If you are new to the blog, click HERE to start at the beginning of my story.
On Friday, November 27, I made my first call to the Recovery Department. Knowing they would offer a better deal, I was quite optimistic.
As a conquering hero, I picked up the phone like a sword ready to slay my first debt dragon.
In this conversation, I integrated a technique that CRN had suggested – make my story real to the bank. If they see me as a family and not a number, they will be more likely to settle. I re-told my back story with one addition – Thanksgiving dinner. It went something like this.
“At Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, I was really thinking about my debt. I am so grateful for my family and I want to do everything I can to take care of them. As I said before, with my mortgage, child care etc”¦really struggling to get by. I want to do everything I can do avoid bankruptcy….”
This may seem manipulative, but it is also true for me. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It was authentic for me to talk about its meaning and how the imminence of bankruptcy reminded me what I am thankful for. I was sure my authenticity would help my case and make a settlement that day a sure thing. GUESS WHAT!!!!???
IT DIDN’T MAKE A SINGLE BIT OF DIFFERENCE THAT DAY.
But that didn’t deter me.
On 12/2, I finally made some headway.
I offered $5k to settle my $20k line of credit. There was something different this day. This rep was the stereotypical bill collector. He had attitude and was attacking my credibility. He fired out questions like a machine gunman at a firing line.
How much are you making?
Your numbers don”™t add up? Who’s giving you money?
Why are you paying your other creditors and not us?
Had I been unprepared, I would have crumbled. This rep was like a bull dog.
He DID NOT believe me, nor did he like what I was saying. However, I just stayed calm. Explained my story again, as I had dozens of times before and waited for him to come around.
After 20 minutes of grilling, he finally agreed to take my $5K offer to his supervisor and then…………..play the victorious music…….
He came back on the line and to say his supervisor had approved a settlement for $6924.11, or 35% of the total.
I was ecstatic, though I didn’t let him know this. I couldn’t just jump at the offer because according to my story, I had to come up with another $2K. I thanked him for the generous offer, but said I needed to make a call to see if I could arrange for the additional funds.
In reality, I had saved and borrowed money in advance so that when this moment came I would have funds on hand. I asked him to fax the offer so I had it writing. True to bullish form, this rep gave me a hassle about faxing a letter.
Hear me when I say this:
Without anything in writing, your verbal agreement is at jeopardy.
If you send in funds without an agreement in writing, they can apply those funds to principal, deny that a deal was cut and hold you on the hook for the balance. Seems egregious, but it does happen.
After what seemed like hours of haggling, this bull dog faxed the letter. Per our agreement, I called back 2 days later and paid by check over the phone.
This was one of the greatest days of my life. It was a rush and definitely inspired me to move forward with my 3 other accounts. Holy cow! This method really works. I jumped for joy, hugged my wife, called my CRN rep……and then went back to the drawing board.
This was only 1 of 4 accounts and by far the smallest account. I still had another $110,000 to deal with…..but I was optimistic. And for good reason.
Stay tuned. Stay afloat. Wealth and freedom are in your future.