Dennis M asked in Business & FinanceCredit · 9 years ago

specific question about collection agencies?

I have an ongoing issue with a collection agency. I have read a lot about how to deal with these people in general terms, and asked here and got more advice, but now I'm in need of specific advice

The quick back story, and I'll keep it simple, is my wife had some hospital bills that were sent to collection. As it stands now, the hospital still owns the debt, but they are using a collection agency to collect on the debt. I gathered that information by calling the hospital directly.

I have been given numerous settlement offers, 50%, 70%, 58%, and now 60% [sorry, I'm not comfortable posting dollar figures up here]. It's on an large debt, over $10,000. Every time I make an offer, or indicate I'd like to settle, their $ goes up. It's a game, they are after every last penny, I get it.

I just got of the phone with them, hoping to negotiate a suitable settlement, they gave me the expected "this is your settlement today, after that it goes to the full value." I don't want to accept it, knowing that they could possibly go lower (they say it was a discount from the hospital that allowed them to offer that lowest $ figure), but at the same time I don't want to play with fire and get burned by having to pay the full amount, which they could certainly do.

Just to top it all off, they aren't willing to accept a money order through the mail, they insist on a check over the phone. That tells me it's something to steer clear of, but if they try to take too much, then I have every right to sue them, although that costs money also, and I'll end up in a loosing situation.

Update:

swabbie, I'm with you 100% on that. I'll pay whatever we can settle on through a money order, but I have no intention on giving them my bank account information. maybe this is a decent company, but I have no way of knowing and therefor assume the worst.

The total value is around $11,000, certainly something they would consider using legal action over, although they haven't made that threat as of yet.

I really want to avoid getting burned or pushed into a situation where I have to pay the full amount, that could be $5,000 more than the their offered settlement. That's absolutely something to consider. I guess my real question here is what are the chances that they will stick to their guns and after today (sounds kind of arbitrary as this has been going on for 3 months now) not accept any sort of reduced dollar amount?

4 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    NEVER .. NEVER ... NEVER EVER Give these B@STARDS access to your checking account with a voice check! DO IT THROUGH THE MAIL!!!!! They can wipe you out.. they have done this to people thousands of times.

    Offer them 50% and a payment plan.. and tell them NEVER to contact you again because according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act they CAN be fined up to $1200 PER VIOLATION after NOTICE. (do it in writing).

    PS.. you didnt say what the medical bills came to.. that makes a big difference too.

  • 9 years ago

    If you have the funds to settle but don't feel comfortable doing a check over the phone, ask them for their banking info and you can wire it to them for like 25 or 30 bucks depending on your bank. Or if that's too much, do a western union or money gram. Just like you don't feel comfortable giving them your info, would it really in all honesty be smart to put let's say a 4000 money order in the mail and hope that it gets to them and hope that they don't get it and say they didn't, that's more hassle than its worth. i work for a collection agency and people say all the time they are going to mail things and don't. i'm not doubting how genuine you are, but its just the realism of the business that makes even me note the consumer says that they are going to mail it knowing that in a few days it'll pop back up in my queue because there was no payment received. as far as them honoring the commitment, make them fax you something, and let them know you are recording their conversation as well. one thing you don't want to do is go back and forth with them too much longer because at this point they know you have the money, you guys just can't agree on an amount, if your account is still able to be sued and you guys don't reach an agreement they'll just sue you and you'll have to pay the whole thing plus their court costs. next time you speak with them, try again, as calm as possible to reach an agreement. don't give them any ultimatums though because with a balance this high, anything is possible as far as lawsuits go. as far as you feeling like they go up and down with the settlements, it's really their prerogative as long as they give you an expiration date. that is a legal and binding contract with them that if you don't pay the agreed upon amount by a certain date, the offer is null and void. good luck and hope this helps

    Source(s): i'm a bill collector
  • 9 years ago

    @TheSwabbie: "Offer them 50% and a payment plan.. and tell them NEVER to contact you again because according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act they CAN be fined up to $1200 PER VIOLATION after NOTICE. (do it in writing)."

    Just realize that if you make them a 50% offer and tell them to NEVER contact you again, you have just forced their hand. At that point, they have to either accept your offer, or sue you. So, realize that you are playing with fire if you try that tactic.

  • 4 years ago

    I doubt you are going to have any leverage with the enterprise. You did not pay as agreed and as a consequence they do not owe you any factor in writing. It can be mirrored in your credit score.

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