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Paying off debt


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I recently graduated from school and now ready to pick my life back up where ever i left off, which is sadly a bunch of loans, unpaid bills and debt. Unfortunately, I have left those bills and unpaid debt unattended and now am facing a lot of creditor calls, bad credit and what not.

 

I tried to pay a creditor SOME money but seems to me, they havent cashed my check as of yet, and that's worrying me. I don't trust these bill collectors as far as I can throw them.

 

I want to get all my bills (unpaid) up to date and my credit back up. But the biggest hurdle for me is trying to get these unsettled bills paid.

 

can anyone help me on how to regain foothold of my situation? I feel like im spinning around in circles trying to figure out which way to go. I thought about getting a lawyer (they said i only need a lawyer when i file for bankrupcy, which i dont want to do).

 

has anybody gone through this situation? Thanks!

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Getting a lawyer can be advantageous to you. The lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement on your debts and get it done in writing so that the collection companies CANNOT come back down the road and say you still owe that money (which a lot of shady collection agencies will do - aka "zombie debt").

 

Also, getting a lawyer can help you sort out what debts you still owe and what debts are past the statute of limitations (SOL), where if you still owe the debt, the collection agencies can hound you to pay up but CANNOT sue you for it (I think the SOL for most credit card debt in CA is 4 years - not sure).

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First gather all your bills and find out just how bad the situation is. This sounds obvious but you would be amazed to know how many people don't know or refuse to find out. Kind of like ignorance is bliss. Well, it's not.

 

Next keep a journal of every penny you spend for a month. We are creatures of habit mostly so one month will generally look like all months with the exception of December. You won't believe where your money is going. $30 a month on Red Bull here, $100 on fast food there. You gotta find things to cut.

 

Next, I would put your bills in order of interest rates. Your student loan should have a fairly low rate so don't panic. In other words pay slightly above minimum. Student loans are also the most forgiving assuming you went government (hopefully you did).

 

Your credit cards probably have the highest interest so throw any and all extra money at these.

 

Good luck.

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Personally, I don't really trust debt management agencies (a lot of them are shams that are designed to make off with your money and not help you out at all).

 

When negotiating with debt collection agencies, make sure that you get everything in writing, keep good records, get the names of people you work with/speak to, etc. Also, try to negotiate to see if you can get a settlement.

 

As for budgeting, I agree with the other poster, list down how much and what you spend each day (whether it be cash or credit cards). You'll find out that you probably are frittering away money without knowing it.

 

I do know that lawyers cost money, but if he has the money to pay off the debts, lawyers can make sure he gets the bigger end of the stick and also prevent collection agencies from coming back to hound him down the road (and saying he didn't pay off the debt).

 

A lot of unscrupulous collection agencies are digging up "zombie debt" (past debts that were paid off or past SOL) and chasing people about it, trying to force them to pay (so as to make money for their agencies).

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im considering working with my creditors. I called a law company up and they adviced me to "work with my creditors". hmm.

 

i have to eat like that, sometimes, i eat at people's houses (family, friends). I dont have a kitchen in my shanty of an apartment. That's another on the list of "what i want to do" with my life list. get an apartment. Damn flea bag tho... but that's another story

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No, but you can make sandwhiches and salads and stuff like that. You have a foreman grill right? You don't "HAVE" to eat like that.

 

But whatever... focus on getting this debt crap taken care of, then your credit will be better for finding a nice apartment that will take you and your fleas (you meant yourself, the fleabag, right?

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I can try to help, through PM. I've been through a really hideous debt situation that I eventually cleared up (still haunts me occasionally though).

 

Negotiations are good, but try to do it through the original creditor if at all possible. If they haven't sold the debt, they might be willing to work with you.

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I'd love to post more but I gotta run...

 

If you have credit cards call up and cancel...chances are they will lower your rate. Remember people in massive debt are their best customers which is partly why this economy is in shambles but I digress.

 

You can call a lawyer if you want but to me it seems like glorified debt surfing ie throwing money at a money problem.

 

You gotta make sacrifices. Carry an apple with you. Eat PBJ 3 times a day.

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You don't need a lawyer. There is nothing a lawyer can do that you can't do yourself for free.

 

First do a budget of what you need to live on. That's rent, food and electricity.

 

Second step is to organize what you owe.

 

Third step is to get current. You can do this by paying the minimum on everything or cutting a deal with the collection people. Pick the smallest amount owed. Call them and ask if you can make a pay-off amount. If you come to an agreement, have them send it to you IN WRITING. If it's not in writing, it doesn't count. When you get the letter or fax, make sure it has the payoff amount agreed to and the phrase No Recourse. If it doesn't say that, rip it up. It means they will come after you at a later time for the rest of the money.

Under no circumstances give them electronic access to your bank account. They will drain it completely. Also, only do this with one company at a time. Easier to deal with one scum company then with several at once.

 

You have a choice to make too in which ones you talk to first. Some people say highest interest rate first, others say lowest amount first. Personally, i like lowest amount first since psychologically, it's much more satisfying getting rid of someone completely as soon as possible then to save a couple hundred bucks over the course of years.

 

It's going to take a lot of work, but as long as you stick to it and don't slip into the habits of spending more then you make, you can get out of debt completely.

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He's right...this is good info... and i know you go out to eat like every day... it adds up.

 

Do you know how many CCs you have that have went to collections?

 

im pretty sure ALL of them already went, save for my car note which i paid off with the insurance money.

 

lets see:

 

C1, Exp, Fr, wf.

 

i think i have one or two more, i have to check.

 

gargh.

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im pretty sure ALL of them already went, save for my car note which i paid off with the insurance money.

 

lets see:

 

C1, Exp, Fr, wf.

 

i think i have one or two more, i have to check.

 

gargh.

 

Exp? Fr?

 

Express? lol sigh.

 

umm.. you have one through wamu or was that a debit card?

 

You really need to figure out HOW MANY you have, so you don't just totally forget about one.

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I havent, and will not, give them access to my bank account. i already have a fear of sending them checks, hahaha. So, let me get this straight:

 

first order of business is to call them up, right? then how can i get this letter in writing. One of the people i dealt with said that they will send me a letter AFTER i send them the money. sounds fishy?

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First things first, get a letter from the credit card company/collection agency verifying how much you owe them. This means that you send them a letter (certified, return receipt requested), asking them to verify that you owe this debt, how much money you owe, etc. Do this first so that you know (in writing), how much you owe and who you owe it to. Collection agencies have a nasty habit of selling off their accounts and, as it transfers from one collection agency to another, you lose track of who the original company you owe it to.

 

link removed iis a great place/forum to check out. They help people deal with credit issues and deal with the collection agencies.

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Thanks! im taking a trip home (my previous address) and collecting my mail of a month or so. I think i'll have a better idea of who/where i owe money to. Then, MAIL them communication stating that I will be paying them...(and what else?) and all that.

 

I am thinking of using my work place as a formal address to use for communication purposes. You think that's a good idea? i moved already but have not changed addresses yet, so they're mailing everything there. I'm just afraid that i might get "served" here or some sort. you know?

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I havent, and will not, give them access to my bank account. i already have a fear of sending them checks, hahaha. So, let me get this straight:

 

first order of business is to call them up, right? then how can i get this letter in writing. One of the people i dealt with said that they will send me a letter AFTER i send them the money. sounds fishy?

 

Absolutely fishy.

 

Tell them straight out. No letter, no money. They will complain and yell and threaten you with everything they can think of. They hope they can scare you enough that you will just give them money to shut up. The people on the other end of the phone don't care about anything other then getting money to make their quota. Making a deal is their best chance of getting something.

 

If you do get a letter and it says no recourse and everything is good, make a copy and keep it forever. Send it back to them, with a money order if you don't like checks, certified mail with reciept requested so you know they got it. Put it into a file all together someplace safe and hope you never hear from them again.

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He's right...this is good info... and i know you go out to eat like every day... it adds up.

 

Do you know how many CCs you have that have went to collections?

 

Absolutely fishy.

 

Tell them straight out. No letter, no money. They will complain and yell and threaten you with everything they can think of. They hope they can scare you enough that you will just give them money to shut up. The people on the other end of the phone don't care about anything other then getting money to make their quota. Making a deal is their best chance of getting something.

 

If you do get a letter and it says no recourse and everything is good, make a copy and keep it forever. Send it back to them, with a money order if you don't like checks, certified mail with reciept requested so you know they got it. Put it into a file all together someplace safe and hope you never hear from them again.

 

I called them up and they said they received the payment (i only sent half of it out) and it will be cashed soon. So i have another half to send them...

 

have any advice on what/how i should tell them that i need a letter?

 

and what would be the benefits of having a certified money order sent? I was under the impression taht a check would be better since I have a copy of the check on my electronic banking site.

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I called them up and they said they received the payment (i only sent half of it out) and it will be cashed soon. So i have another half to send them...

 

have any advice on what/how i should tell them that i need a letter?

 

and what would be the benefits of having a certified money order sent? I was under the impression taht a check would be better since I have a copy of the check on my electronic banking site.

 

Really no difference between a check and a money order except that the money order comes from the bank and the check comes from you. Money Orders do have a physical receipt, but if you are fine with electronic then that's just as good. Some people like them as well since there is no chance a money order will bounce.

 

Are you settling the debt or just paying it off completely? If you are settling, ask for the letter now. Otherwise they will just consider these as payments towards the whole debt. If you are paying off completely, get a letter after the next payment to say that the account is closed and the debt is gone.

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If you are paying off completely, get a letter after the next payment to say that the account is closed and the debt is gone.

 

by settling, you mean paying the debt off with a lower payment? I told them i wanted to pay in increments, and they said they can do it, but i have to pay the whole amount, so im paying it off. The next payment would be the pay off, so ask AFTER pay off?

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Yes. If you are going to pay off completely, then ask afterwards for a letter saying the account is closed and the debt is gone. If you are going to pay off in full, payment plans are the best. Sometimes you can even get them to waive fees.

 

 

Settling a debt is when you negotiate for only a portion of a debt. The only time you can do that is if you are really behind in payments. That's when you need the letter before you send them any money.

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so the conversation i will have with the collector will be: "ive sent the final payment, please send mail stating you have received it and that the account is closed". They said that they will do that when i sent the first half out. They said "we'll send you a notice that you've closed it off when you send in the last payment".

 

I just cant help but feel like my money and security is being held under hostage. I dont know if i'll get ff'd over or not until they deposit the last check i send them.

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That's how I would ask. If they don't, ask for a supervisor until you get someone who knows how to write a letter and lick a stamp.

 

Yeah.. Dealing with these people is incredibly difficult. That's why I recommend getting everything in writing since generally you never speak to the same person twice and somehow no one ever knows anyone else who works there.

 

If you only have one more payment with these people, sounds like you are just about done with them though.

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