Fight Debt Collectors – Mike’s Story
This is a story about a Client named Mike, who joined our program with the goal of purchasing a home. One of the things that was standing in the way of being approved for a mortgage was a Default Judgment for $1125 filed in February 2010. The plaintiff in the judgment was an apartment complex that Mike had lived in. Mike had given a 30 day notice instead of the required 60 day notice, and he left the apartment owing the last month’s rent of $1,125. Mike understood that the Judgment had to be paid in order to gain approval for the mortgage. The problem is, he couldn’t get the apartment complex to accept payment.
To make things even worse, the apartment management company also sent this account to a collection company in an attempt to collect. A few months ago, this collection had grown to $8,500. Yes, what began as an $1125 debt had grown by over 700% in 5 years! How is that even possible?
While Mike could pay off the Judgment (if he could find someone to accept the payment), he couldn’t afford to pay $8,500 on a $1,125 debt. So, Mike contacted me to see about possibly settling the collection account. He and I developed a strategy for him to discuss a settlement over the phone (recorded, of course) with the collection company. It was agreed that when Mike spoke to the collector on the phone, he was to offer a settlement in the amount of $700 on the $8,500 collection account. I personally felt this was a fair offer for two reasons: 1) The debt was now approximately five years old and outside the Statute of Limitations of four years in Texas; and 2) The collection account was scheduled to be removed in approximately two more years.
Mike made the call and spoke with the collector to see if the collection company would be willing to settle the debt for $700. The collector scoffed at his offer and said there was no way they would be willing to offer him that type of settlement. Mike then attempted to give him the reason for the $700 offer, mainly that the account would be removed from his credit report in less than 24 months.
The collector replied, “You know, you may be exactly right. On your credit bureau, it might fall off in a couple of years. However, you know you have a renter’s bureau too, right? You have a credit bureau, that’s what you’re talking about. You can dodge the debt until it falls off your credit. Were you aware you have a renter’s bureau too?”
Michael: “It’s seven years, no matter what.”
Collector: “No, not seven years, no matter what. It could fall off your credit bureau tomorrow. It will stay on your renter’s history indefinitely, until it becomes a problem for you and you have to pay.”
Because the collector misrepresented how long the account can remain on a Renter’s Report, after I gathered the evidence and assisted on the case, our FDCPA attorney sued the collection company. Long story short, they agreed to forgive the $8,500 debt, remove the account from his credit file, and paid Mike $750 which he used to settle the judgment!
This is one of the things we do at National Credit Solutions! We fight debt collectors!
If you are currently receiving collection calls or voice mail messages, don’t surrender! Give me a call or email me. There may be hope.
FDCPA Compliance Director
National Credit Solutions
(214) 504-7102 DIRECT