As I understand it – if there are judgments on our credit then they had had to serve us papers right? We have two and NEVER have received any thing and did not know about them until we had our reports run – what’s the deal! I contacted on attorney on it and they were absolutely nasty to me. Then the other one started calling! I have not answered their calls because it’s an automated message (hate that). Should we talk to them? The one said satisfied on our report this time but the County where it was filed said they didn’t have that and that’s when they started calling. On judgments should you talk to the attorneys even though they are so mean to you and won’t even listen to you but just keep saying well if you paid it prove it – I can’t! The card number they have was not our card numbers we had!!! Any we had were paid off by CCCS and I have that.
If you have not already done so, file a dispute with all 3 credit reporting agencies. They are obligated to investigate by contacting the company filing the credit status and having them validate the status. In many cases, this is all it takes.
I have had on more than one occasion a credit card company put negative statements on a card that was paid off & closed so long ago, I no longer even have the account number. The credit company refused to talk to me unless I had the acct #, so I filed a dispute with all 3 and off they came.
If you have judgments but have not gotten a summons either in the mail or in person then you can have that judgment(s) “vacated” from your record.
You need to get an attorney.
Do not speak to anyone on the debt until you have consulted your attorney. You are under no obligation to do so. SO DO NOT TALK WITH ANYONE. The attorney can deal with them.
Go to the attorney BEFORE you do anything else…including dispute the credit bureaus as someone suggested. It is a good suggestion but should not yet be done. Attorneys can cost thousands of dollars so whether to do it pro se or with an attorney depends on your legal knowledge, how much an attorney wants and the amount of the judgment. I would not hire an attorney for a judgment of $1000 or less.
May I please suggest that you be careful about making it sound like all CCCSs are alike before you go busting chops on them? I have a close relative who is the chief of the IT department at one of them. He makes far less than IT professionals do in his area and nowhere near the amount you quoted. He is the second highest paid in that CCCS.
They are losing money because several cutthroat companies have undercut their percentage. For those who do not know, CCCS’ have agreements with the major lending companies to collect a small percentage of each payment they collect from you and send to them. This usually amounts to anywhere from 1-5%.
This particular CCCS has over 2 dozen locations covering half a particular state. The reason I will not give more details is to prevent any repercussions to my relative.
You are correct that some companies will not deal with a CCCS and even if they do, does not mean that they will work favorably. Legitimate CCCSs make their money from the lending companies, not from the consumers.
I do not recommend writing off ever using a CCCS; they may be an option. You must evaluate what they can do for you along with all options. We looked into using a CCCS once, but live in a different state than my relative. The counselor was straight up with us and told us they could not help us; we already had the lowest interest rates possible. He suggested Crown Ministries to learn more about budgeting. We never did get into one.
I did not intend for this to be a novel, but not all used car salesmen are crooks and not all CCCS centers are either. I also do not wish to start some kind of dispute.
While you are correct that you can’t paint all of the employee’s of all credit counseling services with one brush; I think we as a group of people concerned with helping other people get out of debt can paint all companies with one broad brush.
CCS are not in business for your welfare, they are in business to make money. That’s why they exist.
I guarantee that no business will lose money for the sake of their customers, at least not for long. That’s how you go *out* of business.
Your relative is surely a great guy but it’s not like he works for the Shriner’s Hospital.
I do agree that you bring up some good points, not all CCCS are bad. And I do think they serve a purpose.
I would recommend a CCCS under these conditions ONLY:
- That you have a debt of $15,000 or less
- That you only need a short term relief like 6 mos, never more than a year.
- You are single and rent your home (including the above two points).
- Can easily afford minimum payments plus a little bit more.
I have recommended CCCs to people where they need it. But the fact is that if you own your own home and can afford a CCC then you don’t need one.
You can get a better and far cheaper service without the CCCS.
The CCCS do not have the purpose of getting one out of debt, there purpose is to collect the money for the banks before one gets to overwhelmed and has to file for bankruptcy. That was there intent when they were created by the banks, and that is still their intent.
So if you fall under all or one of the categories then do a CCCS, but if you don’t then they will be no good for you.
CCCs have a very bad habit of not paying the creditors, either in part or in full, every month. This puts you behind, and as you found out, you the customer never find out until it is too late.
Some basic education on CCCs.
- They are a company trying to make money just like any other company. They may call themselves “non-profit” but that is not accurate. It only means that they have different accounting procedures than “for-profit” companies.
- Factually, there officers make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year ($300,000-$500,000 typically). Trust me they are making money…hand over fist.
- Just because you are on a CCC does not mean that your creditor will accept you on the program. More and more credit cards are actually refusing these programs.
- Currently, there are only about 70 or so approved by the IRS CCCs. This is out of thousands.
The reason for the low numbers is because the IRS is now cracking down on these companies because they are performing their duties as they are supposed to by law. Most just sign you up…whether you factually need it or not…and never perform any counseling at all.
So check with the IRS before you sign up with any CCC to learn if they approved. If they are not then don’t use them.
3) Collection agencies WILL NOT work with CCCs period. You are better off trying to settle the account.
This company is a tough bunch. And if they said what you have said they said then they are on the boarder of illegal actions. Yes they can garnish wages, but they have to attain a judgment first, then wait a period of time to get the garnishment judgment.
Also, no legitimate company will ever threaten a law suit verbally. IT WILL ALWAYS BE IN WRITING. So if they say that then it is usually just a scare tactic. Don’t too much thought into it unless you get something official in writing.
If you have an actual compliant about the collection agency, then complain to the FTC, State’s Attorney General, BBB, and to the original creditor. That should put a stop to that.
Also, collection agencies are regulated to a degree in some states. You may want to check into whether your state has bonding or licensing laws and if they have followed those laws.
4) If you can afford a CCC then truthfully you don’t need one.
There are other programs out there that can do a much better job, protect and improve your credit, lower your effective interest rate to 1,2, or 3%, and recapture that lost interest into wealth building programs.
I hope that this helps. Best of luck to you.