Years ago we opened a credit card with a credit union. We did wonderfully with it, and had it fully paid off (over $7k) the summer of 04. I lost my job fall '05, and by the spring of 06 it was back up to $7k (all bills and groceries). The payments were around $250, and I kept in good contact with the person in change of the Visa's at the CU. I told him I would send $100 as often as I could and he said as long as I kept in contact with him it would not go to a credit agency (but would still show as late on a CR). And that's what I did. I'd call him and let him know if it was going to be late, etc.
In March of '07 I received a letter from a collections attorney stating it was turned over to them for payment. (I had already sent in the $100 for March). They said because I hadn't paid the full monthly amount in over a year, it was going to collections and was charged off. I told the woman I had been working with the man at the credit union and my March payment had been cashed. She sounded surprised and said "OK". That was the last I heard from them.
I wound up with some health problems/surgeries, we never got another bill from them, and being completely honest…I forgot about it until I was going through some old papers after I got a new job (yippee). I called the CU to ask what happened to my bills and that I was working and would like to set up something for starting payments back up in the spring, when we were settled. They said to call back when I was ready. I called Tuesday and they told me to call the lawyers office. I did, and they asked me if I had been "served" yet. I had no idea what they were talking about. Apparently they filed suit in Dec 07. Tuesday was the first I heard of it. I'm going to ct house to get the papers because I don't want them showing up at my house with the sitter there.
The lawyer said they want me to pay $250 per month…which I can't do. I said $150 for 6 months and then $200. They said ok, but $200 is only for 6 months and then $270 until it's paid ($8000). I'm wary about the $270 as my student loans are about to kick in again too and they will be close to $500. I could do $200. I would be tight but I could do it, but that extra $70 will be over the top of an already tight budget. Is there anything I can do to get them to $200 and stay? Do I need to get a lawyer or are there letters, etc., that I can write myself?
The other thing is that this is showing up on my CR as two separate items. The CC shows as been late, but then paid off. The next line then shows my basic credit union savings account number (apparently they transferred the CC debt to an in-house account and cancelled the card), and listed as a charge off. So this one baddie, is hitting me FICO-wise twice. Can they do that? Any help would be appreciated. There is no way I can pay this debt, in full, so the letters I've read on here really can't help me.
Thanks for any input.