Bank of America wont agree to debt settlement in writing?

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I am trying to do a debt settlement, and have negotiated down to 15 cents on the dollar, however, the account manager (witch) refuses to put it in writing, and says I have to make a payment as a gesture of sincerity. I said I wont pay until the debt settlement is in writing, and she says “thats not how it works. Well, I know that is exactly how it works. If I sent a $ 800 payment it would set the clocks back to zero, and the debt settlement conversation over the phone would be conveniently forgotton. Any ideas how I can get this in writing?

(And for smart alec’s who are going to say, you should never have got into debt in the first place, I lost my work back in January, and have not been able to find more)

5 Comments
  1. Reply
    mar c
    July 21, 2011 at 12:27 am

    it sounds as if you are dealing with a collection agency…..i can’t see boa acting this way….

  2. Reply
    Spock (rhp)
    July 21, 2011 at 12:49 am

    I think you need the help of an attorney — I know you’re trying to save on expenses and here’s how I think it could be done …

    you draw up a settlement agreement for the bank’s agreement which you sign in advance, specifying the amount of the payment exactly AND you attach a “DRAFT” for exactly that amount to the agreement.

    a ‘draft’ contains the words “upon approval, pay to” or, “when presented with agreement number XYZ, pay” or similar language and can not simply be cashed — it has to be delivered along with the completed agreement in order to become a payment device.

    what I don’t know is the correct language to use to accomplish this in your state — that’s what the attorney is for. S/he is also for drawing up the agreement in a way that will stand up in court.

    ***
    otherwise, you need to reach this person’s manager — and, from experience, I know that is nearly impossible.

  3. Reply
    Dixie Darlin'
    July 21, 2011 at 1:13 am

    You are doing the right thing. Do NOT send any payment before you get the agreement in writing, this is your defense against them changing their mind, new management, getting your money then trying to collect the rest of the debt, etc.

    If they want the payment tell them you will not send any money until they mail you the signed agreement. Get the full name of the person you spoke with, along with the companies mailing address and mail them this letter. Always send certified mail with return receipt. Always keep a copy for your records.

    (Creditor’s name), the Creditor/Creditor’s Representative and (debtor’s name), the Debtor agree to negotiate and settle the debt under the following terms and conditions.

    The Creditor and Debtor agree that the current outstanding debt is <$ balance amount>. Both parties agree that the Creditor will accept a cash payment of $ _________ towards settlement of the debt in full. The Creditor agrees to compromise the debt under the condition that he’ll receive the payment by [date]. (Creditor’s name) also declares that he is authorized to act as an agent of the Creditors company.

    This agreement for debt settlement shall be binding upon the Creditor, Debtor and their successors and assignees.

    Dated:

    Signature:

    (Creditor’s name),
    Creditor

    Signature

    (Debtor’s name),
    Debtor

  4. Reply
    CatDad
    July 21, 2011 at 1:59 am

    Get all terms of any settlement deal you reach with debt collectors IN WRITING BEFORE you give them your money. This letter should state the settlement amount and that the account will be “paid in full” upon receipt of this amount from you. Keep the letter in a safe place. Never accept settlement deals over the phone that are not backed up in written terms. If you don’t, the debt collectors will deny that any settlement was ever made once they get your “settlement” money and will come back demanding more money from you…or they will resell your account to another collection agency months/years later that will start the collection process all over again and you’ll have no proof that the account was paid in full. If you can’t pay off the amount in one lump sum, then make sure that the settlement letter specifies what interest rate is being charged and that it is no more than 8%.

  5. Reply
    Sgt Big Red
    July 21, 2011 at 2:06 am

    You mention that you know that if you send in a payment it will reset the SOL on the debt. IF this debt is time barred you already reset the clock when you made an affirmation of the debt by requesting an agreement for payment in settlement.

    They now have control!

    And if you send the payment with a “restrictive endorsement” on the back of the check it may not be binding in your state. Every state has their own statutes regarding use of restrictive endorsements and they could simply add “cashed under protest” which gives them legal rights to take the money and ask for the rest.

    You must send them an “offer in compromise” letter first.

    EDIT: If you are unemployed you might want to inform them of this, unemployment benefits can not be garnished and if you have no income, then you would be considered “judgment proof” which means they may win a judgment, but they can not collect if you have nothing.

    Hope this helps answer your question.
    LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The answer provided here is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor presumed to be legal counsel or professional legal advice

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