A VISA Debt Settlement Offer

If you are new to the blog, click HERE to start at the beginning of my story.
POST #29
This is the day!!!!
Famous last words…..well it wasn’t THE day, but it was a BIG step forward.
I got on the phone with my contact in Recovery, let’s call him Billy. I had done my dance of the purgatory fairies the night before. Apparently they heard me because my account was in his system.
Billy was a down home kinda guy. A slow, calm droll to his voice – focused, smart and confident, but no attitude.  Quite frankly, I felt lucky to have found him. He seemed to understand my plight and was willing to work with me. Usually, I don’t believe in bonding with your “salesman” but with Billy it was different.  He was authentic, so I trusted my gut and trusted him.
He reiterated that $7500 was extremely unlikely. He had seen offers of 40% ($11,200), but only in extreme circumstances.  From his experience, my account was likely to be in his department for about a month and it would take that much time to get the supervisor to consider a deal that even came close to my offer of $7500.  That said, he was a man of his word and agreed to send it up the flag pole.
He put me on hold for less than 2 minutes, came back on and said he couldn”™t reach any sups but would try a manager.
In what seemed like 10 seconds, Billy came back on the phone.  He wasn’t the excitable type, but there was a smile in his voice.
Apparently, he had never seen an offer this low and this quick.
$9809.87 or 35%

We were in business!!!!!!

I calmly thanked him, showed my appreciation, but said this was still $2300 over my offer and I had to consult with my credit counselor (CRN coach).

Giant House of Cards
Image by Tjflex2 via Flickr

At this point, it was critical that my story stay consistent. In reality, I had access to about $8600, but our financial story had been a complicated one of borrowing (true), and deferring payments (true). We had allowed ourselves a little bit of wiggle room without telling the bank.  Now that we were going to counter offer above our most recent offer of $7500, we had to mathematically explain how and why it would happen. If there was a hole in the story, it could all fall apart like a house of cards.  The domino effect of which could make my real house fall like a house of cards. Not good.
Luckily, Billy added a little piece of magic to their offer. Unlike so many scoundrels in the collections and recovery departments, he took the pressure OFF of me.
“No one is putting pressure on you to decide today. The offer is good for 2 weeks.”
This is really unheard of!
So close…..but not quite there.
Stay tuned. Stay afloat. Wealth and freedom are in your future.
Jonathan

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Debt Collections Calls – the first 30 days

If you are new to the blog, click HERE to start at the beginning of my story.

POST #11
In mid August, I made my first calls to the bank explaining my situation. Was I nervous?

HECK YEAH!!!

This was the first of many pro-active calls I made.  I had written a cheat sheet to make sure the call went smoothly.  Here’s what was on it:

  1. Stay calm, sincere and friendly.

  2. Keep the call short and direct.

  3. Explain that I am experiencing a financial hardship.

  4. Explain that I am father of 2 and husband, doing my best to take care of my family.

  5. Don’t offer any information regarding my specific place of employment.

  6. Don’t make a payment. Never. Ever. Ever. Ever. JUST DON’T DO IT. This will kill the process and you’ll have to start over again.

  7. Don’t allow the rep to get me angry or defensive.

  8. Don’t mention debt settlement yet!!!!

All of the above was true for me. This is an important aspect of the debt settlement process. You are telling the bank a TRUE story. If you start lying, they will likely catch you and the process will crumble. As a reminder, debt settlement is NOT a way to avoid your debts. It’s a way to recover from financial hardship while attempting to offer your bank a portion of the money owed.

Image by oceandesetoiles via Flickr

During the call, I expected to be scolded by the teacher for being extremely tardy to school.
But really, it was more like, “We understand. Thank you for your call. Let us know when you are back on your feet.”
Keep in mind, this was during the first 30 days – not serious delinquency yet.
I don’t imagine it will be this smooth for everyone, but it was for me.
Good thing I was being coached by my CRN rep, Dayna. She gave me a reality check, “Don’t get too comfortable.  IT WILL GET NASTY!” And she was right, it took another 3 months, but it got there.  And once it got nasty, it got really nasty.
Surprisingly, not all of the reps were nasty, but when you’re dealing with people, you are subject to good and bad moods. When you catch someone in a good mood, you’ll get a better deal. Bad mood, bad deal. Sounds arbitrary, but it makes sense. Sure there are settlement rules for the bank, but there is also leeway. Ask yourself this question:

Who do you think will get a better deal?

The angry indignant customer?

or

The father of 2 who is calling every 2 weeks, telling his story with humility and offering to pay a portion of the debt?

In an upcoming post, I’ll share with you what happened when I got on the phone with a collections rep who was not having a good day. Let’s just say, I used every technique in the book to land that settlement.  🙂
Stay tuned. Stay afloat. Wealth and freedom are in your future.
Jonathan

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