02-19-2011 09:53 AM
I was wondering if I could get some advice on my current situation...
I was out of work for most of 2010 - about 10 months to be exact - and needless to say, a lot of my bills had become delinquent and had been sent to collections. I recently began working again, but am making a little over half of what I use to make. Because of that, I opted to make settlement agreements with the CAs, one of which was a company that represented DirectTV.
Now here is the issue I am facing: I recently made a final settlement payment to the CA representing DirectTV no less than a month ago and the CA confirmed that this dept was paid in full and that it will update the Credit Bureau and DirectTV. Just this past Friday, another CA representing DirectTV called me saying that I owed the remaining balance. Naturally, I called the first agency today (I'll call them CA 1) and told them that the remaining balance was sent to CA 2 asked them if they really did updated the status of my account. They confirmed that their records indicated that I paid my settlement in full and that I shouldn't owe anything more to DirectTV. They advised me to call them in the event that it might be an error on their part..
The Problem: DirectTVs records indicated that I DID make the settlement payment in full, they SAW IN THEIR RECORDS that it was a settlement payment, but they told me that the settlement doesn't matter (their words) and they will only look it as a partial payment until I pay the remaining balance. They also told me that they will continue to send my name through however many CAs they need to in order to get this debt paid. I tried my best to explain to them that this debt was settle through their agency, which they already know, but clearing that didn't sway them.
I call CA 1 back and told them what DirectTV said. They reconfirmed and reconfirmed again that my dept was paid in full and they don't understand why DirectTV is still trying to collect. They said that they would call DirectTV directly to find out what's going on and they will try to get the matter settled today and that I shoul call CA 2 in a weeks time to get an update on my status. I asked them (CA 1) if I could have something in writing saying that I did, in fact, pay them and that we did have a settlement agreement, but they told me that unfortunately they can't send me anything like that legally, and I would have to go through DIrectTV to retrieve that information.
I really need to know what I should do in this matter... Is what DirectTV doing legal? How do I obtain proof that I paid this settlement in full? Please give advise if you can. Thanks in advance.
02-19-2011 10:07 AM
When you settled with the CA1, did you get a letter stating the settlement would "settle the debt" and the "debt would be considered paid in full"?
02-19-2011 10:24 AM
Unfortunately no.. all they gave me was a confirmation number. But both CA 1 and DirectTVs records show that I settled the matter and it's paid in full... DirectTV is pretty much ignoring the settlement...
02-19-2011 12:36 PM
For this very reason, it is always best to get the terms of the settlement in writing from the CA before submitting a payment. It apperas that CA1, which is collecting on behalf of DirectTV, agreed to something that DirectTV isn't agreeing with. If DirectTV is saying that they'll continue to send the balance to other collections agencies, then it may be best to just pay the balance to prevent any further damage to your credit report.
Next time, be sure that you receive any settlement writings in writing before making any payments to a CA.
02-19-2011 01:52 PM
So, even though DirectTV is acknowledging that the payment is a PAID IN FULL SETTLEMENT but is deliberately choosing to ignore it, I still have to pay them? Not only does that not make since, but it's 100% unfair.
The whole reason why I opted to settle, like i stated before, is I didn't/don't have that kind of money. I have never faced this with any of the other CAs i settled with. If the collector is just going to override the agreement made with the agency, then what is the point of even hiring them? they could have pursued this themselves. This is too much headache and stress.. there has to be something I can do to fight this...
02-19-2011 03:17 PM
I can definitely understand your frustration. The fact that no one (DirectTV or the CA1) is willing to put in writing that the account is settled in full means that they are still giving themselves the option to pursue the remaining balance. I'm actually baffled that the CA1 said they couldn't put it in writing due to legal issues; I've had CA's have no problem outling the settlement terms in writing. But of course, that was because I demanded it before I handed over any payments.
If your goal is to protect your credit from further damage and start to rebuild, then I would recommend paying the remaining balance. DirectTV has told you in no uncertain terms that they will continue forwarding the balance to other collection agencies until you pay in full (which they've proven by you receiving calls from CA2). Each collection agency can start reporting on your credit report as soon they receive the account, thus causing more damage. Because you can't get the settlement terms in writing, there's really no proof you can provide to the CRB's that the account is in fact settled.
Another option would be to see if CA1 reports the account as "settled for less than full amount" on your credit report (if it is reporting). If it does, then you can use that as your proof to CA2 that the account has been settled in full.
02-19-2011 06:12 PM
Heavenly1 stated it well.
Unless you have something in writing already, you still owe the balance on the debt.
There are a couple of things that could have happened, depending on the agreement between CA1 and DirectTV. The agreement could have been the CA1 gets the first 100% of all money coming in until half the bill has been paid, then DIrectTV would get the rest of the money collected. If this was the case, and you settled for 50%, DirectTV got nothing and they want something. Or maybe the agreement was to split it 50/50 on all money coming in. The CA1 was satisfied that they received enough money to cover their expenses, but DirectTV wants more.
DirectTV says they want more money and will keep chasing it. Maybe you can work out a payment plan with DirectTV and get a PFD.
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