Blitt and Gaines: How to handle them?
HELP!!! I had an account with Orchard Bank with a limit of $728.00. (I live in Illinos). After a financial bind I could not keep up with my payments.
Orchard sold the account to Household Bank sometime in 2001. Between 2001-2002 the amount kept going up despite my making very small payments and taking part in their "re-aging" plan. I would pay approx. $40-$50 amount...they kept adding two fees every month ($29 over-the-limit fee and $29 in past due fee). Finally, I stopped paying them as it seemed like throwing good money after bad.
Last year the account was placed with Collection Attorneys in Georgia who despite my request by phone did not validate the debt. (I now realize such a request for validation needs to be done in writing).
Sept. 1, 2007 I received a letter from collection attorneys in Illinois saying that they are being retained by a Crown Asset Management to collect a debt I owe in the amount of $3200.
After much reading, I am planning to send out a debt validation letter to them (saw a few samples on this site).
1) Is there anything in particular to stipulate in the debt validation letter?
2) Has anyone heard of Crown Asset Management?
3) What if these Collection Attorneys come back with a generic verification letter?
4) I am willing to make good on the orig. amount approx. $800...but $3200 is outrageous as most of that constitutes fees they kept adding to the account despite trying to work with them on paying it. Can I now even negotiate with these collection attorneys to pay $800...or $900 maximum to settle the account, get a paid in full/delete letter?
4) More than anything how do I resolve this to avoid a law suit and to get a reasonable settlement amount accepted by them?
5) I cannot afford an attorney but how do I deal with these Collection Attorneys without legal representation?
Any help/insight that someone here on this forum can provide would be greatly appreciated. To say I am very stressed about this would be an understatement.