What if they refuse an offer to repay?

by Nancy
(Tuscaloosa, AL)

I am dealing with a debt collector on a bill that is only 6 months old. It is Franklin Collections out of Mississippi. I am trying to arm myself with information. They called me at work yesterday for the first and last time. I was glad to know that I had the right to tell them they could not do that. When I incurred the debt I had been out of work for 1 1/2 years. I am now working and offered to make monthly installments. They refuse to do this and want it all now. I do not have it all now. It is roughly 500 dollars but I have only been working for 6 weeks. So it is not like I am refusing to pay. I am also glad to know NOT to give them account information. They are pressuring me to do so. And I am taking notes. What do I do if I am offering to pay and they won't accept my offer? I do not see me being able to send the whole amount for a long time. They are threatening to sue and send a summons......they are supposed to call me back Monday night May 17th. I need help and I need it fast!!


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May 16, 2010
Debt collector refuses offer to pay
by: Mary

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

If the debt collector contacts you again on Monday, stick to your guns. Let the collector know how much you can afford to pay, but don't agree to pay more. The collector may be hoping that by threatening to sue you, you'll get so scared that you'll offer to pay more than you offered the first time. However, most debt collectors would prefer to collect something on a debt, even if the payments are made over time, than to incur the time and expense of a lawsuit.

Before your conversation with the collector, download a copy of our Free Debt Collection Worksheet. Use it to record the details of your conversation with the debt collector and as many details as you can recall about your previous conversations with the collector. If you end up in court over the debt, the worksheet information could be very helpful to you.

If the debt collector does agree to your offer, ask him to put the terms of your agreement in writing. DO NOT pay the collector any money until you have the letter. Once you do, it's a good idea to have a consumer law attorney with experience handling debt collection cases review the letter to make sure that there is no language in the letter that could be harmful to you. By the way, our book Debt Collection Answers provides a lot of useful information about negotiating with debt collectors, http://www.debtcollectionanswers.com/Stop-Debt-Collectors.html

You should know that you do not have to continue having conversations with the debt collector. You can tell him not to call you again and legally his calls are supposed to stop. However, given that you are still trying to negotiate with the debt collector telling him not to contact you again is not your best move right now because you will leave the collector with no other option but to sue you.

If you do decide that you want the collector to stop contacting you, it's best to tell him over the phone and then to follow up in writing. Here's a sample cease and desist letter to model your letter after. Make a copy of your letter and send the original certified mail with a return receipt requested.

If the collector continues to refuse to accept your payment offer and to threaten you with a lawsuit, contact a local consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

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