A judgement against me??...PLEASE HELP!!             Click here to Print

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#nacirema - Says,

I was recently contacted by a lawfirm regarding a possible judgement against me for a delinquent credit account. I spoke with the man handling my case and was told my only option was to pay within four months (with four even payments) or to go to court. Not knowing what else to do I said of course I'd pay with the four payments (as I can now afford them, after graduating and finding full time employment). I set up the arrangements for the money to be drafted each month and made sure I had the money in my account the day he told me the money would be withdrawn. (I should note that I was told the money would come out on that exact day, not a week later as the man later informed me)

Several days after my first payment was to post, I called the lawfirm to inquire about the problem and was told to wait a week, that sometimes the withdrawl can take a while.

A week and a half later my husband called him and requested that we would be able to just wire him the money that day as we had other expenses being drafted from our acct. (utilities and such) that we didn't want to interfere with this payment. The attorney told us to go on about our business that he hadn't heard anything about a check yet (a week and a half after the date he said the money would come out!!).

After hearing nothing, and obviously having our money drafted for other utilities we received an irate call today, demanding we pay this lawfirm today or he will file suit. My husband called, told the man that we'd done what he said, told him this situation would occur and attempted to work out a plan to pay the firm on our next payday (less than a week away) and double up on our last payment in the series of four so that we do, indeed pay this debt. The man simply said "Pay today or we file" and hung up.

Now, I'm obviously scared, confused, worried, etc. about what to do next. I don't know my rights, am committed to paying this debt in four months (I can't pay it all at once but I CAN make four payments and pay this bill) and really don't appreciate the way this man handled our situation, being very kind throughout, leading us to believe he'd work with us, etc.

Obviously my credit score is in the gutter, but I'd rather not have a judgement on top of everything. This is my only debt...I don't want it to ruin me for a lifetime, especially since I'm doing all I can to pay it off.

Please help!! (and thank you in advance!)

#debtstinker - Says,

Hi, welcome to the forums...this sounds a little hinky as the lawfirm hasn't followed through on what they say they would (arrangements that is). First of all what's the name of the law firm you're dealing with? who is the original creditor? with that information we may be able to help your further. Do you have proof of the 4 month installment payment arrangement? any proof of correspondence will be to your benefit. the reason i ask who the creditor and law firm is that many people here deal with the same companies/law firms plus you can maybe even go to the debt forum and type in the name of the credit and law firm you're currently dealing with and gain some insight as to who they are...let us know how you're doing and hopefully we can help you further with more info
#nacirema - Says,

thanks for getting back to me...i'm obviously worrying!! the original credit is with Bank of America - when I asked the lawfirm I was told that I couldn't call Bank of America directly and negotiate with them - I was told they would refuse to speak with me. The lawfirm that contacted me is "frederick j. hannah and associates" - the only written correspondence I have with them is a statement I received 5 days AFTER the agreed date for the money to be drafted from my account. I was told I would receive this letter ten days in advance of the date the money would be drafted (Nov 31), yet the letter was dated Nov 30. Otherwise, I have not received any paper correspondence.

What should I do from here? I think I should contact the lawfirm and speak with a supervisor (mainly to resolve the rudeness issue and ask my case be assigned to a different person) and ask that our payments are resumed as of this month - and the payment arrangement that they screwed up be made up by doubling our last payment. I'm just not sure if this is the right course of action.

What really concerns me is that I dont' know my rights so I call and I am completely at their mercy. Please help me understand my rights in this situation, what payment plans they are required by law to take, what to expect if a judgement is filed, etc.

Thanks so much!!

#nacirema - Says,

I just searched the Hanna lawfirm on the site...apparantly they are pretty crappy....i noticed others had been hung up on and treated terribly as well. can i deal with bank of america directly and cancel my payment plan with the lawfirm? from what i could read the money doesn't always get where it is supposed to anyway. i don't want a judgement on my account....but i would rather have that (no matter the 10 years on my credit) than be taken advantage of....thanks in advance for any advice
#crackerjack - Says,

You can always call the original creditor and try. I don't think it would hold up in court anyway if they agreed to a payment plan and you have been holding up your end.

How many payments have you made? How old is the debt and what state are you from?

#nacirema - Says,

Thanks for your questions - I hope my answers can help! We are in NC - the debt is fairly recent....the acct. has only been delinquent for 6 months...the debt i about 1 1/2 years old...totals $4500. We used the card for an emergency - then our financial situation was suddenly drastically different. I am not making excuses for the debt though - I want to pay it

So, the payment that was not drafted on the date we were promised was to be our first payment. I got a bad/iffy feeling about this lawfirm when the money didn't come out when promised. I know they are capable of going straight into my acct and pulling the money out on said day...it doesn't take 13 days to do so. I feel like he was hoping to catch us when our utilities were already drafted out of our acct. (in fact, at one point on the phone he told me his favorite part of his job is when people don't pay and he gets to get "mean and take them to court")

I simply don't understand why I can't wire this money to the lawfirm this coming week, and resume payments as normal. I also don't understand in general why I have to have equal payments on certain dates...why can't I pay more on one date than another. I also don't understand how this company can get away with telling me one thing will happen, then switching it, then threatening to take me to court for their misinformation...obviously I'm confused!! hahah!!
I hope that helps you understand our situation a little more...I welcome the help and advice!

#goodnatured - Says,

I am going through a similar situation, This one was with a collection agency. I got served a summons last december, we went back and forth on what was what and I demanded that they show the debt validation. I say similar because a collection agency is trying to collect my debt, not the original creditor. Like yours, my statute of limitations still has not run out. I am going into arbitration with them here sometime in January or February.

However, I wanted to let you know about another situation that I had. It was with Capital one and the attorney did represent the original creditor, the attorneys office was just down right rude sometimes, like you I could not afford the payments or the sum that they wanted. I just could not do anything about it, whatever I offered was never enough, so they sued me, I got a hearing notice for the local magistrate. Once they sued me, they made descent affordable payment arrangements and was pretty descent to me. We never went to court, we made a payment arrangement that I could afford and then they would request a continuance each time that the court hearing was about to happen. Four payments and four continuances later, the debt was paid off and they sent a letter to the local magistrate tell him that the matter was resolved and that they wanted to withdraw their case.

I thought this was ridiculous, but it was the only way that they would be reasonable, they can't get blood from a turnip. I hope this helps ease your mind, you may end up in the same boat. I will try to look up other information for you and post it here. check back.

#goodnatured - Says,


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#goodnatured - Says,

Also, if you can get your hands on your original contract look for an arbitration clause, this may come in handy. See below

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#goodnatured - Says,

Here is some good news, they can't garnish your paycheck:

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#goodnatured - Says,

I think the best thing for you to do is to arm yourself with knowledge, it sounds like they are just bullying the hell out of you. Get to know the collection laws and stand up to them. They love it when they feel they are intimidating you. You need to read up on the federal and state laws on collections, here is a place to start.

Web Addy deleted for safety- Richard

I have one more thing that I want to look up for you, be back.

#goodnatured - Says,

Web Addy deleted for safety

great site to find more information on what you are going through.
You can email him with specific questions and he will email you back. I would say calm down, get educated and then deal with them. I would even hint to them that you will get an attorney if you need to, this may get them on www.naca.net [incorrect web addy given previously] you can see if there is one in your area, they will also answer questions for you. I wish you luck and hope that you will calm down a little, not worth the stress, there will be a result, one way or another. don't let them bully you, you don't deserve it. I would not be calling them back either, I would tell them that I want everything in written form, that way they can't go back on their agreements, if you come to one with them. goodluck.

#nacirema - Says,

goodnatured, thanks so much for that information!! i have to admit, just having information makes me feel so much more empowered. thanks also for your story...i'm not the type to stress out but this all just caught me by surprise. i truly appreciate your help.

my husband and i decided to send a certified letter on monday that requests all communication be done by letter, and request a copy of any paperwork they have regarding our case. we will also continue to have the money in our accounts on the days we've agreed to have the payments withdrawn. if the company continues to wait a week or two weeks in hopes of catching our acct. without the full payment that's fine - we will continue to save and when/if they require us to go to court, we will simply go to court, with all of our paperwork...as well as the money towards the bill. i am sure a judge will find it ridiculous that we are all in court, particularly if we have the payment money waiting.

thanks again for everyone's help and continued advice is welcome!! we're not done with this yet and i'm sure this man will continue to call and harass us

#goodnatured - Says,

You just stand your ground and don't take his crap, when I first starting going through this, I could not sleep at night for worry and embarrassment. As I learned things about the law, I felt alot better.

I also found out that alot of those nasty people on the phone were not even attornies, they were paralegals hired under an attorny or a firm and they are on their screaming at me. Please!!!! Excuse me????? LOL

I told one "If I spent all that time and money on law school, I sure the hell would not be chasing dead debt, junk debt or debt collection period, I wonder what your parents think about your choice of employment" These are the bottom of the barrel, think about it, who the hell would spend all that time in school and then chase debt, get a real job! They also need to know that they should know the laws that they are trying to enforce, it is amazing when you start preaching it to them how they take it. If one would yell at me today, I would be apt to say, hang on a minute while I put my recorder on, You are violating the fair debt collection law, you are not allowed to harrass me. They violate so many laws, I could go into sooooo many, but you get my drift. So when they call you again, ask them if they mind being recorded? Just through it out there and see what their response is, bet they will be flabbergasted. Goodluck, I hope all this crap has help you, I feel for you, but you know what, they are not worth all the worry. Good thing you have your husband there going through it with you. That that don't kill you, will make you stronger!!! LOL, I am living proof!

#crackerjack - Says,

Sounds like they put you through alot of headaches goodnatured, but isn't it great that you can pass that information on to some one else and help them out.
Debt collectors often violate the laws, the webpage you noted above is a great way to get educated, I know they use it alot on the debt forum to find out information for people.

I like how this community is growing and the experiences that we are all sharing, I am learning so much here.

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