Thanks for asking… I appreciate this interest… I’m torn over what to do… I have paid all the debts via Enrolled Customer Trust except this last one, which was the Chase account. I have had people call from 2 other places, and today some horrid extremely obnoxious guy called from yet another agency, and I am so sorry I did not insist on getting his name and company name and phone number before letting him speak.
I tried to explain and asked why he was calling since 2 others are calling as well. He called me a liar etc many other things! He was extremely adept at talking over me no matter what I tried to say! He wanted a lump sum settlement and there was no discussing anything else. I explained I had $2,000 paid in and could afford $300 per month, but he wanted none of that. He was threatening to take the ‘next step’ whatever that might be, I don’t know. The original debt with Chase was $4350 as of May 2002, now it is double that amount. I have paid $14,145 into ECT, the original debts totaled $9233.86 when I signed up with this company, three years ago.
I don’t know if that was a good idea, but at the time I became convinced it was the best solution. Now I am not so sure, but it can’t be undone! I was current on all of my accounts when I signed up, although some had high interest, hindsight now tells me perhaps I should have tried to negotiate a hardship case with each company separately. Water over the dam…
At this point I don’t know whether to continue with the debt settlement company or try to negotiate something with one of these callers. Here’s the last deal in a nutshell…
Original actual debt $4350
Current ‘stated’ debt $8700 (or something close to this..)
$1933 is presently saved in the settlement account, payments are $290 which apparently includes $39.95 monthly in ‘service charges’
I can now afford $350 per month, …MAYBE as much as $500 now that I have (just last month) relocated my struggling business and have cut down my overhead (I’m self employed.)
Has anyone ever used this company to settle debts? I signed up with them about 3 years ago, and all the accounts have been paid off except one. The remaining account was with Chase Bank who sold my debt to a company called “The Bureaus”, and they call me frequently insisting that they will absolutely not work with a settlement company such as “Enrolled Customer Trust”. (Previously called “Preferred Financial” when I signed up.)
Now I get calls from both someone at “The Bureaus” and also someone named “John Gregory” from the law offices of “Zwicker and Associates” , who has left about 50 very stern messages on my answering machine. I spoke with him once and he also insisted that the Chase account will never settle through a debt consolidation company.
The original “deal” when I signed up just over 3 years ago was regarding about $14,000 in credit card debt. The agreement was to have been a down payment (forget the amt-have to look it up) and $290. per month for 3 years to get this all settled in full. While I had made my monthly payments & paid extra into this account after a small inheritance, I have not been able to pay anything since May, 2005. Since May, they have been taking the 39.95 maintenance fee out of the $2200 or so that I had already paid in. There is just over $1931 left.
On this past Friday, after the latest rash of somewhat harassing phone calls, I called ECT and asked if I could have the $1900 I had already left sent back to me as my husband felt we could perhaps make our own settlement arrangements. The CSR at ECT agreed so quickly that I am left wondering if I have made a grave error in doing so. I am considering to call them this morning to see if I can stop the return of my $$ and let them finish the settlement. I fear they may have already cut the check, since they agreed to do so so quickly. Could this be a HUGE error on my part?
I panicked…was I wrong? Originally I owed Chase about $4800. Now they are both saying I owe over $8k due to the interest and penalties. They (The Bureaus) tell me that if I can send in the $2000 now and make payments of $299 to pay off $5850. I don’t know for certain what amount the attornies office will settle at.
A “Tara”, from The Bureaus, called last week and went into detail about this account with my husband (this is solely in my name and he was uninvolved in any negotiations until this woman shared the details-he was aware but not involved). Then she called me on Thursday am. Then on Friday am, a woman named “Gina” called me from the attornies office. When I asked why they were calling since I was also getting calls from The Bureaus, Gina stated that the account had been turned over to them and that Tara should not be calling me.
I wonder if this could mean I am in a position to see which of the two companies offers the best settlement and go with the ‘winner’ or try to get “Enrolled Customer Trust” to complete the original deal?
I am glad to see your reply 🙂 and glad I could help you in some small way.
I would definitely go the deferment route if you can for now; with a bonus coming, you could promise a good payment to each creditor to help get things back on track and they may be more willing to defer things for now (make sure you ask for a reduction in interest during the deferment period since you have a lump sum payment ability coming).
I agree with your assessment on the lawsuit; how likely is it to settle soon and in your favor however is another question and one best addressed to your attorney; and since you have an attorney for this lawsuit they may be the one to discuss the financial options with as well 😉 Each state’s laws a just enough different to make it interesting and confusing, it’s always wise to check what’s possible in your state 😉
As far as the allotment goes; I agree it should be based on percentage vs. flat to each creditor; but I think asking for a deferment might do you more good under these circumstances.
You may not have any option but bankruptcy. However, if you are SURE you will receive a large settlement from a lawsuit in December, you should be able to “stall” your creditors long enough to receive the settlement and pay everything off in full. Yes, they may turn you over to a collection agency but if you are able to pay off the accounts in full it won’t be too much of a black mark on your credit history.
Another possible option regarding the settlement: check with your lawyer but can your creditors file a claim on the settlement? Not sure about the legal terms but does that make sense? Good luck with your situation. I started out over 30K in debt and did almost all the things Debs suggested: sold my house, took a better job, sold a bunch of stuff (aka CRAP!) that I didn’t need, etc. I did make the mistake of hooking up with a Debt Settlement company but ended up working with a very good Debt Management Program, they have been a big help.