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I Was Sending Less Than The Minimum Payment But What Happened to My Account? – Jan

“Dear Steve,

I was underemployed and am now totally unemployed and trying to still keep my head above water–not really working. No savings or retirement left; had to settle with one credit card company using last of my money and borrowed from family. Still have 2 cards left — way behind on those. Used cards to live on basically.

I contacted 2 credit card companies when I began working less hours and asked them to lower payments which they did not do. So I began sending them small payments well below the minimum amount due. They stopped sending me a bill and I cannot access my account through their websites, so I pay using my bank’s billpay. Can you tell me why they would stop sending me a bill?


Dear Jan,

Your payments less than the minimum would not have prevented the account from charging off and then being sold to a bad debt buyer. The most likely explanation is this is exactly what happened.

You should be prepared to be contacted in the future about those debts by a new company.

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If you ever face a similar situation again in the future, which of course I hope you don’t, you should consider bankruptcy early to discharge all the debts rather than an approach that only addresses part of them.

At this point when you are contacted in the future, don’t hide from the debt collector or new debt owner. Your first step will be to ask them for proof that you actually owe the debt. Do this in writing and send it by some sort of traceable means so you can later provide proof you asked for this.

If you had some cash and wanted to explore this matter more right now you could get a consolidated credit report and see who the current owner of those debts might be according to the credit report.

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Otherwise, just sit tight and don’t be surprised when these debts resurface.

Oh, and if you are still paying the original bank the small monthly payment, you probably don’t need to anymore. Just give the original banks a call and confirm they don’t own your accounts anymore.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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