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Collections Law/Judgement settlement.

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Question
Mr. Miller.
I couple of years ago I received a summons for a medical bill debt of about $1500. I called the collections attorney and made a payment arrangement thinking I would avoid a judgement. I paid about $700 towards it, then one day I pulled my credit and saw that a judgement had been placed on me without my knowledge. I want to get this thing settled and was wondering the best way to do it. Should I send them a letter with my offer? How should I ask that it be notated on my credit report. I would like this settled as soon as possible as it very possibly may effect licensing with certain companies I plan on working with. Thank you in advance for your help! Dave

Answer
Dave, thank you very much for your question. What must have happened is they accepted the payment arrangement but got a default judgment as a backup. Not unheard of but it should have been carefully explained to you at the time.

First, you need to keep a collections diary documenting letters and calls you have sent and received as well as who the letters were from/to and to whom you have spoken with a brief description of the conversation. This will cut down on the he said/she said issues in the future. Certainly send the creditor a letter offering to settle the debt in return of a paid receipt, updating your credit history to paid in full or consideration of having the listing removed entirely and have the judgment canceled at the courthouse. Usually, the creditor will accept a settlement for 50% upward. The normal amount is 80% but don't offer the max to start with. Offer 50% and wait for a counter offer.  Make sure you send the offer certified, stating the amount of the settlement as well as the request for updating your credit. If it were me, I would try to make REMOVING the listing entirely as a part of the initial offer. It never hurts shooting for the moon, the worse that can happen is that they say no. If you need help with this letter please let me know. I will be happy to assist.

I wish you the best with this matter and hope you can get it resolved to your satisfaction.

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Ray A Miller

Expertise

I am qualified to answer questions on the following subjects: FDCPA, FCRA and HIPAA as well as medical collections, general collections and collection agency related issues. I trained these subjects at a nationwide collection agency and customer service call center and audited around 150 representatives for compliance to the laws. I have been in the Collections Industry for over 30 years. I feel that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with compassion and that is the way I trained collectors. Even though I worked for a Collection Agency, I get great satisfaction in helping those who have been mistreated or in need of help with these confusing issues.

Experience

I was the Compliance Administrator with a nationwide collection agency and customer service call center-I have trained hundreds of collectors on the above referenced topics. I have been in the medical collections industry for over twenty years and research these topics on a daily basis.

Organizations
ACA International

Education/Credentials
Some college ACA Certified Collection Specialist

Past/Present Clients
I am retired due to medical conditions and spend a good deal of time keeping current on collection issues.

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