Debt Negotiation Settlement Letter Samples - PDF by xlm13759


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									                                                       during the first sixty days, you may not have any        online source for credit card research, a large
                                                       recourse and would be responsible for all the            percentage of card theft occurs at restaurants.
                                                       charges.                                                 The practice of handing a payment card to a
                                                                                                                server to pay your restaurant bill may soon be
                                                         Remember that your debit card is                       an outdated procedure as some establishments
                                                       linked to your money. Be cautious about                  are implementing “pay at the table” technology.
                                                       using your debit card to make purchases online           Patrons may soon be able to swipe their card
                                                       and over the phone. If you never receive what            and complete the transaction using an electronic
                                                       you ordered or the merchandise arrives damaged,          device.
                                                       you may be able to dispute it, but while the                Since many debit cards also have ATM
                                                       issue is being resolved, you may not be able to          privileges, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) also
                                                       have your cash refunded right away. Bankrate.            warns customers to be careful of which ATM
                                                       com, a comprehensive financial information               that they use. According to the BBB, consumers
                                                       site, recommends using a credit card for major           should be particularly careful using stand-alone
                                                       purchases* and debit cards for items such as             or mini ATM’s at convenience stores. Electronic
                                                       groceries and other small miscellaneous expenses.        devices, known as skimmers, have been
                                                       In case there is ever a problem, consumers have          fraudulently used in some ATM’s to steal debit
                                                       the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) to assist them        card information. It may be best to mostly use
                                                       with credit card disputes. This federal law may          ATMs that bear your bank’s name.
                                                       allow credit card holders to withhold payment
                                                       and the maximum liability for unauthorized use              *Disclaimer: As a debt settlement client, you
                                                       is $50.                                                  may have limited access to credit cards at this
                                                                                                                time. Using credit wisely upon completion of your

      Debit Card                                          Overdrafts can be costly. Because debit
                                                       cards are so convenient and linked to your
                                                                                                                program is one step towards achieving financial
                                                       checking account, it is very easy to overdraw your
      Safety Tips                                      checking account if you miscalculate. According
                                                       to the Center for Responsible Lending, a
                                                       nonprofit research organization, debit card POS

         n recent years, debit cards have become       (point of sale) overdrafts cost consumers $2.17 in
         the preferred payment method among            fees for every dollar borrowed.
         consumers. Since 2006, the Federal               A common reason for debit card overdrafts is
  Reserve Board reports that the amount of debit       the fact that some business establishments can
  card transactions were more than $1 trillion,        put “holds” on your debit card. This practice is
  surpassing credit card transactions by $2 billion.   common in the hospitality and travel industry
  As a debt settlement client, you may feel that       and it means that merchants can place a hold
  debit cards are convenient and better to use than    on more money than you expect until the bill
  credit cards because you do not acquire debt.        is paid in full. Hotels and car rental stores are          More Debit & ATM Tips
  Although these statements may be correct, below      examples of the businesses that may place a hold
  are some safety tips that may help you avoid         on your funds. In this situation, it may be best          ² Be careful about disclosing your debit
  problems associated with debit cards.                        to use a credit card.* Although businesses             card number over the phone.
                                                                     still place holds on credit cards, at
    Act fast if your card is lost or                                    least it is not freezing actual funds    ² Cut up or shred old debit cards.
  stolen. As soon as you discover your                                    in your checking account. In
                                                                           any case, recording debit card        ² Memorize your PIN. Do not carry it in
  debit card is lost or stolen, notify your                                                                           your purse or wallet.
  bank immediately. The Electronic Fund                                    transactions and keeping track
  Transfer Act (EFTA) states that if you                                      of your checking account
                                                                              balance will help you detect a     ² Carefully check the amount of ATM
  report it missing before any fraudulent                                                                             or debit card transactions before you
  charges occur, you are not responsible                                      problem as soon as possible.
                                                                                                                      enter a PIN or sign the receipt.
  for the charges. If you report the loss
  within two business days, you are only                                      Be safe when using                 ² Check your bank balance often to
  responsible for $50 of unauthorized                                       your debit card. When                     detect any discrepancies.
  use. Waiting longer than two days could                                   paying with your debit card,
  make you liable for up to $500 for                                        it is best not to leave it out              Tips were provided by an FTC Fact Sheet.
                                                                                                                       For more helpful consumer information, visit
  charges made without your permission.                                     of your sight. According
  If you do not report unauthorized use                                     to, an

                                               Debit Card Safety Tips • UCAN Corner • Sales Tactics to Tempt You to Spend More
                                               Common Questions About Debt Collection • Inspiring Thoughts • Spare Change
                                                      About Debt
 Sales Tactics to Tempt

  You to Spend More                                              hroughout your debt negotiation             payment on an old debt, be sure to contact your
                                                                 program, you may have some contact          debt negotiation company before you take any

             ow many times have you walked                       with collectors via mail or telephone.      action. If you pay, you may cause more harm
             into a store with the intention of       On several occasions, you may have encountered         than good. According to an article on MSN
             buying only one or two items and         some terms or business practices that were new         Money ( entitled
leave with several bags full of merchandise?          to you. Here are the answers to some common            “Zombie Debt Collectors Dig Up Your Old
This scenario is probably a common occurrence         questions about the debt collection industry. We       Mistakes,” “...the smallest payment can revive
for most consumers. You may blame it on lack          hope you find this information helpful as you          the state of limitations in some states, leading to
of self-control, but stores play a major role in      travel the road to financial freedom.                  more aggressive collections and lawsuits. Even
encouraging you to spend more money. Below                                                                   acknowledging the debt is yours can restart the
are a few subtle sales tactics that may be a reason     “I received a letter from a collection                          clock in some jurisdictions.” Checking
your bill is higher than expected.                    agency regarding a credit card bill.                                    your credit report periodically
                                                      How did they receive my information?                                     can also help you keep track
   Shopping carts: Some consumers may                 Why isn’t the credit card company                                        of old debts. You can obtain
only plan on buying a few small items, but may                                                                                   an annual free copy of your
                                                      contacting me?”
still take a shopping cart when they enter the                                                                                     credit report at www.
                                                         The company or organization that
store. According to MSN Money, carts make it                                                                             
                                                      you initially signed a contract with
psychologically easy to toss in an item you do
not need because there is plenty of room.
                                                      is referred to as the original
                                                      creditor. For example,                                                         “I received a letter from
                                                      let’s say you obtained                                                      a law office concerning a
   Atmosphere: In order to make customers             a credit card account                                                       debt. Am I being sued?”
feel welcomed, retail stores may play music,                                                                                       In our past experience,
                                                      with FirstBank. If your
offer free samples, or fill the air with a pleasing                                                                           this is not necessarily the case.
                                                      account becomes past due,
scent. Time magazine reports that “scent is the                                                                            Oftentimes, your account may
                                                      FirstBank, your original
latest technique for putting consumers in a                                                                               be placed with a law firm that
spending mood.” Many stores create their own
                                                      creditor, will send reminders
                                                      and call in an attempt to                                           specializes in debt collection.
signature smells, which can cost as much as
                                                      get you to pay the amount                                           Usually, this organization serves the
                                                      due. When your account                                         same purpose as a third-party collection
                                                      becomes more delinquent,                                       agency. If you receive a letter from
   Price points: According to,          approximately 180 days,                                        a law office, read it carefully and as
a leading financial media company, consumers                                                                         always, contact your debt negotiation
                                                      FirstBank may have an
spend more money when prices end in “9”.                                                                            company when you receive any collector
This may explain why many stores may charge
                                                      outside collection agency, XYZ
                                                      Acquisitions, attempt to collect payment. This         correspondence.
$19.99 for an item, as opposed to $20. In order
to keep track of your spending, it may be wise        company is a third-party collector. Keep in mind
to carry a calculator while you shop so you can       that your accounts may be assigned to or bought          “A creditor called me and said my account
see the miniscule difference.                         and sold by several collection agencies during the     will be ‘charged-off.’ What does that mean?
                                                      course of your debt negotiation program. It is         Do I still owe the debt?”
                                                      important to keep paperwork organized and to              According to, a comprehensive
  Stock-up sales: Many stores offer “Buy
One, Get One Free” sales. If you do not think
                                                      notify your debt negotiation company when you          financial web site, a charge-off is a term that
you will use “two” of a particular item, read         notice that an account changes hands.                  is used to classify delinquent accounts for tax
the store requirements. You may be able to                                                                   purposes. The word “charge-off” is used to report
purchase one for half of the price. Stores may          “A collector recently contacted me about             a loss for the creditor. A debt is usually charged-
also promote sales such as “5 for $9.99” or “3        an unpaid bill that I incurred nearly a                off if there has been no payment made on the
for $7.98”. Once again, ask yourself if you need      decade ago. Do I still owe really old debts?           account for more than 180 days. Although your
to buy that many items. If not, do the math and          One way to determine if you still owe the debt      account is charged-off, you still owe the debt. A
figure out how much it is to buy just one.            is to check the statue of limitations in your state.   creditor can continue with attempts to collect
                                                      The statue of limitations also varies depending        the debt themselves or through a third-party
   Mail-In Rebates: These offers can provide          on what type of debt it is. A common example           debt collection agency.
some savings to consumers. However, stores are        is that the collection agencies can still attempt
expecting that most customers will not follow         to collect the debt, but may not be allowed to            Disclaimer: While this article is factual and
through with the requirements. According to           file a lawsuit because so much time has passed.        accurate, it is not intended to replace the advice, at least 50% of consumers do            To find out what the statue of limitations are         of professional, financial, accounting, and/or
not claim their rebates because they forget to cut    in your state, visit          legal advisers. As with all decisions regarding
off the UPC, lose the rebate form, or they just       and select the “Credit Repair” link followed           your finances, the advice, techniques, ideas and
simply do not want to be bothered by all of the       by the “Statute of Limitations on Debt” link.          suggestions offered herein should be followed under
paperwork.                                            You can then find your state on the list. If           the supervision of the appropriate competent
                                                      a collector tries to persuade you to make a            professional.
                                                                                                            economy has caused issuers to be more selective
                                                                                                            in their targeting.

                                                                                                             IRS warns consumers of

                                           pare Change                                                      “phishing scams”: The IRS wants to
                                                                                                            warn consumers about possible “phishing” e-mail
                                                                                                            scams. Identity thieves attempt to send out e-
                                                                                                            mails that appear to be from the IRS, but it is an
                                                                                                            attempt to gain financial information. The IRS
                                        News, financial tips, and other                                     never asks for information such as Social Security
                                        information regarding personal                                      and PIN numbers or passwords to access credit
                                                                                                            card or bank accounts. Some other signs that
                                        financial freedom                                                   may indicate a fraudulent email include asking
                                                                                                            consumers to participate in an IRS survey or
  FTC takes action against                            debts to any third parties, using profanity or        threatening to withhold refund money if they do
Florida debt collectors. A federal                    other abusive language in collection calls, or by     not respond. The IRS encourages consumers to
court has entered a final order against a Florida     continuing to attempt to collect a debt before        forward unsolicited “IRS” e-mails to phishing@
debt collection agency settling a Federal             providing verification of the debt to consumers For more details, visit and
Trade Commission action that alleged the              who properly request such verification. The           do a keyword search on “phishing.”
defendants violated the FTC Act and the               settlement also requires the defendants to provide
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)            consumers with a toll-free number and mailing          Identity theft is still the
while collecting consumers’ debts. The FTC’s          address to file complaints, promptly investigate
                                                      each such complaint, and take steps to cease,         number one crime. The FTC
complaint alleged that the enterprise used                                                                  recently released the list of top consumer fraud
misleading letters and abusive telephone calls to     resolve, and cure any violations of the court order
                                                      or the FDCPA.                                         complaints received by the agency in 2007. The
falsely threaten that consumers would be sued,                                                                                          list, contained in the
their property seized, and their wages garnished if                                                                                     publication “Consumer
they did not pay the money that the defendants         Credit card mail                                                                 Fraud and Identity
said they owed. The complaint alleged that the        volume declined.                                                                  Theft Complaint Data
collectors often shouted and used profanity           Credit card mail volume                                                           January-December
and other abusive language to carry out their         declined in the 4th                                                               2007,” showed that for
collections. The final order, among other things,     quarter of 2007. Issuers,                                                         the seventh year in a
permanently bars the defendants from falsely          straining from fall-out                                                           row, identity theft is the
representing the character, amount, or legal          due to the mortgage crisis                                                        number one consumer
status of a consumer’s debt, that their collector     and concerned about the                                                           complaint category.
is an attorney or represents an attorney, or that     economy, cut back on direct                                                       Of 813,899 total
if the consumer does not pay, the defendants          marketing activity according                                                      complaints received in
can or will file a lawsuit against the consumer. It   to Mail Monitor, the direct                                                       2007, 32% were related
also prohibits them from violating the FDCPA          mail tracking service.                                                            to identity theft.
in any way, including disclosing a consumer’s         Uncertainty surrounding the

                                                                 eacting to life’s unexpected or            may suddenly think that you absolutely need
                                                                 unfortunate events is a natural human      it or deserve it after your difficult day at work.
                                                                 reaction. Our mood and feelings can        In these types of situations, it is best to remove
                                                      change depending on what is occurring in our          yourself from the situation. Consider walking
                                                      life at the moment. After having a bad day,           away and think about the purchase for a few
                                                      you may have been tempted to buy something            days. In most cases, you may have forgotten all
                                                      to make you feel better. Results from a recent        about it by the time you arrive home.
                                                      scientific study entitled, “Misery is not Miserly”
                                                      indicates that consumers that feel sad or                Appreciate what you have. According to
                                                      self-focused are more likely to spend more for        research site Science Daily (www.sciencedaily.
                                                      material goods. Below are some tips that may          com), university researchers of the “Misery is
                                                      help you make wiser financial choices on those        Not Miserly” study suggest that sadness causes
                                                      bad days.                                             people to devalue their current possessions.
                                                                                                            Sadness can make people feel “empty” and some
                                                         Do not shop while hungry. You may                  may look to purchase items to fill that void.
                                                      have heard this tip when referring to grocery         Paying off debt can make some people feel as if
                                                      shopping. Consumers may spend more for food           they have very little to show for their spending.
                                                      if they shop while they are hungry. The same          Before you spend more in an attempt to feel
                                                      idea can also relate to other types of shopping.      better, think about things or aspects of your life
                                                      The recent study indicates that consumers             in which you are thankful. For example, you
                                                      should refrain from making major purchasing           may be grateful for the health of your family,
                                                      decisions when they are angry, sad, stressed,         food, housing, employment, etc.
                                                      or depressed. Shopping while experiencing
                                                      an extreme emotion may lead to impulsive                Reward yourself. We all have times in
  Feelings are much like waves,                       purchases.                                            which we need to relax and reward ourselves for
    we can’t stop them from                                                                                 our hard work. Discover inexpensive activities
   coming but we can choose                              Walk away. Let’s say you are shopping              or small tokens of appreciation that will help
                                                      after a stressful day at work and you see a great     cheer you up or reduce stress. For example, rent
        which one to surf.                            deal on the latest electronic gadget. Although        a movie, have a family pizza night, exercise, or
      ~Jonatan Mårtensson                             you did not plan on making this purchase, you         do something that your family may enjoy.
                                                                                                                                                                  the matter was referred to an experienced
                                                                                                                                                                  FDCPA attorney located in Texas near where
                                                                                                                                                                  the consumer resides. From the written
                                                                                                                                                                  statements and other evidence, the FDCPA
                                                                                                                                                                  attorney was convinced that the collector’s
                                                                                                                                                                  actions went well beyond what the FDCPA
                                                                                                                                                                  allowed, and agreed to take the case on a
Texas client receives large settlement                                                                                                                            contingency basis, which means that the
                                                                                                                                                                  consumer did not have to pay any fees to the

           ecently, a Texas consumer enrolled in                                day that all the above occurred, the collector                                    attorney. The FDCPA attorney found that the
           a debt settlement program started to                                 also called many of her family members and                                        collection agency’s actions also violated Texas
           receive harassing phone calls from a                                 became very agitated when they did not prove                                      state laws designed to protect consumers against
debt collection agency regarding an American                                    useful for his purposes.                                                          heavy handed debt collection tactics.
Express credit card debt. The collection agency,                                   Understandably, the consumer was very                                             After filing a lawsuit on behalf of the
Allied Interstate, Inc., thoroughly harassed the                                shaken up by the day’s events. In addition, her                                   consumer, the Apex network attorney obtained
consumer while at work, including calling the                                   employer took notice of her personal situation                                    a settlement that yielded the consumer in excess
consumer’s superiors and HR department in                                       at work and made a note of it                                                                         of $5,000.00. In addition,
order to embarrass and humiliate her.                                           in her file.                                                                                          the collector was required to
   The consumer stated that the harassment                                         Having been educated by                                                                            pay all fees and costs incurred
began one morning when she started to                                           UCAN to preserve all debt                                                                             by the network attorney in
receive calls from the collector at work. After                                 collector contacts as well as                                                                         prosecuting the matter.
answering the first call and politely informing                                 keeping a precise call log, the                                                                          This is just one of the ways
the collector, as she did many times in the past,                               consumer gathered written                                                                             that UCAN and Apex are
that she could not take calls at work as this                                   statements from all the                                                                               helping debt settlement clients
would jeopardize her job; the calls continued                                   witnesses and forwarded those                                                                         on a daily basis. If you are
nonetheless every five minutes.                                                 materials to UCAN. Upon                                                                               receiving unwanted calls at
   After repeatedly calling the consumer, the                                   receiving and reviewing the                                                                           work, contact UCAN at
collector proceeded to call the receptionist                                    consumer’s issue, a UCAN                                                                              1-877-462-8226 or send an
at the consumer’s place of employment.                                          representative forwarded the                                                                          e-mail to Our
Eventually, the collector moved on to the                                       matter to Apex Law Group                                                                              normal business hours are
consumer’s HR and payroll departments,                                          for placement with a FDCPA                                                                            Monday through Thursday
claiming to be a lawyer and requesting                                          attorney located in the                                                                               9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST
information for a wage garnishment.                                             consumer’s local area.                                                                                and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00
   The consumer later learned that, the same                                       After some investigation,                                                                          p.m. EST.

   The Road to Financial Freedom (RTFF) is published by The Premier Institute for Financial Freedom. While articles in the RTFF newsletter are factual and accurate, they are not intended to replace the advice of professional financial,
     accounting, and/or legal advisers. As with all decisions regarding your finances, the advice, techniques, ideas and suggestions offered herein should be followed under the supervision of the appropriate competent professional.

                                                                  CORPORATE OFFICES
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                                                                               Suite 19
                                                           North Huntingdon, PA 15642
                                           Phone: (800) 256-7273 • FAX: (724) 861-1039

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