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I got a letter saying that they may sue me, what to do?

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Joined: 13 Apr 2007
nize28's page
Posts: 1

99 Magic Points

Subject: I got a letter saying that they may sue me, what to do?
Posted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:31 am  

Here's my situation:

I owed around $450 to a medical center (I owed more initially, but I made payment so it's around $450), but because I didn't always make full payment on the monthly payment, after 1 year, they sent my account to a collection agency.

They contacted me back in January, and I talked to arrange a payment plan. I've been unemployed for a few months therefore my s/o has been barely making payment for my debt. I explained the situation to the collector and asked if we can start by paying them $30 a month at first. She was rather impolite, scolding me saying that my monthly payment will barely pay for the loan because they're charging me with a $11 (something) interest every month. But she relented eventually.

I asked if I could pay by debit card via phone, and she said that she'd only do it if I'm about to pay the whole thing in full, other than that she wants me to pay by check or money order...okay, no problem, then since her address is in another city, I asked her, what happened if the payment arrive a day late (I mean, I can't be sure if the PO will be timely), she said, there's no excuse to be late...

So I started to make payment starting January, then came February, my s/o was laid off and I ended up not paying in the month of February. They called and left pretty rude messages on my answering machine. This kind of made me even more hesitant to call the person handling my account.

Fortunately, my parents helped us out a little and I paid them a $30 (installment) in March, but I received from them a letter saying that they're reviewing my collection files.
It's written like this:
"We are conducting an investigation to determine your assets. If such assets are located, we may file suit without further notification."

I know I'm in the wrong for not paying in February, but I did try my best to pay on January and March and I'm even planning to keep paying them in installment that we agreed upon initially. I don't want to be a deadbeat. I really want to pay off my debt, I feel really bad as it is, this is my first time with a collection agency.

I guess my questions are:
1) I'm very uncomfortable with the person handling my account, she's impolite and quite threatening on the phone, what can I do about this?
2) What should I do with the notice they sent me?
Honestly, I'm renting, I don't have a car, my stuffs are mostly hand-me-downs. But I do have a bank account, I'm frightened that they'd froze my bank account because our food money's there.
3) How soon can they file suit against me and will I end up paying more than $400 because of this suit?
Law Student

Posted on Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:57 am  

Is this a collection agency you're dealing with? The "investigation" is probably a scare tactic. I would only deal with them in writing, unless recording the call is legal in your state.

Joined: 23 Feb 2007
stanley's page
Posts: 54

3357 Magic Points

Posted on Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:21 am  

They are trying to get you scared. You may send them a written letter stating that you will be paying the money as per the plan offered by them over phone. And why don't you talk to a supervisor and complain about the lady? It works sometimes.
BTW, I am not a lawyer, I am here to share what Life has taught me.

Posted on Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:34 am  

You mentioned interest/loan...was the medical work financed?

"1) I'm very uncomfortable with the person handling my account, she's impolite and quite threatening on the phone, what can I do about this? "

Like Law Student suggested, don't do the phone call thing. Send them a letter, return receipt, that revokes their ability to call you anytime, anywhere-if they want to communicate with you, it will be in writing, only. Also, hit the Debt Forums link at the top of the page, go to the "Dealing with Collection Agencies" board, and read the stickies there.

"2) What should I do with the notice they sent me?
Honestly, I'm renting, I don't have a car, my stuffs are mostly hand-me-downs. But I do have a bank account, I'm frightened that they'd froze my bank account because our food money's there."

From what I gather, you don't have any assets. As a just in case, I'd keep it that way with your bank account...if you can, use money orders instead of checks, so your account balance is always low. I'm sure the investigation they plan to do will be limited to property/title searches, but if it were me, I'd keep the bank as empty as I can.

"3) How soon can they file suit against me and will I end up paying more than $400 because of this suit?"

IF a suit were filed, then you'd probably be liable for attorney fees, too. The debt is relatively low, so I don't think they'd file a suit against you when you are trying to pay it off. And make sure you DONT get a payday loan...the Debt Forums are filled with people posts from people who've been trapped by usurious interest rates and rollovers.

Posted on Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:47 pm
Please review this to learn your rights and be aware of what they can and cannot do.
Please send this letter certified return receipt to protect your rights and stay off the phone. This agency has already broke a few rules in their handling of this case. After they are aware of your validation and limited cease comm letter,if they continue it will be time to file suit against them. Before suit is filed,call hospital and ask them to pull account back before they end up being named as an additional defendant.


Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Morningstar's page
Posts: 576

11 Magic Points

Posted on Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:19 pm  

Duh...forgot the DV letter... Embarassed
I don't dream since I quit sleeping

Joined: 17 Apr 2007
lucygal56's page
Posts: 2

122 Magic Points

Subject: Re: Bank Acct
Posted on Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:18 pm  

I had to close my bank acct & reopen another because they started taking payments out of my acct before our agreed time stated on the phone. They didn't confirm the date when they sent me a letter either , so I took it upon myself to call & cancel our oral agreement & change my acct number. Good Luck!
Law Student

Joined: 18 Apr 2007
LawStudent's page
Posts: 8
Location: San Francisco, California

512 Magic Points

Posted on Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:19 am  

They didn't follow the agreement. If I understand correctly, you just missed the February payment? If I were a judge, I'd be pretty ticked off about it if they brought someone to court over one payment. In the future, never give a collector your bank account number. Pay by money order. As to your bank account, if they try to make an issue out of it, threaten to sue them for breach of contract (whether oral or written, about the dates to debit). Beware though, I had an experience with an internet provider. I didn't want them debiting my bank account so I opened a new one. They found out and started debiting that one. The bank told me that they can get the new number and debit it. I called up the IP and told them I was preparing litigation against them and the payed me back in full the money taken out of my accounts. (I had previously told the IP that I wanted to cancel their service). Maybe you should open an account with a completely different bank.

Subject: Re: Bank Acct
Posted on Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:50 am  

Thanks for the info, I thought about that too!
I informed my Bank of what happened, so I'll be on watch!
No Electronic Check Debits are to be paid from my new acct.

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