First off, a quick rundown of my AAFES troubles before I get to the happy ending. I'm 100% DAV after 17.5 years in the USAF and during those years of active service I had and actively utilized my Star Card often...so did the ex-missus. In our relationship, she paid the bills and I brought home the bacon with my full-time work as she pitched in with a part-time gig. We were married 23 years before she asked me for a divorce out of the blue. It was shortly afterward when I discovered she had stopped paying the bills including (of course) the aforementioned Military Star Card, our house, two years of taxes, and about all credit accounts with the sole exception of the one major CC I carried so I never saw ANY of this coming. The Star Card had a CL of $7800 and was not only maxed out but being garnished from my disability at the rate of around $172 per month. This is how I learned about the state of this account once I started digging in and learning just how much in the hole she left me after, well, she left me.
FFWD to recently. I've poured and poured over these boards looking for any help, any answer on how to get my SS # unlocked by settling my debt thru TSI (AAFES' 3rd party collection agency) with lots of great advice but none of it really fit my situation. As of last month, I had been garnished at that amount for years and years and had paid over $15,000 on the original $7800 debt. I'd previously called AAFES and was informed that as of June, 2017, AAFES & TSI were reopening a (supposedly indefinite) window for offering a settlement amount to close out the debt for once and for all. TSI was calling me regularly for extra payments and I declined, citing I'd like to wait until June and make an offer. My account rep at TSI was very nice (something I hear is rare for that crappy company) and she understood.
Here comes June 1, 2017 and I call "Trisha" at TSI and told her I was ready to make an offer of $2000. She asked me if I was serious, that it would almost certainly not be accepted since the principle alone was $4800 and with TSI's fees and interests, the total remaining past due amount was over $5800 - can you believe this crap??? I told her "Trisha, yes ma'am, I'm serious. I've already paid over 100% of the original debt and an extra $2000 on top of the $15.5K they've already lifted from me over the years, I would think this is a win-win for all parties." She was like okay, I guess it can't hurt to try it just to see what AAFES comes back with.
Two weeks went by and "Trisha" calls me back and says "SSGT -----, I have some great news: AAFES has accepted your $2000 offer." She told me in all the years she'd been there she'd never seen them accept an offer like the one I had made. Well, they accepted mine.... YAY!!! What a monkey off my back! I yanked out my NFCU Signature Visa card and paid it right then and there over the fun. I'm now looking forward to seeing that extra $175(ish) added back to my disability again. It's been SOOOO MANY **bleep** YEARS!!!
If I were to guess, which is all I can do, I would think maybe the following factors led up to the nice settlement deal Star gave me: One, I've never dodged their calls over the years, Two, I made a $200 extra payment to my account two months ago (the ONLY extra payment I'd ever made beyond the garnishments) and Three, I attempted to and was successful in building a personal relationship with my TSI account representative over the last year or so. Or maybe they just looked at how damned much money I'd paid them over the years and over the original debt? Dunno, but the nightmare is finally OVER.
That leaves me today with just under 700 at the three big CRA's and my credit getting better and better almost monthly.
Anyway, I hope this helps somebody in the same situation I was in because this is exactly the type of story I was looking to find over the last year or so and couldn't find anywhere. Good luck to any and all dealing with this cartel.