Verbal vs. Written Demand
I'm in Calfornia but the collection agency is in Delaware. The representative at the agency told me by phone that my last two payments are due April 14th for $100 and April 28th for $108. Then I received a letter from her stating the payments were due on May 18th and May 28th 2006. When I called to confirm the dates in May, she said the dates in the letter were wrong and my payments are still due in April, as we discussed by phone, and if not paid by April 28th she is filing in court to garnish my wages for the balance of $208 plus legal fees. Can she still hold me to the dates in April or can I legally hold her to the May dates in the written letter? Thank you for your help.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: Verbal vs. Written Demand
You have to understand that collection agency employees often are engaged in a competition with each other to see who could bring in the most $$ the fastest. That's why they always seem to be unreasonable. I'm not sure if, when you say "last" payments, they're the final payments. If so, you have reason to doubt that they would file a lawsuit over a trivial amount of money still owed. Only after a judgment is entered against you can they legally attach wages or bank accounts. I always tell my clients to do the best they can to catch up and keep records of all payments, including sending them by return receipt mail if possible.