Bill Collectors What can they do?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lenasvn, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    What can bill collector agencies do? HOw far can they go? I know and have heard they use all kinds of scare tactics to make people pay.

    Bottom line: Can they bring you to court for not paying an old outstanding bill? Really? I wonder if this is just one tactic they use to make you contact them and start paying.

    Anyone with any experience, please drop a note. Urgent, I need to deal with a couple here.

    Hugs!!
  2. louiesgirl2

    louiesgirl2 New Member

    Unfortunately, they can and some do. However, that is what debt consolidation is for. Those companies are really helpful. I used one and it really got me out of a jamb with bills.
  3. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Thanks for the info. I will contact a debt consolidator today. Gosh, I had no idea they could accually do this. I had zero income last month, we'll see what I can work out.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/03/2006]
  4. shar6710

    shar6710 New Member

    They can take you to court and I think the debt consolidation suggestion is a good one. Of course with zero income, I'm at a loss for words...you poor thing!

    Something people might not know is that many of these collection agencies tack on a charge on top of what you owed to the original company or the company tacks on a charge to cover the expense of sending it to a collection agency.

    So if you are behind on a bill it's always worth a try to call and talk directly to the company to see if you can work out a deal with them before it goes to collection.

    Calling can work with mortgages too, according to an article in our paper.

    Good Luck,
    Shar
  5. waxdiva

    waxdiva New Member

    Every state is different re situations like yours. If I were you, I would contact your States Attorney (or in your state it may be Attorney General's) Office and ask them what recourse you have re the collectors. There are specific rules about how many times and when they can call; but, again, it differs state to state.

    Also, if I were you, I would think really long and hard about contacting a debt consolidator. You will be digging yourself a deeper hole than the one you are in now. In fact, this is another topic you can bring up when you contact your States Attorney Office.

    The majority of debt consolidator businesses advertise that they are non-profit or not-for-profit, which makes people think that they are in the collection business out of the goodness of their heart and to help people. That is not true. It simply means that they show minimal or zero profit at the end of the year; they still pay whopping salaries and bonuses to employees. They make their money by negotiating your debt w/credit card companies, then consolidating the total amount and requiring you to pay a smaller monthly amount, but charging you a higher percentage rate than the cc companies.
  6. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    the states have laws re: the hours they can call you, how many times per day, etc.

    Somebody posted here last year that if your only income is soc. sec., it cannot be taken to pay bills. BUT, once you put it in a bank account, the bank account can be attached.

    Good luck.
  7. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Thank you everyone. I have lots to think about.

    Lena
  8. webintrig

    webintrig New Member

    Depends on the hospital...if you have hospital bills and call them and tell them of your situation sometimes they can write it off. Not always. It is worth a try if you have hospital bills. You might even research organizations that will help you with your bills {Light bill, food} and medicine.
    Hope this helps!

    Soft hugs,
  9. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    I'd sure check on what they can do. I know my friend married a scum that didn't pay his child support and they sure took it out of his Disability checks!
  10. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Donnaeil- thanks bunches. The creditor wants 20 buck to see me. I have to call and ask if he can skip that, I have no income at all.

    They should be ok with only a few dollars a month, they can't really do much if you pay every month, am I right?

    That would be my solution right now.
    These are not hospital bills or credit cards (don't have those), it's other stuff not related to living expenses like utility,etc.

    God, I get so tired, I had a couple of worry free days, but it seems always something is going to get you.

    many hugs,and thanks everyone.
  11. makezmuzic

    makezmuzic New Member

    Hi google "creditors", debt, etc and you will come up with advice such as a sample "cease and desist" letter to get them to stop calling you while you figure out what to do next. Good luck. Remember, its not the end of the world. I think child support is a government issue & yes , they can garnish your check.. With private companies they can only go into you bank account. So don't keep large amounts in the bank.

    Take care
  12. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    I don't pay child support but the fathers of my children are supposed to. This has nothing to do with child support.

    I have gotten a couple of letters stating that I will be brought to court. They are not calling at unreasonable hours.

    I thought bringing me to court was unreasonable, now I know they CAN. I guess they're just doing their job.


    Thanks for advice everyone!
  13. minxlinx

    minxlinx New Member

    There are different laws governing collection agencies and other third party collectors, and the original creditor.

    The federal law governing third party collections is the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. In addition, states have laws governing collections.

    You do not say how large the debt is or if the bill collector is from the creditor itself. If it is a third party and they are threatening legal action without intending to bring such action they have violated the FDCPA. Each violation can carry a fine of I believe $1,000 (or is it 10,000, its 1am and I don't remember).

    If they do bring legal action, and they are successful, resulting in a judgment against you, they must then enforce the judgment. The judgment will constitute a lien against your property, but it will come after all other liens against your property at that time. Since the lien is subordinate unless it is quite large they will not list it for sale since they would have to pay the prior liens first from sale proceeds. Judgments are not effective forever, each state has laws governing how long they are good for unless paperwork is filed to extend the lien.

    I'm not offering legal advice, but advice based on personal experience from working at a collection agency. If they are small amounts, say under $500, I would just ignore the collection agencies. The odds are that the creditor will not commence a legal action to collect that small an amount. At the agency I worked at the smallest amount sent out for legal action was $1,000. Also, once a case is referred to counsel for suit the lawyer will normally contact you in an attempt to collect the debt prior to filing a complaint.

    If you need any additional information let me know!

    Good luck,
    Ariel
  14. 1975jet

    1975jet New Member

    Sorry, to hear about your situation. I,too have outstanding bill collectors calling- I was going to try bankrupcy(but could not afford that) the lawyer gave me some advise. As long as they are unsecured loans,etc. the worse they could do after a time is put a lien on your home and have your checking/savings acct. froze. They cannot touch your SSD if you are getting it-they cannot take anything from you(only your pride in my case)

    No one wants to be in this position, but it does happen-hang in there. Maybe get some advise from a legal aid person... Janet
  15. webintrig

    webintrig New Member

    Have programs at their utility companies that helps with this because of your sitituation so you can call them and ask if they have that kind of program.

    If not there is others organizations that help with your utlities, food and medcine.

    You can look for these in the front of your phone book and churches also help as well if not they can point you into the right direction to these organizations.

    Hope this helps!