Credit Card debt originated from Wells Fargo (lawsuit attached). Last paid in 2006. Depression got the better of me and that’s why I let it get out of control. The principal amount is $12k. The collection firm, Persolve, is asking for $21k with interest included. Persolve has proven to be difficult to work with.
Paperwork was served to my father who then gave it to me. (I thought I had to be served directly?).
I would like to get this settled with a monthly plan, or a lump sum depending on how low the firm can go. What are my options, and is there anything you can do for me in dealing with such a difficult firm?
I completely understand how being buried under the thick blanket of depression can lead to inactivity and the lack of attention to the issue.
In an effort to best answer your question I reached out to members of the AACC, debt settlement companies that put consumers first, and asked them for their front line advice.
AACC member Active Debt said they have had success settling debts in the past with Persolve.
Michael Bovee with Consumer Recovery Network, another AACC member offered this advice.
First thing first is to look up the statute of limitations (SOL) for using the courts to collect revolving debt in your state. Calculate the date you last paid on the account and the date served. If the debt is outside the statute, you should connect with an attorney to assist you in filing an answer with that defense. The suit should be dismissed as outside SOL.
The debt does not go away if the action is dismissed. Were you to engage with Persolve to attempt to settle after it is dismissed, you or a professional you may hire will be in the driver’s seat to reach a deal you can afford in order to put this behind you.
If the debt is still within statute to access the courts as a means to collect, I would suggest the following:
Due to the age of this unpaid debt, it is quite likely Persolve is acting in their own interests as a purchaser of your debt. They may have risked anywhere from a half a penny to a couple pennies per dollar of their own capital when buying your account. When purchasing debt of this vintage, it is highly unlikely enough information was passed along as part of the file for them to be able to provide adequate detail substantiating key elements of their case if proper challenges were raised by a skilled consumer advocate attorney. I would encourage you to connect with an experienced consumer attorney in your state and retain them to represent you in defense of the suit. You will have costs associated with the representation, but if successfully defended, the cost will be less than what you would likely settle the account for at this point.
You can reach settlement during the case. Your attorney will be in a great position to assist you in this way should negotiations result in an agreement you can fund. If the Persolve case is weak, and your attorney skilled in this type of defense, Persolve may in fact be the first to blink by offering favorable balance concessions.
Purchasers of unsecured debt win something on the order of 90% of the cases they file in court by default. Consumers simply do not answer the complaints in a prescribed period of time required by the court and default judgment is entered in favor of the debt buyer as a result. This is a cash cow for debt buyers. Once they have judgment they have legal means to lien, levy and garnish wages on what are often inflated balances and legal fees.
You must file an answer with the court in order to prevent default. If you need help locating an attorney, please reply with what state you live in and I may be able to provide contact information for one. You can also go to www.naca.net and locate a consumer attorney using your state as search criteria.
So there you go. Some frontline advice from groups that have dealt with Persolve. It seems the best advice is for you to consult with a local attorney about the matter as soon as possible. You need to find out if the suit was valid to begin with.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.