I was contacted by a collection agency for an eight hundred bill. when I offered ten dollars a week they refused. they would only work with me if I paid twenty-five and it came directly out of my checking account, plus I had to agree to give them a lump sum out of my taxes. Is this right? If I do not agree by 2 pm today they will garnish my husband wages.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Re: collection agencies
Relax, if possible. You have been slimed by liars. It is impossible for the collection agency to garnish anyone's wages until they have a judgment, which cannot be obtained until after they have filed a lawsuit, which will give you a chance to appear and defend. Ask the collection agancy to send their demands to you in writing so you can think about it. (They won't do this, because the letter would be evidence that they violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by threatening you with garnishment of your husband's wages.) Tell them never to contact you again; if they do contact you again, you will sue them. Whatever you do, don't cooperate with these lying collectors. You might not ever owe the money. Certainly, your husband wouldn't owe the money unless he signed for it or if it was for some necessity for you while he was your husband. Good luck.
Re: collection agencies
I am not sure what you asking is right. The collection agency does not have to accept just any payments. They can agree to payments but they do not need to just take any payments that you offer. Likewise, you do not need to agree to their offer.
Is it right that they can garnish your husband's bank account? With the facts you have given me, I do not think so. You do not say if you have already been sued and their is a judgment already in place. No garnishment without a judgment. If the collector said garnish without also saying sue you, this is a violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.
Likewise, you do not say who actually owes the debt. If your husband dues now owe the debt (with you or by himself), then there can be no judgment and therefore no garnishment. If the husband does not owe the debt and the collector said they were going to garnish his bank account, this is a violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.
If you think you have a violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, call an attorney now.