounts are considered "secured" debt those types of accounts are sometimes not discharged in the Bankruptcy.

    If a collector is calling your job when you tell them ONCE verbally to stop and that your employer prohibits those types of calls- they MUST stop immediately. You dont' even have to be the one to tell them you can have ANYONE answer at your office and simply state that. Be mindul to log the time and date and maybe the reps name and if you receive another call any day after that advise again-keeping a log will help them be able to prove (most calls are taped) that you were called even AFTER you advised them not to call you at work (lawsuit). You might get 1 or 2 more calls (dialer) that day but anything more than that is lawsuit material.

    Leave a comment:


  • lookieloo
    replied
    Originally posted by Beachlover2 View Post
    I would not call your situation a bad financial move in 2007, no one has crystal ball and can project the future. We never thought it would have taken 2 years to sell our previous home. In 1997 we bought it within a week of it going on the market. We ended up doing a short sale when it finally sold. The bank is "forgivng" the balance. Had we made something or sold it within a few months, we would not be in this siutation. The banks were crazy back in 2007 handing out loans the way they did. We moved 1/2 hour from our previous home for our kids. The community where we lived previously had terrible schools and we would have had to send our kids to private school if we remained there. Is it the pay me now or pay me later scenario? So we took the plunge and moved to a community with better schools and a larger home since we we also needed more room we needed more bathrooms for sure 2 girls and myself was not going going to cut it. We could have added on, but that also costs money and there is now way we were going to recoup it at least we never were going to see it on our lifetime. Bottom line, I just want the calls to stop, especially the contacting of my relatives through skip trace. BOA called my parents home yesterday, I have not lived there in 12 years. That's just not acceptable.
    First and foremost you need to IMMEDIATELY send a written cease and desist letter. Find their correspondence address send return receipt, you can also fax it. Expressly state you want NO contact via phone to any of your numbers or family. If they violate that they are in violation of the FDCPA and you can sue them. Most collectors will accept a temporary verbal one for 10 days which will give you enough time to send in your letter. Beware that most creditors will send your account immediately to litigation if your account was to charge off which is usually 6 months or 151-180 days this tends to vary by creditor.

    In most cases "charge-off" day is the last day of the month there is no harm in asking exactly what day your account is scheduled to charge off then ask what the "bottom bucket" amount is. Meaning the absolute smallest amount (usually the amount due the first month you went past due) you can pay to buy yourself another 30 days. Also, the closer you are to charge off usually the more willing they are to cut the debt in 1/2, offer you a payment program; etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • lookieloo
    replied
    Originally posted by rrj View Post
    I would like to know the answer to this too, i have had 3 credit pulls from 3 credit collection agency in the past 2 months, i just filed nov 17
    Yes they can. Pulling your credit report is also a part of skip tracing when you don't talk to collectors.

    Leave a comment:


  • Beachlover2
    replied
    I am going to send you a private message okay?

    Leave a comment:


  • calgirl67
    replied
    Beachlover: I would strongly recommend you find an attorney that is knowledgeable and retain him as soon as you can. Then call all these scum bag creditors and give them my stock line above but add in :"if any further communication is attempted towards myself or my relatives we will be filing suit for FDCPA violations" Does not matter when you plan to file, just retain and the calls will stop.

    It was a huge relief for me as I was the one taking them for the most part. These people that do that job for a living are soul less sociopaths. I have a thick skin but even some of these got to me.

    We had been putting off filing/retaining an attorney but the last straw was when a collection agency called my husbands work and tried to get him paged, then left a message with his BOSS. This was after I had spoken to them at our home. I retained the attorney we had chosen (after interviewing 3) that day and called this collector back and ripped him a new one.

    As for the Californian real estate market: we sold our last home and should have rented while the market dropped instead of rushing into this place which was an upscale fixer-upper in one of Sacramento's best neighborhoods. It has sort of turned out to be a money pit! Anyway we are hoping WF will modify our loan permanently come January. If they don't we will file a Ch 13 instead of a 7 and have the $120,000 in 2nd mortgage lien stripped..

    I worked in investment banking as an analyst for years before I got married and became a stay at home mom, I am no idiot when it comes to economics indicators but the severity of this recession has surprised me - I never thought it would be this bad.

    Leave a comment:


  • Beachlover2
    replied
    I would not call your situation a bad financial move in 2007, no one has crystal ball and can project the future. We never thought it would have taken 2 years to sell our previous home. In 1997 we bought it within a week of it going on the market. We ended up doing a short sale when it finally sold. The bank is "forgivng" the balance. Had we made something or sold it within a few months, we would not be in this siutation. The banks were crazy back in 2007 handing out loans the way they did. We moved 1/2 hour from our previous home for our kids. The community where we lived previously had terrible schools and we would have had to send our kids to private school if we remained there. Is it the pay me now or pay me later scenario? So we took the plunge and moved to a community with better schools and a larger home since we we also needed more room we needed more bathrooms for sure 2 girls and myself was not going going to cut it. We could have added on, but that also costs money and there is now way we were going to recoup it at least we never were going to see it on our lifetime. Bottom line, I just want the calls to stop, especially the contacting of my relatives through skip trace. BOA called my parents home yesterday, I have not lived there in 12 years. That's just not acceptable.

    Leave a comment:


  • calgirl67
    replied
    Originally posted by Beachlover2 View Post
    I am also new here. I have been looking around here for along , but finally decided to register. My husband and I are casulties of the housing market bought a house in 2007 before selling our previous home. It took us 2 years to sell our previous home. In midst of trying to sell the previous home we exhausted all financial resources, credit cards, savings 401k's etc, trying to do the right thing. Credit cards are roughly $40,000 combined. I was on payment plans with them until May 2009 when my hours were cut and then October I was laid off. Quit paying on the credit cards in June roughly, not enough funds to go around to pay them. We want to file now, but we are in the midst of a trial loan modification December 15th is our last payment. I have read that its probably not a real good idea filing chapter 7 when being in a trial loan mod so we are holding off until it becomes permanent.
    We too are right in the middle of a trial mod for our mortgage thru Wells Fargo and as soon as it is finalized we will file Ch 7 to discharge $100k in credit card debt. We also bought our house at the height of the market and spent all that money on renovations as it was a fixer upper. Bad financial moves but oh well... that's life.

    We plan on filing Ch 7 in January. We have already retained an attorney and now we have not had a single call from our many creditors for a month. As soon as we retained him I called them all and told them my stock line "I am informing you we have retained an attorney and have commenced Ch 7 bankruptcy proceedings. His name is... and his phone number is .... All future communication must go through our attorney. Good bye".

    Keep us posted on how your modification turns out!!

    Leave a comment:


  • rrj
    replied
    Originally posted by bejeiris2006 View Post
    can a collection agency pull up my credit file with out my authorization?
    I would like to know the answer to this too, i have had 3 credit pulls from 3 credit collection agency in the past 2 months, i just filed nov 17

    Leave a comment:


  • Beachlover2
    replied
    I am also new here. I have been looking around here for along , but finally decided to register. My husband and I are casulties of the housing market bought a house in 2007 before selling our previous home. It took us 2 years to sell our previous home. In midst of trying to sell the previous home we exhausted all financial resources, credit cards, savings 401k's etc, trying to do the right thing. Credit cards are roughly $40,000 combined. I was on payment plans with them until May 2009 when my hours were cut and then October I was laid off. Quit paying on the credit cards in June roughly, not enough funds to go around to pay them. We want to file now, but we are in the midst of a trial loan modification December 15th is our last payment. I have read that its probably not a real good idea filing chapter 7 when being in a trial loan mod so we are holding off until it becomes permanent. I just hope I can hold off these credit companies from "charging" off my account. Is there a specific time frame that credit card companies have before they can charge off an account? I just spoke with Citi tonight and they said once it hits 6 months, they charge it off and send it to a collection agency or attorney. Or is that "6 months" just a scare tactic? Credit companies call several times a day and not even leaving messages. Its pretty sad that we unplug the phone when company comes over. They skip trace me also. They have called a few of my family members in the past few months, its pretty embarassing. I started taking their calls again tonight. I was told by one bank that if they don't hear from you every 21 days, they will skip trace you. Which is one of the reasons why I am starting to at least answer the phone to buy sometime before we file. I really don't need them calling my family members, try and explain that one.

    Any words of wisdom from anyone is greatly greatly appreciated.

    Leave a comment:

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