If you are new to the blog, click HERE to start at the beginning of my story.
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Here we are, 2 weeks into 2010 and I am still flying high from settling over $100K of debt. It is hard to describe the feeling, but I imagine the relief is equivalent to that of my wife’s when she pushed out our 9 pound son.
Now on to the VISA.
I was prepared for the VISA to be a bit different. First clue was their charge-off schedule was much longer than the lines of credit. I am not exactly sure how they do their math, but they wouldn’t have done well in my 5th grade math class.
Here are a few ways the VISA differs from the Lines of Credit:
Jacked up my APR to 29.9% after I was 30 days late.
Charge off schedule was much longer.
Not at all interested in negotiating until we got to the recovery department.
More aggressive phone reps.
I called the the VISA department to make another offer. Current balance was $28K, with a whopping $2500 of fees, penalties and interest. This was 5 times the amount of excessive charges I experienced on my Lines of Credit. Scoundrels!
I had been calling them all along, low balling, and they had stone-called me at 50% -$14K.
- Image by Mat Honan via Flickr
Today was no different. The rep wanted 50% divided into 3 “easy” payments of $4671.36. I wanted to ask if it came with a Ginsu knife set.
Up until now, my offers had been for $7500. However, since I had used some of my savings for the other settlements, I decided to lower my offer to reflect that. In other words, since Visa didn’t play ball (but the Line of Credit department did): they lost out on getting more of my available funds!
This time I offered $5000. The rep just about laughed at me. My notes showed my prior offers of $7500 had been declined so he knew my offer of $5000 would not fly. I explained that I do have $7500 (in borrowed money) but $2500 is now spoken for with my 5 payments of $500 to the LOC settlement I recently landed.
He said he would submit it, but didn’t look promising. Then he mentioned that my account was 146 days passed due. It was “subject to charge” off tomorrow.
You are probably wondering what “subject to charge off” means. I did, too, so I asked.
It was a scare tactic designed to get a payment out of me. Technically, the bank can charge off the account any time after 90 days – and maybe even earlier. So really, it had had been “subject to charge off” for a while now!
We ended the call.
It went on like this for 3 weeks. I’d call, offer $5k, they’d say no but try to get a payment. I’d ask for a supervisor. One wasn’t available, but they’d have him call me back. No one called, so I called back in a few days and started the process again.
We were back in junior high school playing hard-to-get with each other. Everyone knew where this was headed…..yup: the Recovery Department – where the real deals are had.
Again, it hurts your credit. But since I already had 3 accounts hit the Recovery Department, I figured I might as well go 4 for 4 and get a great settlement.
By the way, charge off didn’t happen until the end of February – about 50 days after that rep threatened me that it was “subject to charge off”
Stay tuned. Stay afloat. Wealth and freedom are in your future.
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