If acollection company has turned my account over to a local lawyer, should I contact the collector or the law office?

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If acollection company has turned my account over to a local lawyer, should I contact the collector or the law office?

A collections agency has turned my debt of $8,000 to a local law office. Should I speak to them without representation of a attorney? Or do contact the collections agency? Also, what if I can’t possibly afford to pay the debt back and my budget is totally maxed out? Can literally pay $50 a month?

Asked on September 13, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If there's now an attorney working on the account, you should correspond with him or her--and keep records of all your correspondence, including proof of delivery (e.g. fax transmision receipt, fed ex tracking number, postal proof of delivver, etc.).

2) If you can't afford to pay a debt, you can be sued for the money owed. The creditor is not required to accept anything less than payment in full, on time. An an $8,000 debt, an offer to pay $50 a month would likely not be acceptable--even ignoring interest (which they'd be entitled to), it would take almost 14 years to repay at that rate. You can propose that, but it's doubtful it would be accepted.

If you're sued and the creditor wins, they can try to garnish wages or you bank account, put a lien on property, etc.

3) You may wish to consider bankruptcy as an option. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney.


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