If your financial situation is restricted enought that necesseties are hard to come by, stop paying the collection agencies. Just STOP! I know that they can be very intimidating, but they are just people. And at the end of the day, there is only so much that they can do to you, infact there is NOTHING that they, the collection agency, can really do to you. In most cases it is up the original creditor, to choose to pursue legal action against you. The probability of that depends on what state you live in and the assets you have. In every case each of the individual creditors would determine seperately, if you are worth pursuing legal action against. They won’t spend the money and effort to pursue action if you don’t have what they won’t or have the ability to get what they want. And even then, if they choose to sue you, you will have the opportunity to explain to a judge why you can’t resolve the debts at this present time. Stop killing yourself trying to apease a stubborn collector.
ok, now let me make a comment about some thougths expressed in a recent post about sending $1 or $5 just to show effort and good intent. It doesnt work that way. Collection Agencies pursue the debt owed under the contract for the amount due. There is nothing in the contract that talks about making a minimal effort, which is what $1 or $5 is considered. They will always take your money, ALWAYS. That doesnt mean that it is doing any good. Because it isnt. Usually the fees that the creditor is charging you are still absorbing the small minimal payments and all you are doing is WASTING MONEY. SO DON’T !
As far as sending letters go, in most cases, when a consumer sends in a letter with a “sob story” explaining it, they laugh about it, pass it around and say look at this loser. Then throw it away. They might place the account in a file that doesnt get calls, only letters, but it wont stop the fees from adding up. And as for the accoutn balance that just disappeared. That really didn’t happen. Sorry but, trust me, it will resurface down the road with a higher balance. What happened is this, the small payments were seen as an “RTP” ,a refusal to pay the obligation, and the accnt was cancelled and sent back to the creditor to be burried in a file that isn’t worked for a while. If the agency sent you a letter saying it is forgiven, the creditor will dispute that and argue it is not valid. It can become a huge battle that will go on, until the account exceeds the statute of limitations, or the 7 years has passed and it drops off your credit report. Please don’t take offence to the tone of my writting, the collection business took a toll on me.
You can also write a “cease and desist” letter to the collection agency and they have to stop contacting you. Just google it and be sure to use certified mail. It basically says you refuse to deal with collection agencies and will only deal with the original creditor. As far as making minimal payments, that really pertains to original creditors, not collection agencies. As long as you are making a regular payment, in any amount, they cannot turn your account over to collecitons. Have you considered contacting an agency such as Consumer Credit Counseling Services? I know several people who have used this company with much success and they counsel you so you can figure out how how to allocate your money every month and they will contact the collection agencies/creditors and negotiate a repayment plan in addition to eliminating and/or reducing fees/interest.