Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceCredit · 2 months ago

Collections taken over by law firm?

Last year I was living in an apartment from October to late December. I became unemployed during the month of December and was unable to afford my rent. I ended up breaking my lease so I could avoid an eviction on my credit history. I still had an outstanding charge of $1,037.00 for the month of December. Because I was unemployed, my charge ended up going to collections because of my inability to pay it off within the first 30 days. I was receiving constant phone calls from this agency, until one day they stopped. couple months later, I was finally ready to settle on the debt, but the collections agency informed me my debt has been sent over to a law firm and that I needed to speak with them. After calling them, they told me they would settle for $940.00, one time payment, and if I wanted to counter that offer with anything less, the original creditor would attempt to collect even more money than the $1,037.00. They also claimed I would not be able to make payments, that it would be a one-time payment. This is my first time dealing with this, what are my options? I can't afford to pay any more than $500, and it's impossible for me to apply for an apartment. I'm on the brink of living out of my car, even though I have a full time job. 

12 Answers

  • Scott
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You've run out of options. You're going to be sued.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Yeah, offer $500 and they will likely go for it. Just because it is lawyer contacting you does not mean they will actually sue you. It could be just a hack lawyer who makes a living writing scary letters to intimidate debtors. Call that bluff. I do not know about your jurisdiction, but in mine the magistrate will try to work things out between debtors and creditors during the pre-trial hearing. This means 50 cents on the dollar is par for the course.

    Source(s): I know how to play the debt game just like Trump does.
  • 2 months ago

    Go ahead and counter-offer for $500.  Tell them you are offering what you can afford. It is very likely going to cost that original creditor more to collect the remaining money that they will want to spend; and given the amounts you've mentioned, it's probably not worth it to them. They can recover their 50%--and they will probably settle for that.  The only down side to this is that they may try to garnish your wages for the remaining amount. But it will take a court order to do that, which will, again, cost them money to implement. If they want to take you to court for this, remember that they can't get blood from a stone--and you can tell your side of the story if they do. The judge may indeed rule in your favor as to the amount they CAN have, especially if you are willing to pay them immediately. 

  • 2 months ago

    If you owe $1037, then it wouldn't make sense to setlte for $940, because having a settlement on your record would cost you more than $100 in the long run.  If the best settlement offer you can get it is that close to the full amount, then it's better to pay in full to avoid having your record show that you settled for less.

    You have two, and only two, options:

    1. Pay the amount for which they are willing to settle

    2. Pay the full amount you owe.

    If you really can't pay more than $500, then they will do what they would have done if you paid nothing.  If you pay less than they require, and less than you owe, then they can do everything that they could have done if you had paid nothing, and they can do it for longer than if you had paid nothing.  If this respect, paying too little is really worse than paying nothing.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    They cannot add to your debt if you refuse a settlement offer. That's absurd.

    They do not have to accept $500 as settlement in full either.

  • 2 months ago

    Try to settle what u have.also they could just garnish your pay for the money for court judgement.also I rather if u live in you car or with someone because your not going to get approve for another apartment until u settle this debt.if your working full time u should be able to pay it off quickly.

  • 2 months ago


    - pay the game that AJ suggests.  I think you will lose.

    - call the original apartment complex and let them know you have $500 to pay them (not expecting the debt to be paid off).

    But neither of those gets you what you want - into an apartment.

    If I was you, i'd figure out how to live on less so that you can afford the $1037.  then it's done and no longer hanging over your head.

  • 2 months ago

    They say that you can tell when a debt collector is lying because their lips are moving.

    I personally think that's incorrect, any debt collector is capable of lying without moving their lips or even being awake.

    They will say absolutely anything that might get you to pay them. The truth is completely irrelevant. They would tell you that the sky is purple if they thought it would convince you to pay them.

    So when they say they "can't" accept anything less than X amount - its a lie.

    When they say the original creditor is going to collect more money - its a lie. 

    Tell them that you are recovering from a job loss, and you can afford to pay them $500, not a penny more. Your terms are simple - they send you a letter confirming that they have accepted $500 as payment IN FULL and no additional debt is owed by you - then AFTER you have that letter in your hand you will send them $500 via certified funds such as a money order or certified cashier's check. The terms and amount are non-negotiable.

    They'll accept it. They'll lie about it, and claim that they need special approval from the boss, or that they're doing you a favor somehow, but those are all lies. they can take it or leave it, and you don't need to get emotionally wrapped up in their choice.

  • 2 months ago

    Well, you can't force them to accept payments, and they can't force you to pay them money you don't have. Send them a check for $500 and write PAID IN FULL in the memo line. If they deposit it, you can make the case that your debt was satisfied.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    If you have a full-time job they will likely sue you and ask the judge to garnish your wages.   In my state they can take 25% of your income after taxes.     You'll also likely be responsible for their attorney costs, court costs, interest, late fees, etc.    Plan on that $1k debt costing you a $2000 judgement and it will continue to keep costing you more until it's paid.

    Doesn't hurt to make them an offer though.

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