New York Credit Collection Rip-Offs Part II
On a typical case where my client has had a judgment entered against them by a credit collection law firm (i.e. Mel S. Harris & Associates, Rubin & Rothman, Pressler & Pressler, etc.) I can typically settle my clients case and reduce the amount they owe by a large amount (this is no representation of future success). It has very little to do with legal education or the ability to use big lawyer words (which-for the most part-are never used). The reason I am able to get my clients such reducations in their balances is because I am able to deal with the attorneys in these credit collection firms. You know who doesnt get to usually deal with these attorneys? You. Thats right, good old you. You see the game that they play is that you will always speak with a “consumer consultant” or a “payment specialist” which is fancy talk for Jon and Susan. They’re as much of a specialist as I am a mechanic. Many of these agencies begin their conversations with you by insulting your intelligence and general worth as a human being, and then progressively get less polite by threatening such things as letting your boss know about this (illegal) and my personal favorite…jail time (double illegal). They also usually have many representatives, so that when you call back the next day, the person you speak to has no clue about the status of your account, does not care about your “excuses” and demands payment immediately.
Lawyers on the other hand are different. When one speaks to an attorney(put your attorney jokes away please), one can describe the clients situation and work out a payment arrangement that is suitable for both parties. Or, in the alternative, the attorney may legitimately say “my client wont let me settle for that”, which I can then tell you, the client, before you, the client, pay another few hundred dollars towards a balance thar doesnt seem to be decreasing.
The other advantage of hiring an attorney to deal with these firms is when your account is frozen at the bank. While you ponder why a collection law firm froze your account and call the law firm who froze it, all they can tell you in return is that they “served” you sometime ago with a summons and complaint. But they probably didn’t do it correclty. Want to know why? Because sometimes they use sewer-service. Which means they look at your credit report, find an address, and “serve” it and then when you don’t come to court because you havent lived in your address in the Bronx since you were 8, they get a judgment against you and start freezing your bank accounts. Your likely to call them and complain and tell them that you havent lived there for years, but they, in turn, likely dont care, and once again tell you that they need money to unfreeze your account (which is kind of silly because you can’t really get money when they have frozen the account where your money is.) What an attorney can do in that case is to go to court and explain to a judge why the “notice” portion of the action is deficient, and hopefully unfreeze your bank account. From there, he can either move to dismiss the case, agree with the other side to dismiss the case (happens more than you think because these firms have thousands of cases) or settle on an agreeable amount between all parties.
The process is horrendous, and you’ll likely be dealing with some debt from 5 years ago that you don’t even remember, but many of these firms will stop at nothing. Your best bet, in my opinion, is to speak to an attorney about your rights and the QUICKEST way to get this debt taken care of. Wasting months negotating with these firms usually will not help you out in the end.