Collections Law/Collection letter
QUESTION: Mr. Miller,
I recently received a letter from Cohen & Slamowitz about a debt I owe that I defaulted on last year. It said that I had 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt. I then received another letter offering a discount if I settled. The discount is 20% of $2750 on a $2500 limit credit card. I would like to settle but cannot come up with $2300 at this time. A friend of mine received disputed a debt with Cohen & Slamowitz once and immediately received a summons thereafter. I do not want to receive a summons but I could only come up with $800-$1000 at this time. I live in NY state. How would you recommend I handle this? Thanks you in advance for any help you can give me.
ANSWER: Thank you very much for your question Dave. I do not think you should dispute the debt but, it never hurts to ask for verification of it. I seriously doubt they will settle for $1000.00 but it does not hurt to ask since they bought the debt for pennies on the dollar. If I were you, I would contact them and offer them the $1,000.00; the worse thing that can happen is they will say no. If they do say no, offer the $1,000.00 as a down payment toward a settlement and set up monthly payments that you can afford; you do not want to miss or be late with any of these payments. Whatever you agree to, GET IT IN WRITING. These debt collection attorneys are bottom feeders and for the most part, can not be trusted. Document everything you do to resolve this debt in a diary so that if something happens you do not have to rely on your memory. Get the names of everyone you speak with and document that as well.
I know this is not exactly what you wanted to hear but maybe it will give you somewhere to start. You have taken the first step by not running from the situation but instead, running toward it. I wish you the best with this matter! I hope you have a great weekend.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Mr. Miller,
I would like to ask a follow up question. I made an agreement with Cohen & Slamowitz to pay the entire debt in 48 monthly payments. They sent me an agreement which I will sign and return. I have 2 concerns. If I make all of the payments on time, is there any chance of them getting a judgement on me anyway? Also, what is the best method to pay them. They have a website where I can use a debit card but I am worried about them having my info. Is this a concern or is using the debit card safer than giving them my account info. I would prefer to set up an account just for this bill but the costs would be prohibitive. Can I use automatic bill pay from my bank and would htat be better than a debit card? Thank you in advance for your help! Dave
Thank you for your follow up question. Yes, sign their agreement but, attach to it a statement that they agree that as long as you are making your payments in a timely manner, they will not seek a judgement against you. Send it to them, attached to the payment arrangements, certified, return receipt requested.
Your best payment method would be using the companies website with your debit card. Keep a copy on file in your diary so you will have a record of the payment receipts. If they try anything funny with your debit card, you can always protest the charges. Now the most important item: Do not miss or be late with any payments. It would be a good idea, if possible, to get a payment ahead just incase. I wish you the best with this situation and if you need further assistance just let me know.