Making regular payments I can afford - Can they Send to Collections?

by Gail
(Oregon)

I have a balance on an old apartment lease (broken lease 1 month rent) that I am making regular payments on of an amount I can afford as I am only one of three in family working ($100 per month on balance of $1600). I am being told that I must sign a payment agreement of $200 a month and they will not take my $100 check. If I don't sign the agreement they will send me to collections.

Can they do this with regular payments being made and a financial hardship situation? The lease was from NC and I now reside in another state. Can they do anything more than send to collections i.e. attach my paycheck?

Thanks!

Comments for Making regular payments I can afford - Can they Send to Collections?

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 09, 2010
payment higher than you can afford
by: Gerri and Mary

Gail,

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

Unfortunately, since you are essentially in default on the debt, they can send it to collections if you don't pay the amount they are asking. But it is foolish of them to do so since they will have to pay the collection agency - and will get even less from you!

I can't guarantee any method that will solve this for you, but you may want to raise a fuss. (I assume this is an apartment complex that has a reputation to uphold.)

Send them a certified letter to the person highest up that you can find. Be polite but straightforward. Tell them that you are making every effort to pay this debt, give them a brief synopsis of why you can't pay more, explain that if they send it to collections you still will not be able to pay any more, and that they will simply collect less after they pay the debt collector. (I don't know if they are allowed to tack on additional collection costs.) Then reiterate your offer to pay them $100 a month until the debt is paid. CC: the letter to the Better Business Bureau, state attorney general, and anyone else you can think of (The mayor of the city?)

If they don't back down, you'll next hear from a collection agency. My guess is that they will be happy to get $100 a month from you. Please be sure to keep a file with records of every piece of correspondence, notes from phone calls etc. And if it does wind up in collections, please at least read the first chapter of our e-book, Debt Collection Answers, online for free.

Finally, Gail, collectors generally must first take you to court and get a judgment before they can garnish wages, go after bank accounts etc. Please understand that every state has different laws, so be sure to check with a consumer law attorney to understand your rights.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.