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RehabbingANDBlabbing

Settling BofA Debt

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Does anyone here have experience settling a debt with Bank of America? I have a credit card debt of $7,358. I am currently involved in a lawsuit with them here in Texas, which is being handled through Scott & Associates (a collection law firm). Recently, they decided to move forward with a trial next month. I do have a lawyer, but I did also want to seek out any additional advice people on here can provide. The account is within the 4 year SOL here in Texas. I would ideally like to settle the account and possible negotiate a pay for delete, but there is no way I can pay the entire account balance. My lawyer thinks it is possible to beat them in court, but she also says settling for $2,500 might be possible. Does anyone have any experience with this type of situation? Would the arbitration method be possible after they have filed this lawsuit? Thanks in advance for your assistance!

Edited by RehabbingANDBlabbing

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what incentive does boa have to settle a within SOL 7k debt for a fraction? Also, OC rarely engage in PFD.

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Is Scott actually representing BofA or are they representing the entity who bought the paper?  BofA has long been noted for selling off with the purchasing entity using Scott to litigate (I have seen them on a lot of County dockets through the years). 

 

As others note, however, you ARE represented by counsel which means you should be receiving ZERO calls and you should be making ZERO calls to anyone involved in this case who is NOT your attorney.  You making calls is a great way to forfeit position AND piss off your attorney at the same time. 

 

If BofA still owns the paper, then don't expect to get a PFD although it never hurts to have your attorney place it on the table.  Expect to pay an extra 15-20% if PFD is entertained...it will be the quid for your pro quo. 

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18 minutes ago, centex said:

Is Scott actually representing BofA or are they representing the entity who bought the paper?  BofA has long been noted for selling off with the purchasing entity using Scott to litigate (I have seen them on a lot of County dockets through the years). 

 

As others note, however, you ARE represented by counsel which means you should be receiving ZERO calls and you should be making ZERO calls to anyone involved in this case who is NOT your attorney.  You making calls is a great way to forfeit position AND piss off your attorney at the same time. 

 

If BofA still owns the paper, then don't expect to get a PFD although it never hurts to have your attorney place it on the table.  Expect to pay an extra 15-20% if PFD is entertained...it will be the quid for your pro quo. 

They are actually representing BofA in this case. I.E. the lawsuit is Bank of America, NA vs. RehabbingANDBlabbing. I am not in contact with them. My lawyer was saying that Scott & Associates often makes mistakes and that there is some chance we could prevail in court. But I do want to settle it just so I don't have to worry about it ever again. I have settled all of my other debts. I actually was calling Scott & Associates to settle the debt before they filed the lawsuit, but they did not return any of my numerous phone calls. The few times I spoke with them about settlement, I got a debt collection representative (not an attorney) and they kept quoting me $5,600 to settle it, which really wasn't feasible then or now. It looks like I'm just going to have to settle it based on a payment plan. I will update this thread after I talk with my attorney again and hear back from the other side.

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Just spitballin' here (grain of salt, etc ...)

 

I'll reinforce what centex advises, you have an attorney in this matter now, use the lawyer exclusively for contact.  Period.

 

I'm willing to stake much on the likelihood that they'll accept $4500 (60%) to avoid the courtroom appearance.  Between prep and appearance, they'll be out near $3k for their representation.  If you can scrape up 1/2 that as an upfront payment, with the balance over 6 months, I expect you can put this behind you.

 

Of course, I suggest you look to your lawyer for the best advice here (they should be well experienced in this).

 

Pay-for-delete may be of limited value to you if you have other delinquencies on record of similar age.  Factor that, in deciding where you want to set up stumbling blocks. 

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Having been down this road a couple of times before, when a trial is pending is a less then ideal time to look for a settlement. They've already put in lots of billable hours and are unlikely to settle for less than 65 to 70%. The $5,600 that they quoted you is probably pretty close to the bottom that they will take. Depending on how much you're paying your attorney, it's probably going to be cheaper in the end to pay that than to roll the dice and try to prevail in a trial.

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UPDATE: I wanted to update this thread so that it may be useful to other people in this situation. After a couple of weeks, I finally got back in touch with my lawyer. She reached out to Scott & Associates/Bank of America with my settlement offer of $3k. They came back with an offer of $3,680 (about 50% of the balance). They required me to pay it within 4 months of signing the settlement agreement, or I could pay the settlement over 2 years if I agreed to an agreed judgment. I have the cash to settle this now, so I am settling the entire balance this month and avoidong the judgment situation entirely. I am pretty confident that I would not have gotten such a good settlement offer had I not hired an attorney.

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Wise move in rejecting the Agreed Judgment...an Agreed Judgment is STILL a judgment.  Not only does that potentially impact your credit reports, but it is a viewable public record AND you also have to check affirmatively the box on any loan or employment applications that ask about judgments. 

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Quick update on this situation: I finally received the agreement from BofA/Scott & Associates from my lawyer on Wednesday. Since the time they agreed to the settlement back in September, they have had 3 different attorneys take over this case. Apparently, my lawyer was saying they are experiencing a high turnover rate.

 

Anyway, it took nearly a month and a half before they sent us the agreement. Then, they sent it to my lawyer at 12pm and demanded that they receive the payment on or before the next day. Luckily, I woke up from my nap at 4pm, checked my email, read and signed the agreement, got a certified check from my bank, and literally overnighted them the check.

 

They also backdated the agreement to October 16 to cover their own a**es and make it look like we were taking our time to pay. Overall, they got it on time and I met all the requirements, but the lesson here is that you CANNOT trust a word these people say under any circumstance. They will try and sue you for the full amount, even if you have agree to a settlement, have the cash in hand, and are waiting on them to send the papers.

 

Now it is time for me to start disputing the entries on my credit reports! 

Edited by RehabbingANDBlabbing

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Don't read anything into turnover...ANY office with more than a few attorneys often has a turnstile.  This holds just as true in the public sector and biglaw as it does with the segment engaged in traffic ticket defense and litigation of card-related claims.  Through the years, I have seen more than my share of offices where the only people who had multiple years in the section were the support personnel...and even on one of my tickets in the Austin area, I saw five different attorneys across six settings (Number five finally stepped up and gave me the dismissal I had been looking for, being just as frustrated as I was about DPS stripping header information from the video that Number Four had finally produced). 

 

There is no problem with litigation for the full amount.  It is permitted by law and there is no reason to litigate for a lesser amount.  There is no requirement that a Plaintiff ever even accept a settlement offer (or extend one).  Where one is made, they are OFTEN a short deadline...again, just as true in criminal defense as in civil work.  I've even seen plea offers in low-level misdemeanors that were good for about a half-hour...shortest deadline I can recall on a felony was about a day and a half (basically a by the close of business Friday, set for jury selection Monday AM). 

 

Glad you resolved your situation though...

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UPDATE regarding the credit disputing process:

 

After finally getting the BofA settlement done, I sent out disputes to the credit bureaus regarding the account. I included the settlement agreement and a copy of the check with my dispute letter. Here's what's happened so far:

 

Experian: They deducted the settlement amount from the balance, but did not finish investigating.

Innovis: They have completely deleted the entire account.

Equifax: They deducted the settlement amount from the balance and said BofA verified the information is accurate.

TransUnion: Their response letter said they verified that the full balance reporting was accurate, but my report shows that they deducted the settlement payment from the balance and left the status as unpaid.

 

I also sent Bank of America a letter directly informing them of the inaccurate reporting. 

 

I wanted to share this info, because this is not the first settled account I have disputed. It seems the bureaus just have this habit of subtracting the settlement payment from the balance and calling it a day, even though you have sent them proof the account should have a $0 balance. For EQ, EX, and Innovis, I have had to send multiple rounds of disputes in order to get the account to finally show the correct status. TU has been a mixed bag: they have deleted most of the accounts I settled, but they correctly fixed one I settled with USAA, and the BofA matter is still in the works.

 

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Sending "proof of settlement" is rarely a wise move.  Even less wise unless the settlement document EXPRESSLY states that there are NO amounts due and owing and that the balance is deemed to have been zeroed out.  When you send a settlement document, you essentially cement the tradeline to the report until it ages off...

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6 hours ago, RehabbingANDBlabbing said:

 

I wanted to share this info, because this is not the first settled account I have disputed. It seems the bureaus just have this habit of subtracting the settlement payment from the balance and calling it a day, even though you have sent them proof the account should have a $0 balance. For EQ, EX, and Innovis, I have had to send multiple rounds of disputes in order to get the account to finally show the correct status. TU has been a mixed bag: they have deleted most of the accounts I settled, but they correctly fixed one I settled with USAA, and the BofA matter is still in the works.

 

 

Whether reporting a "0" balance or not, it's the record of the charge off/collection that's going to drive the credit score impact, no matter what outstanding balance is reflected on the account.  For manual review by a prospective creditor, the notation "Settled at less than full value" can be key, so that the creditor is assured that you're no longer subject to enforcement.

 

I commend your effort in general, but suggest that you're sweating the balance information excessively.

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Here's a quick update on my disputes for this account:

 

1. I received a response back from Bank of America directly, regarding the dispute I sent directly to them. They responded by saying, "Our review determined that we accurately reported to the consumer credit reporting agencies. At this time we consider this matter resolved." On the one hand, I guess they cannot admit to any inaccuracies without opening themselves up to a lawsuit. On the other hand, they are begging to be sued, because they know the account is paid and are saying the status of unpaid, the balance of $7,358, and the past due amount of $7,358 are reporting accurately.

 

2. TransUnion completed their dispute process. They updated the account to a $0 balance and a status of paid/was a charge-off, with the comment "settled for less than the full balance." It is now reporting accurately. I am going to see my new FICO score tomorrow, so I am pretty excited to see. This was the last unpaid item on my TU report (which leaves 2 paid charge-offs remaining).

 

3. Equifax has updated the account to a $0 balance, $0 past due, paid charge-off, and with the comment of "settled." This report still shows 2 unpaid charge-offs, so I am not expecting too much of a score bump, but I will see my EQ FICO tomorrow.

 

4. Experian has left the account sitting at $3,678 and remaining as a past due charge-off. I can't dispute this one again until December. 

 

I am unsure how I want to proceed at the moment. I think my best bet is to wait until the middle of next month, see if BofA updates Experian on their own, and consider my options then.

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Sadly paid vs unpaid doesn't matter to FICO. In fact the updated date being more recent may actually drop your score. 

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