collectors want me to pay more then the principal amount.

by laura
(el segundo california)

I owe 13,000 and the collection company wants me to pay 22,000 they levied my bank account which had 1,000 now i don't know what to do

Comments for collectors want me to pay more then the principal amount.

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Dec 08, 2010
Collector wants consumer to pay more than past due principal
by: Mary

I do not know the details of the debt that you've written about. However, from what you told me in your question, it sounds like the collector sued you for the money that you owe and won a money judgment against you, which includes the amount of your past due principal, interest on that unpaid principal, the collector's court costs and attorney fees and maybe some penalties as well. That would help explain why the amount you are being asked to pay now is more than the past due principal.

If you want a clarification of what makes up the additional amount over and above the principal that you owe, ask the collector to provide you with that information. If the collector does not, ask a consumer law attorney who helps resolve debt collection matters to write a letter on your behalf asking for an accounting. Another option is to go to the court where you were sued and ask the court clerk for a copy of the judgment against you. The judgment paperwork may spell out exactly what the $22,000 consists of.

At this point, your best option for dealing with the unpaid judgment is to meet with a bankruptcy attorney. Click here for a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. However, I think it's important to point out that you would probably not be in this situation today if you had been more proactive about dealing with your debt. What has happened to you is a cautionary tale that illustrates for other consumers with past due debts what can happen if they ignore them. For example, when you first fell behind on your payments, you should have contacted the creditor to try to work out a way to catch up on the debt; settling the debt would have been another possible option. (Filing for bankruptcy at that point might have been a consideration too.) If you and your creditor were able to reach an agreement and you lived up to the agreement, your debt would not have been turned over to a collection agency. But given that it was turned over, you might have been able to avoid being sued by working out a way to resolve your debt with the collector, because most collectors would rather do that than have to incur the time and costs involved with a lawsuit. However, from your question it appears that you did not work out an agreement with the collector and that when when you were sued, you did not attend the court hearing either. Otherwise, I assume you would know why the collector is now trying to collect $22,000 from you.

I am not trying to be a scold, but simply pointing out that when you ignore a debt that you owe, the debt usually does not just go away. It grows and your financial situation becomes worse as has happened to you.

Good luck resolving your financial problems!

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