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Home > Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts > Made a settlement with Mann Bracken, now another company is collecting on the same debt. What do I do? – Ryan

Made a settlement with Mann Bracken, now another company is collecting on the same debt. What do I do? – Ryan

I’m married with 3 children. I own a house and my income has gone down through job changes, so I spend about 60% of my income on my house payment alone.

I had a discover card debt from 2003 of 4,000 or so dollars when I was younger and stupid. Last year I worked extra hard to get the money together to settle all of my old debts apart from my house and student loans, and I did that.

I was threatened with a lawsuit by Mann Bracken in the summer of 2010 (before they went belly up) for the 4000 discover card debt so I settled with them for 2500 dollars. I can’t find any paper work from them, and now I have been contacted by another debt company trying to collect on the debt.

Who do I go to in order to try and get some paperwork? Where would this be on file? Would discover card have had that info? Or was I scammed by Mann Bracken?

Thank you for your time and help.

Ryan

Made a settlement with Mann Bracken, now another company is collecting on the same debt. What do I do? - Ryan by

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  • Fitz

    Rule #1: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, keep your paperwork! The legal world is not so much about what really happened as it is about what you can prove happened. Also, do not expect Discover or anyone else on the collector side to be of any assistance in proving that you do not owe any amounts. Michael’s comments are excellent so please follow them. I’m gonna guess however this is not going to be about proving what you paid, but rather that you had a deal to pay less than the full balance. Discover will say you were merely making payments toward the total balance. Good news: Mann Bracken has very little credibility with anyone (even the courts) so you may get someone (judge) to listen to your story of a settlement, as this is shaping up as a he said/she said case (which can be won). Was the settlement part of a lawsuit? If it was, there may be some paperwork in the court file that may be of some assistance.

  • Michael

    Hi Ryan,

    Did you settle the account by sending a lump sum of money in one transaction. or over multiple months with payments split up?
    You should go to the bank that your settlement payment(s) were drawn from and get copies of the monthly statements where payment(s) toward the settlement appear. Depending on the bank, you may have to pay a few dollars for the statements. Keep the documents in a safe place.

    Who is it that is now collecting on the paid debt?
    Have they contacted you by phone only. or have you received mail from them?
    Have you discussed the fact that you settled this account with the collector?
    Have you received repeated calls?

    You have the right to request validation of the debt:
    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm

    “What does the debt collector have to tell me about the debt?

    Every collector must send you a written
    “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days
    after they first contact you. This notice also must include the name of
    the creditor to whom you owe the money, and how to proceed if you don’t
    think you owe the money”.

    You have the right to request the collector cease communicating with you:

    “If a collector contacts you about a debt, you may want
    to talk to them at least once to see if you can resolve the matter –
    even if you don’t think you owe the debt, can’t repay it immediately, or
    think that the collector is contacting you by mistake. If you decide
    after contacting the debt collector that you don’t want the collector to
    contact you again, tell the collector – in writing – to stop contacting
    you. Here’s how to do that:

    Make a copy of your letter. Send the original by certified
    mail, and pay for a “return receipt” so you’ll be able to document what
    the collector received. Once the collector receives your letter, they
    may not contact you again, with two exceptions: a collector can contact
    you to tell you there will be no further contact or to let you know that
    they or the creditor intend to take a specific action, like filing a
    lawsuit. Sending such a letter to a debt collector you owe money to does
    not get rid of the debt, but it should stop the contact. The creditor
    or the debt collector still can sue you to collect the debt.”

    If you request validation and no documentation is forthcoming yet collection attempts persist – you should contact an attorney experienced with FDCPA violations.

    If you send a cease communication letter certified return receipt and receive the green card back (keep in a safe place), yet collection attempts persist – you should contact an attorney experienced with FDCPA violations.

    What state do you live in?

    • Ryan

      Did you settle the account by sending a lump sum of money in one transaction. or over multiple months with payments split up?

      One lump sum, I believe 2500.

      Who is it that is now collecting on the paid debt?

      Not sure right now. I’ve been too overloaded. Next time I get online I’ll have that name handy. I wanted to research them any way.

      Have they contacted you by phone only. or have you received mail from them?
      Have you discussed the fact that you settled this account with the collector?
      Have you received repeated calls?

      Only by phone. Nothing in writing yet. I did tell them last time that I paid it last year, and I told them I needed time to dig up the paperwork. Since I told them that, they have not called, but that was only 2 days ago.

      Thank you for the resources (and the timeliness in which this was posted!) I will certainly use those. I’ve been so overloaded with work lately I just haven’t had the time to deal with this.

    • Ryan

      Sorry, forgot, I live in Idaho.

      • Michael

        After first contact via telephone you should have received a written collection letter within 5 days. You may be dealing with an outfit who plays a little loose with debt collection laws.

        Michael Kinkley is an experienced FDCPA attorney in Spokane WA. I would encourage you to contact him: (509) 484-5611

        Take the time to write down a chronology of events on the account. Dates and times the collector called, from what number, what was said, save any voice mail that may have been left and then continue to document all contact.

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    You can certainly contact Discover and ask them if they have a copy of the settlement but I would be surprised if they came up with something. But never hurts to ask.

    It’s too bad you can’t find anything to support the deal you might of struck.

    You could contact the State of Maryland Bar and ask them who may have possession of the warehouse full of records that were abandoned.

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