I have been contacted by a debt collector for a credit card debt going back to 1997. They are trying to bully me into making a payment commitment without anything in writing by threatening to sue me, to put a lien on my property, bank account, and motor vehicle lien. The person I talked to said their client will accept $2000 to dismiss, or $6000 with payments of over $500 month for a year, or if I go to court the debt will balloon to over $15,000. Is this legal? How can I find out who they are? What do I need to do to ensure that their threats do not come to fruition? Should I hire an attorney? If I can't pay the debt, how will I pay an attorney?
1 Answer from Attorneys
If you haven't made payments on the credit card since 1997, it appears the limitations period has expired. There are several ways to handle it. You were absolutely correct to demand the claim in writing. In fact, consumer laws require it.
As stated before, there are several ways to handle this. This is one way next time they call:
1. Ask of you can tape record the conversation or you will hang up. (In MD,you have to ask for permission to tape).
2. If they allow taping, demand all claims in writing;
3. Aks for their name, the name of the company, and a return number to call; and
3. Finally, tell them never to call again.
Never agree to any payments. Once you do that, the statute of limitations begin again.
If you have any further questions, I am available to discuss the matter. (410)635-4122.
Licensed and Practicing in Maryland
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