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PBear

Collection Settlement Plan of Action?

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Around Feb/Mar 2018 I walked away from just over 80k in debt. I chose to walk away instead of Bk for multiple reasons. 

Now I have come into a little cast and want to start settling for less than owed. All debts except Capital One, Discover & WF have been shipped off to CAs. Mostly sold, some just collecting on behalf of OC.

None of the CA or even OC have spoken to me since I walked away. I don't answer numbers I know and have never responded to a collection letter. But I do get settlement offers frequently. Usually 40-60%.

So does anyone have advice on how to best approach negotiating settlements? What do I need in writing to make sure the debt really is settled and is not sold down the line with some new CA trying to collect and report on it?

My goal is to settle for 15% or less. I plan on starting out the negotiations for all at 10%. Those that won't settle I just plan to let ride out the 3 years left on SOL.

I really don't care if they sue me. Texas is debtor-friendly and I don't have any assets on my name anyway.

Below I have listed out the details of the debts. 

Bank         Current Collector
Amazon     Now     Midland Credit Management
Amex     Now    Nationwide Credit
Amex     Now     Nationwide Credit
Capital One     Now     Capital One
Capital One     Now  Capital One
Capital One     Now     Capital One
Chase     Now     United Collection Bureau
Chase Amazon      Now     United Collection Bureau
Citi     Now    Halsted Financial - LVNV Finding 
Citi     Now     Portfolio Recovery
Discover     Now     Discover
First National     Now    Frontline Asset
Lending Club     Now     Unknown
Wells Fargo     Now     Wells Fargo
Total Debt    80k+

Edited by PBear

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You should negotiate a PFD into the settlements. You might as well try and get some of these items off your reports while you’re at it. 

Good luck. 

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I would use arbitration for Midland, PRA, and LVNV (unless it's a Credit One card in small claims) They will NOT pay the 5K startup fees for arb. That kills the debt, and you can threaten them with a petition to compel in federal court. That usually results in them paying YOU, not the other way around. You might be able to score enough to pay off some of the remaining ones. Cap One and Chase have no arbitration, that's two you'll have trouble with. Read the agreements for the others. Arb gives you leverage you otherwise don't have. Bad part is each arb case costs you 200 or 250 and it is not refundable. Even so, if 2K can wipe out most of that 80k you are way ahead. Amex and D are unlikely to take a 15% offer. They may arbitrate, too, but it's hit and miss.

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Spend the weekend reviewing and re-reviewing the Texas mother thread.  Texas law is unique and provides you with a number of avenues that don't exist under federal law and that are FAR more favorable to the consumer.  The effectiveness is bolstered by the fact that any letter used in the Texas plan specifically sticks to State law, which pre-empts any attempt to remove to federal court any case that you might file in the Texas courts.  It is not even necessary TO file in the Courts.  The mere fact that you lay out the plan and provide the required notice necessary for a trebling of damages under the Business and Commerce Code is generally enough to make the third-party turds disappear...

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11 hours ago, legaleagle2012 said:

I would use arbitration for Midland, PRA, and LVNV (unless it's a Credit One card in small claims) They will NOT pay the 5K startup fees for arb. That kills the debt, and you can threaten them with a petition to compel in federal court. That usually results in them paying YOU, not the other way around. You might be able to score enough to pay off some of the remaining ones. Cap One and Chase have no arbitration, that's two you'll have trouble with. Read the agreements for the others. Arb gives you leverage you otherwise don't have. Bad part is each arb case costs you 200 or 250 and it is not refundable. Even so, if 2K can wipe out most of that 80k you are way ahead. Amex and D are unlikely to take a 15% offer. They may arbitrate, too, but it's hit and miss.

Is there a place where I can get a copy of the agreements? I had assumed that they change over time and any that I might find online might not be the ones I am bound to? Or do all CC's have a master agreement for all cards and all cards get updated to new agreements automatically when it changes?

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9 hours ago, centex said:

Spend the weekend reviewing and re-reviewing the Texas mother thread.  

When you say mother thread, are you talking about this one in the state laws forum?
 

 

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4 hours ago, PBear said:

Is there a place where I can get a copy of the agreements? I had assumed that they change over time and any that I might find online might not be the ones I am bound to? Or do all CC's have a master agreement for all cards and all cards get updated to new agreements automatically when it changes?

You would have received the terms with your cards when you initially received them. If any were updated you would have received the update the same way you received your statements.

I vaguely remember reading that there’s a website that you can get many of the T&C paperwork from, but I can’t find the thread. 

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The CFPB has all the agreements going back to I believe 2011, except for 2015. You need the one in force when the account went into default, because they do issue a new agreement every year, even if it is the same as the previous year.

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I’m going through exactly what you are doing right now. I have 200k. I just settled 2 Amex cards for 18 percent. One with Nationwide and one with Zwicker. They steadfast denied going below 50 percent then I elected arb then spoke to a few supervisors and they settled 50k for about 9k. This is freshly defaulted charged off a month ago debt. 

 

It took awhile but they caved. Waiting for the rest to be assigned so I can give them the same treatments 

 

Chase now has arbitration back in their agreements. So you might fare better with that too. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, mysticspirit25 said:

I’m going through exactly what you are doing right now. I have 200k. I just settled 2 Amex cards for 18 percent. One with Nationwide and one with Zwicker. They steadfast denied going below 50 percent then I elected arb then spoke to a few supervisors and they settled 50k for about 9k. This is freshly defaulted charged off a month ago debt. 

 

It took awhile but they caved. Waiting for the rest to be assigned so I can give them the same treatments 

 

Chase now has arbitration back in their agreements. So you might fare better with that too. 

 

 

Thanks for that tidbit. It's encouraging news.

Did the Amex get assigned to a CA or sold off to a CA that you settled? Mine seem to be assigned for collection. Not sure if that's a determining factor as some of the arb threads said OCs will usually happily go all the way through arb just to spite the consumer. 

Any chance they agreed for a PFD at the settlement amount?

Also, when filing for arb, what reasons did you use in the filing document as cause. I was reading about how to do arb and realized since I haven't done anything like validation to rack up violations on their part, I am lacking cause for basically suing them through arb. Unless I'm missing something in that process. 

 

Edited by PBear

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P- no, the Texas mother-thread was the one that I believe was started by WalterG and included some of the work that I had done in crafting a process that keeps the federal statutes (and courts) out of the equation AND that has paid for more than one lobster dinner.  I don't remember when it was started as a thread...but easily more than a decade ago would be my guess. 

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16 hours ago, centex said:

P- no, the Texas mother-thread was the one that I believe was started by WalterG and included some of the work that I had done in crafting a process that keeps the federal statutes (and courts) out of the equation AND that has paid for more than one lobster dinner.  I don't remember when it was started as a thread...but easily more than a decade ago would be my guess. 

Thanks, think I found it. 

But going through a bunch of his posts as there seem to be several good TX threads he started. 

Thanks

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Be sure to ALSO spend time with

Texas law is the consumer's best friend where that consumer is a Texas resident.  Adding in the Deceptive Trade Practices Act trebling and it is not difficult to make a showing of the very real dollar amounts that could be had if the matter went to litigation.  Most are good at having the required bond which actually makes it easier to leverage since the underwriter is a key piece of the equation.  Sticking to the Texas plan will get most third-parties to fall by the wayside...and where there is a pervasive issue, it isn't that difficult to get the check that is the equivalent of at least one violation. 

 

While a c-note may not be a huge sum, it covers the better part of a nice dinner.  I wasn't that concerned with large sums via settlement in any case I got involved with...for me, it was the principle of the matter.  If it went away with the one and done approach, that worked for me and the friends who I aided.  Quite frankly, I hold to the position that litigation is a major time-suck that I prefer to avoid if I can.  I hate being constrained by a trial docket, which is part of why I prefer the area of law in which I work (no trial dockets and I get some measure of control over when I meet with certain State agencies).  Trial dockets get in the way of playing poker... 

 

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On 8/4/2019 at 7:19 PM, PBear said:

Thanks for that tidbit. It's encouraging news.

Did the Amex get assigned to a CA or sold off to a CA that you settled? Mine seem to be assigned for collection. Not sure if that's a determining factor as some of the arb threads said OCs will usually happily go all the way through arb just to spite the consumer. 

Any chance they agreed for a PFD at the settlement amount?

Also, when filing for arb, what reasons did you use in the filing document as cause. I was reading about how to do arb and realized since I haven't done anything like validation to rack up violations on their part, I am lacking cause for basically suing them through arb. Unless I'm missing something in that process. 

 

Bumping for the “reasons as cause for filing arbitration” piece of this. I’m in a situation similar to PBear’s, not having responded with DV to the first letters from collectors. 

 

-CD-

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So quick update, I have settled both of my Amex accounts for 20 cents on the dollar. 
 

One day out of the blue I decided to play Collection roulette and answered a call on the number which they  all call but I never answer. Amex is on the other line and I stand firm at 10% just saying it as a matter of fact until they finally transfer me to a supervisor. Keep insisting on 10% until he finally drops to 20%. Tried to get down to 15% after that but no budge. Finally agreed and that monkey if off my back. 

 

Wish me luck on the rest. :)

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In your same shoes!!  160k here.  Heres some info on my current offers from Amazon, chase, Citi, and discover.  Different collectors though.

 

Discover - no offers

Amazon SYNCB current offer 80%

Citi 1  PRA owns, filed suit but never served

Citi 2 70%. Calvary

Citi 3 56%. Calvary

Chase 1 20%. All chase still owned by chase

Chase 2 20%

Chase 3 15%

 

Amazon is the most recent of my delinquent accounts, which probably explains the higher number.

 

 

 

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@GoCardinals How did you find out they filed suit if you didn't get served?

Yeah since I'm in Texas I'm gonna hit up the JDBs next. Send them a Verification letter to see if I an get at least a single violation on the books and then if I do go in hard with a 5% offer and if they say no just head to arbitration. 

Edited by PBear

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On 9/6/2019 at 11:42 PM, PBear said:

@GoCardinals How did you find out they filed suit if you didn't get served?

Yeah since I'm in Texas I'm gonna hit up the JDBs next. Send them a Verification letter to see if I an get at least a single violation on the books and then if I do go in hard with a 5% offer and if they say no just head to arbitration. 

 

 

It's on the county court website.   I had two others that sued so I noticed it pop up while I was looking at documents on the others .

 

5% Would be amazing!  Good luck!

 

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Validation / verification does not produce violations as a rule. All they have to give you is the name of the original creditor and the amount, which I assume they already did. A cease and desist letter is better for violations, document everything (send them a certified letter and back it up with an email) then get ready to photograph your caller ID.

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So got the CA working for Chase to take 14% on the 2 accounts, which was reasonable for me since they don't have arbitration and I have some other Chase accounts which I have been avoiding using because of the collections and can now use them without concern. 

So far about $20.5k settled for right about $3.5k. Not a bad start. 

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On 9/8/2019 at 6:22 AM, legaleagle2012 said:

Validation / verification does not produce violations as a rule. All they have to give you is the name of the original creditor and the amount, which I assume they already did. A cease and desist letter is better for violations, document everything (send them a certified letter and back it up with an email) then get ready to photograph your caller ID.

You forget...OP is in Texas...we have extra bullets that can be fired here that don't exist in a lot of jurisdictions.  And the law at the State level does indeed have some teeth as Lenahan found out in Travis County several years back. 

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On 9/8/2019 at 7:22 AM, legaleagle2012 said:

Validation / verification does not produce violations as a rule. All they have to give you is the name of the original creditor and the amount, which I assume they already did. A cease and desist letter is better for violations, document everything (send them a certified letter and back it up with an email) then get ready to photograph your caller ID.

In addition to what was posted by Centex, the name of the OC and amount of the debt does not validate a debt.  

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Generally speaking, that's all the FDCPA requires informationwise.  It does require the mini miranda, but that's pretty much standard with all collection letters.

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1 hour ago, legaleagle2012 said:

Generally speaking, that's all the FDCPA requires informationwise.  It does require the mini miranda, but that's pretty much standard with all collection letters.

That information (name of the current creditor or OC and amount of the debt) is included in the validation NOTICE.  Not one single court has ever ruled that the validation notice validates a debt.  

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