Help! Charged off account!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 01/06/2008 - 06:22


I have an account that was charged off a few years ago. I have been making payments on it for the last 2 1/2 years. I was getting statements, so I knew the money I was sending was getting applied to my account. However, they started calling me numerous times a week, even though I was still making payments. I sent letters asking them to stop, but they didn't. So, I contacted the attorney general, then they finally stopped calling. But, they also stopped sending statements, and won't return my calls. Apparently, they have a no contact order for me.

I would like to get this account out of my life! Should I settle it or should I keep making payments, until it is paid off? What is the best way to do that, especially since they won't return my calls?


Charged off is charged off and it will never reflect any differently, even when you pay it off, it will say charged off/paid in full, the charged off status will never come off it. You really should pay it, if they offered me a settlement I would pay that and move on with my life, it will stay on your credit for seven years regardless, they won't take the history of the account off of your credit record, and the update will still say charge off but in some type of wording, paid in full will be there or settled what ever you decide to do.

Sun, 01/06/2008 - 12:29 Permalink

I would like to get this account out of my life! Should I settle it or should I keep making payments, until it is paid off? What is the best way to do that, especially since they won't return my calls?

Are you sure that this company still even has the account if it is two and half years old, I would think it has moved on to some type of collection agency. What type of account was it? was it a credit card? a checking account?

You may just be better off leaving it alone, I understand that you want to get rid of it, but no matter what, the original status will stay on your credit report, it will update as erb has indicated but it will not go to a total good standing. It will still show the charge off, you will never get rid of that, it will stay there in an update status as paid, however you get to handle it, but you may just be better off leaving this alone.

If you let me know what type of account it is, I may be able to dig a little deeper and get you more information on how to contact them.

Sun, 01/06/2008 - 16:47 Permalink
norwane02 (not verified)


Yes, I am sure the company still has the account, they put it into their 'recovery department'. Its a long story, but technically it was a second mortgage. Our house foreclosed, and since the company (Citifinancial- can I say the name?!), didn't get their money, they threatened to come after me and get a judgement against me. My ex's name was not on the loan, so it was only me that would be hung out to dry. I didn't want a judgement in my life, (felt like I had been through enough, and wanted to get my life back on track), so I started sending them monthly payments.

They did offer me a settlement about two years ago, which I could not afford at the time. Since then, they have not offered me any type of settlement.

So, when you say leave it alone, do you mean, keep making payments, until it is paid off, or stop making payments?

Thanks for the help!

Mon, 01/07/2008 - 00:43 Permalink

Well if you were making the payments and you can now start making the payments again and you want rid of it, go ahead and contact them and see what they would settle for. It seems as if they were willing to work with you in the past right?

I commend you on trying to clean up you past debt, you won't have this looming over you head and pop up years later when you are not expecting it. I hope that things have been better for you in the time since this event.

You have come to a good place, good people here with some of the similar problems, I am sure they will be back to help you in a bit. Hang in there things will get better.

I am not real sure what good and erb are talking about, good has other posts on here kinda of similar to your situation, I am sure they will be back to answer you soon.

Mon, 01/07/2008 - 02:36 Permalink

Hello Norwane,

What I understand is that they have stopped sending any statements as well. So if you are making the payments you do not have any documents of acceptance from their side. In this case it is risky to make payments. Pay a visit to Citifinancial and speak to them in person. If you really want it off your records then you need to pay right?

A charge-off will stay put on your file for 7 years. So you need to wait for that. However you might try disputing but I doubt whether that would be effective because the account is active and you have not yet paid off.

Mon, 01/07/2008 - 04:58 Permalink

Advapinia , what is up with your posts?


seriously I would leave it alone until they contact you, just save up while you wait and maybe by the time they contact you, you may have enough to offer them a descent settlement amount.

Warning: if you dispute it, the credit reporting agency will contact them and that sleeping dog will definately wake up and start collection procedures again.

This is just what I would do, it is totally your decision.

Tue, 01/08/2008 - 01:09 Permalink
norwane02 (not verified)

Hi all,

Thanks for the advice. I actually never stopped sending payments. I have also tried to talk to someone at the Citifinancial office, but they just refer me back to the 'recovery dept.' I have checked my credit report, and the amount has decreased, so that's how I know they are applying the money I am sending them to my account. I just have a feeling they are waiting for me to stop sending payments, then they will try to nail me with a judgement. I just don't want them to have that excuse!

So, is the consensus that I just keep making payments until it is paid off or can make a settlement? I know that it will still be on my credit report and won't look good no matter what, but would it look better if it was totally paid off or does it matter? What is the best way to talk to them to get them to settle?


Tue, 01/08/2008 - 01:47 Permalink

Well if you are paying it off anyway then make sure you have the right documentations. They might bounce back to you after few years demanding payment for the same debt. At that time you would require proper documents to stop any collection attempts.

Tue, 01/08/2008 - 10:34 Permalink

Sorry, I did not realize that you were still making the payments, I thought you were going to contact them because there was no contact in a long time.

How long have you worked with citifinancial? reason I ask is the bought out my mortgage company and now service my mortgage, they seem to be ok, what are your thoughts on how they have been with you? Just curious, thanks

Tue, 01/08/2008 - 15:34 Permalink
Suprtlchk (not verified)

Cap One BK reports the account as Charge Off EACH AND EVERY MONTH. My problem is that I paid a settlement amount 3 years ago that was supposed to have it marked "Paid In Full". I never received documentation for this, of course, and have received numerous collections letters throughout the years that do and don't reflect a payment by me on this debt (which was the settlement, or so I though). THere are several D.C. involved now.. can they report twice (I have an debt of unknown origin on my credit in the approx amount as the CAP ONe debt) which by the way shows NO Receipt of the Payment made 4 years ago.

Thu, 01/24/2008 - 00:59 Permalink

But i think if he does not have the required proof with him how will he get a deletion done? Even the bureaus will do a research and he does not have the payment papers. The CA can deny getting paid.

Fri, 01/25/2008 - 10:40 Permalink

The burden of proof isnt with him its with the bureaus. You are challenging their right to report it. Thats where all the people get so confused. You are challenging the bureaus right to report the negative. They have to document it or remove it. Do you really think the bureaus are going to spend the time and money contacting the creditors and the time to get the documentation. No they wont its not in their interest to spend the money and time. Make them take it off or send you the proof of the debt with the documents. Its that simple. Its the law. Read the Fair Credit reporting Act section 611.

Fri, 01/25/2008 - 11:03 Permalink

I will have to look up that section. I am not to familiar with it.

Fri, 01/25/2008 - 14:50 Permalink
kelly (not verified)

negotiatied, went to mediation for 18000 settled for 10300.00 credit card attorney nor personal attorney let me pay the debt by the deadline i called and called and called attorney said he would post pone the collection for 30 days never heard from him now there is a 27000 judgement on my credit due to attorneys not playing their role to collect the money from me.

Fri, 02/22/2008 - 03:22 Permalink

went to mediation for 18000 settled for 10300.00 credit card attorney

If it was settled how did they get a judgement? Also, it's not really their role to collect your money. It's your role to pay them....

Fri, 02/22/2008 - 03:30 Permalink

Settlement payment was not made...sounds like creditor's attorney was being sneaky. I'm not sure if you have any real recourse, other than to pay or file BK.

Fri, 02/22/2008 - 04:29 Permalink
charles (not verified)

i have a judgement against me with a bank which is national penn bank boyer, pa and we r trying to get another mortgage which we got approved and at the time of closing we need a letter saying we paid them off but we didn't and the judgement was already on their for 7 yrs. what can we do or is their nothing that we can do

Sat, 03/01/2008 - 14:57 Permalink

If you weren't properly served, you can try to have the judgment vacated, or you can file bankruptcy.

Sat, 03/01/2008 - 23:07 Permalink

You need not be scared about vacating a judgment. Just be sure that you have right documents to vacate.

Thu, 03/06/2008 - 06:54 Permalink
Stressed in WI (not verified)

I have a charged off credit card account. It just happened. I fully want to make payments, but the collectors are saying they can't take anything less than triple the amount, plus paying $400 right now. Can they force me to make those big payments?

Fri, 03/07/2008 - 23:40 Permalink

Mail in what you can afford, pay with a money order (save your reciepts). They'll either cash them, or send them back, but they cannot "force" you to pay anything.

Sat, 03/08/2008 - 00:04 Permalink
melody (not verified)

My situation is very similar. I have around $100 charged off account (utility bill). Would it help if I send Pay to delete letter to them, settle the account in full and ask them to remove it from the credit report? Appreciate your help.

Mon, 03/10/2008 - 20:05 Permalink
Stressed in WI (not verified)

My credit card became a charged off account recently, less than 30 days ago. Do I have to send the payments to the collection company or can I pay the credit card company? If I don't do anything with either of them can they garnish my wages in the state of Wisconsin?

Fri, 03/14/2008 - 02:45 Permalink

Hi melody,

In your case a pay for delete letter will help. Try negotiating with them.

hi Stressed,

They cannot garnish unless they win a judgment against you. For that they have to sue you. Get in touch with the credit card company. If they agree to take the payments then its good for you. I would never interact with a CA if possible.

Fri, 03/14/2008 - 04:22 Permalink
HELP!!!!!!!!! (not verified)


Thu, 05/01/2008 - 02:20 Permalink
Debbie (not verified)

We had 1st and 2nd mortgages thru GMAC/ Ditech. 1st mortgage modified 3/07, 2nd mortage went into charge off status 04/07. Now I'm getting foreclosure hearing notices from a mortgage company I don't even know that says we have a mortgage with them and we are in default. This is the charge off 2nd mortgage. Can a mortgage co. buy a mortgage note that is in charge off status? Can they really foreclose on this even though we are in good standing with our 1st mortgage ,since our loan modification we have been current on our payments for 24 months. Is this a legitimate foreclosure threat or a debt collection company trying to collect a debt?....HELP!!!!!!

Fri, 02/20/2009 - 13:17 Permalink
Sha (not verified)

Hello Friends,

I have some debt on my credit cards (in total over $50000)
I cant make the payments (Jobless) actually, I am 5 months behind the payments and they are calling me and inform me taht it will be charge off
My question is : If I leave it alone( I dont pay) how long does it take to Judgement?will they sue me? Im living in California and the SOL is 4 years.
Best Regards,

Thu, 03/19/2009 - 05:10 Permalink
Angie (not verified)

My husband got a judgment against him so I’d been making regular payments to Mel Harris on behalf of CitiFinancial for a few years over a repossessed SUV (we owed $450 when they took it and refused to let us pay the money). We tried to fight the amount owed ($5K after 5 years on a $10K/5 year loan – long story on that scam) but followed the directions on the summons to appeal it instead of hiring a lawyer. Stupid us.

In March 2009, I finally did a settlement and paid the thing off. However, after that was paid, we discovered that CitiFinancial put on my husband’s credit report that this was a charge-off in January 2009, despite the fact that we’d been paying on it for a few years. Too late for a pay for deletion, I’d assume. (Never knew about those until last night anyway.) Because of that so-called “fresh” charge off and the comment to “skip” loaning my husband money, we got denied a loan for a SUV my husband wanted. We were told it was because of that charge-off, too. So my questions are this:

1) If CitiFinancial won a judgment against my husband, shouldn’t it be reported as that…a judgment? We’ve had a couple others years ago and that’s how they were reported. As a judgment, not a charge-off. Then the judgment was taken off the report when the account was paid in full.
2) Can CitiFinancial report the account as a charge-off in January 2009 when 1) we’d been making regular payments on the judgment for three years and 2) according to their rep, the charge-off was in January 2006, not January 2009. (The judgment might’ve been summer 2006).
3) What can I do to fight or fix this? We’re obviously livid as this is just another sleazy trick CitiFinancial has does that’s earned them the outstanding reputation they have for “customer service”.

Besides the CitiFinancial b.s. on his CR, there’s the BMG Music thing I’m fighting which is totally bogus (we’ve never ordered from them) and a few overlooked minor medical bills I’ve gone ahead and paid off. So the only real thing hurting him is the so-called Jan. 2009 charge-off. What to do? Thanks for the help!

Thu, 04/30/2009 - 14:41 Permalink

Judgment cannot be removed from your credit report. Once you pay the judgment money it gets reported as "paid judgment" in your report but stays there in your report for seven years from the date the judgment has been passed.
If Citibank has charged it off the account in Jan 09, but has not reported it on your credit report, they can report the charge off account anytime within the seven year period. Judgment can appear along with the charge off listing against the same debt.
You cannot remove either judgment or charge off from your credit report before the seven year period.

Fri, 05/01/2009 - 10:58 Permalink
Angie (not verified)

When we paid off the other judgments, they were listed as paid in full. Not "judgment paid in full". And a charge off means the lender NEVER expects to get back the money they loaned. Now, we'd been paying for over five years before we tried to fight it. And then we'd been paying regularly for an additional three years when they listed it as a charge off. I don't see how they can claim they never expect to get paid if 1) we're paying regularly and 2) it's actually a judgment which is now paid off. I'm not wanting to get the paid judgment removed. I guess I'm expecting common sense.

The judgment isn't listed as a judgment. It's just listed as account paid in full. So which is better? Judgment paid in full or the charge off on there and that it's been paid in full?

However, the whole issue with the judgment ticks me off after reading another thread on here. We DID answer the summons in time as it stated and then we waited to hear from the court about the scheduled court date. Next we got a call from Mel Harris asking us when we were gonna pay. That's when we found out they'd already won the judgment. The thing is paid off but I wanna know if the city court dropped the ball or if Mel Harris had the court papers sent to a different address to win by default. They've been known to do that. A lot. I wish CitiFinancial never bought out the other company. They were on the up and up and didn't use unethical tricks.

Sat, 05/02/2009 - 05:24 Permalink
Angie (not verified)

Another thing, why are they allowed to wait three plus years to report a charge off? I've never had any company wait several years to report that I was 30, 60, 90 days late or to suddenly decide to state I haven't paid a bill. It's either reported immediately or updated regularly but never new out of the blue years later. This makes it seem like something that happened yesterday. And wouldn't it have to disappear after seven years of the 180 day missed payment deal? That'd only leave maybe three years it can stay on there but the way they've reported it makes it look new and as if they can keep it there for seven years going out from Jan. 2009.

Sat, 05/02/2009 - 05:45 Permalink
AJ (not verified)

Just keep telling the credit agency "it's not yours" perhaps you are testing the verification process or have a bad memory. I've had a public record removed, it took a year to to a full repair just keep firing certified letters at them every 45 days.

Tue, 05/19/2009 - 06:11 Permalink

Hi Angie,

a charge off means the lender NEVER expects to get back the money they loaned.

A charge-off means that your creditor has written off your debt account as a loss for the company. But they can continue collection practices on the debt account. In your case the original creditor has sold it to Citifinancial. As far as charge-off is concerned, it can be removed from the credit report by negotiating with the collection agency(CA), once you have paid the amount in full. Even if the CA does not agree to remove it, you can atleast negotiate for "Account Paid" or "Settled"

But judgment will remain for 7 years, from the day your debt was reported as delinquent. However, if you pay off the judgment amount it will appear in your CR as "Paid Judgment".

Tue, 05/19/2009 - 07:10 Permalink
Angie (not verified)

Hi Rachael. Thank you for the precise definition. Yes, I know what a charge-off means and when a creditor writes off the debt as a loss for the company, it's because they never EXPECT to get paid, whether they continue the collection process or not. That's not something I'm confused about. CitiFinancial was getting paid regularly so for the company to act like they never expected payment is b.s. because they WERE getting their monthly payment and had for a couple years. I just wish I'd known what they'd put on his report before I offered to pay it in full because I would've been insistent that the remark comes off.

Also, CitiFinancial did not buy a bad debt. Not sure if that's how it was interpreted by what I previously wrote. I just never would've done business with CitiFinancial voluntarily is all I meant. CitiFinancial bought out the other company about a year or two into the original loan.

Something else that bugs me is that this WAS a judgment. I have the paperwork to prove it but CitiFinancial has never listed it as a judgment. I'm sure having it listed as a judgment paid isn't the best for his credit but at least it'd be truthful. To have "account paid" along with "bad debt; charge off; skip" on his account irks me when he was doing what was required and they promised to fix the error of it being listed as a charge-off when we called about it.

While I know in my gut exactly who put the charge off comment on his report, the whole company is a sham. I had that problem when we were in good standing with the company. We'd call to talk about the account and they send us to the 800 number. The 800 number says it's the wrong 800 number and tries to send us to the local branch and when we insist on speaking to someone who has authority since the local branch route got us nowhere in answering our concerns, they give us more 800 numbers where we get the same "wrong department" answer. I've spent hours and hours for several days talking on the phone with them. I know they do that so we give up and just don't fight the inaccuracies. That's not the kind of company I can trust or would want anyone dealing with. They're out to screw over their customers. And while they'll profit even more from those customers who are forced to pay the inaccurate bills, those customers won't ever go back to them. Ya'd think they'd realize repeat business is better than the one shot to screw over the business you have before you lose them. Idiots.

Sat, 05/23/2009 - 13:55 Permalink
Angie (not verified)

Well, I've since learned that I could have the account removed for reporting the paid judgment as a charge off because it's inaccurate and it can't be validated as such. Even the two women my hubby spoke to at CitiFinancial said it's NOT a charge off and shouldn't be reported as such. Yet, he doesn't understand why it's not been changed yet. Um, because talk is cheap. We can call and complain but until they get that threatening letter, they'll keep pretending they'll fix it and not. I'm sure they've been laughing all this time. I've been educating myself on our rights and what can and can't be reported, how to dispute, etc, and I'm not taking no for an answer. Report accurately or DELETE!

Mon, 06/01/2009 - 06:02 Permalink
Angie (not verified)

I just wanted to pass along a link for CreditBoards forum. I found them and reading it has been amazing. Just reading it has taught me so much about our rights and that CitiFinancial is in violation by not reporting my husband's account correctly. By reporting it as a charge off, if they don't fix it, I can sue them if it comes to that point. Of course, most would rather fix the entry or delete the error than go to court.

The information I found at creditboards (dot) com /forums/index.php?showtopic=142032&st=0 (remove spaces) is what I was looking for when I posted my concerns here so I hope it can help others. DEFINITELY check out the newbies section and PsychDoc's "Credit Repair for Beginners" transcripts (which should be the link). You'll learn a LOT! Good luck! I know I've got the power to fix the errors on our reports now. =O)

Tue, 06/09/2009 - 22:20 Permalink
guest (not verified)

I've been a charge off debt collector over 11 years and just started a collection agency with a friend...HONEY , just call and SETTLE they will go as low as 25% sometimes (and no matter how much they try to convince you to pay in full) Your settle/paid letter is just as good for you credit report. It says to future creditors although circumstances did come back and pay the DEBT.

Sun, 07/19/2009 - 00:17 Permalink
Jane (not verified)

I am 76 years old and recently my health has been failing. I have a daughter who lives with me for whom I provide a home. I live on a social security check of thirteen hundred dollars and my rent is nine hundred dollars. I recently had to move to accomodate better living conditions. My daughter has MS. Until recently I was always able to pay my bills on time. Last June, I became ill and now have many medical bills and insurance deductibles. My son is able to help me with my insurance sometimes. I have a loan with Cap. One and have paid it for four years. There should only be about fifteen hundred dollars left on it but due to late charges etc. they now have it up to about two thousand dollars. I also have a charge acct with them for five thousand dollars, it was down to about four thousand but again when I got ill, they added seventy eight dollars to each payment and raised the interest to the limit. They are trying to offer me at this point lower payments but I cannot take the offer as I can't commit to them. I do not own any property, not even a car. We are at this point living from soc. sec. check to soc sec check. At 76 I do not feel I should have to be so worried as I am about this problem. I am sure I will not have to rely on my credit report as I have no money to buy anything and if I get rid of these cards, I will never try for another one. What would anyone advise? Can I just ignore the charge-off letters.
Thank you

Wed, 01/27/2010 - 05:14 Permalink
Dan (not verified)

My wife and I were on an ARM loan and they raised our first mortgage to an un believable amount. We were unable to pay this amount and the second mortgage. We were told if we stopped paying altogether that they would eventually help us restructure our ARM. That being said, the first did just that, but the second mortgage said they had charged it off. Now i am very confused on our next step. We are in good standings with the first and the second is charged off. Will the second still foreclose on a house that is more than a 100k upside down or will they just send us to a collection agency to pay them. Can somebody please help me understand this.

Very much appreciated...(indy mac is our second)

Thanks Dan

Fri, 02/12/2010 - 05:07 Permalink
Lorrie (not verified)

Can a third party take you to court trying to collect a debt for the other company.

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 04:28 Permalink

Hi Lorrie,

If the third party has the authorization over the debt, he can collect the debt from you. Thus, in the process of collection, if you are not paying the dues, they can sue you.

As far as I understand from your query, your debt has been charged off. When a company realizes that, it won't be able to collect the dues from you, it writes off the account as a loss. They then hands over the account to a collection agency. This is called the charge-off.

Hope this helps.

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 12:41 Permalink
tt (not verified)

My Citimortgage was charge off now i'm getting calls from a debt collector, can the debt collector start a garnishment on me. HELP NOW

Tue, 09/21/2010 - 14:36 Permalink

Hi tt,

To start a garnishment, the collection agency will have to sue you first and win the lawsuit against you. However, before they can sue you, you need to set up a payment plan with the collection agency.



Wed, 09/22/2010 - 11:15 Permalink
Sandi (not verified)

In Oct 2006 I settled several accounts with Cap One only to find out that 2 of the 3 accounts were charged off and never reported the settlement. We negotiated on the phone and I gave verbal authorization for the payments. Payments were collected and I have copies of the payments but no letter of settlement. Cap One is trying to collect again and is reporting the charge off as a 2010 event.
The credit agencies had Cap One verify the accounts which they did but still w/o the settlement.
Do I have to pay again? Is there a way I can challenge Cap One? I really want to resolve this matter the best way possible.
I also received a 2010 statement for the 2 accounts - last time I received one was in 2006.

Please Help

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 05:57 Permalink