I made a mistake plain and simple by listening to a debt settlement company (Consumer Law Associates). In 2010 they told me they could settle my credit cards including Chase. To their credit they settled 3 out of the 4 (Chase being the only one left). But from what I am seeing online it does not look like Chase deals with debt settlement companies and has not since before I entered into the program. I know shame on me for not doing better research.
My question is Chase has closed out my account and written off the debt. I still want to try and settle, is there any avenue available? I have contacted Chase and not gotten a response; but that might be because the funds are being held by a debt settlement firm.
This should be a fairly simple and straight forward process for you. I’m assuming you contacted Chase in writing? If you did, that is likely why you didn’t get a response.
It is advisable that you address these types of endeavors over the phone rather than in writing. This is true 99% of the time.
If you want to handle this on your own the steps you should take are as follows…
- Double check your contract with Consumer Law Associates to determine any possible liability that may be incurred when settling on your own. To be safe, and again if you choose to handle this on your own, you’re probably best served cancelling their services prior to initiating negotiations on the Chase account.
- Once you have handled that, call the institution that is holding your money. The institution is more than likely Global Client Solutions (who can be reached at (800) 398-7191) or Meracord (who can be reached at (800) 535-9192).
When you speak with them, do not request to close your account. If you do, they will take up to 30 days to deliver your funds. Instead, request to withdrawal your funds and have them wired or ACH’d back into your personal checking account. Their normal turn-around time on withdrawals is generally just 3 business days.
Also, if they are still drafting funds from you, you naturally will want to advise them to cancel any and all future drafts.
Once the money is placed back into your personal account, make the request to close your account with them.
- Your next step will be to call Chase. Your objective on this phone call is to locate the agency that is handling your account. Chase sells the majority of their charge offs, so the account was probably sold to a debt buyer. Depending on how long its been since the account went delinquent, it is possible the account has been sold and resold multiple times.
In your situation, since its been roughly 3 years, this is probably the case. No worries though, it just means that you’ll probably have to call a few places before you locate the company that is actively handling your account.
Once the account has been located, proceed to negotiate a settlement. Considering you have settled the majority of your debt, you may find the agency that is handling your account isn’t as negotiable as what you expect. I’m not saying this will definitely happen, but logically it may.
Because of your previous settlements, on paper you look a lot better than you did previously. And since this is your last account, they will probably try to collect as much as they can from you. The reason why, is they’ll know, by looking at your current credit report, that they’re the only thing standing in your way to a complete resolution and subsequent rehabilitation.
A strategy you could employ to increase your chances of successfully settling for what you have available to you, would be to wait until around the 25th of this month to approach them. You’ve probably heard the saying “if you’re going to buy a car, wait until the end of the month”. Debt collections works similarly.
Obviously, make sure to get your settlement offer in writing before making any financial arrangements.
Please feel free to respond with any questions in the comments. Good luck to you.
I was formerly one of the best debt collectors in the country and since 2002 I’ve been helping people settle their delinquent debts right away. – About Jared Strauss
Don’t worry – I wasn’t the huffy-puffy type. :)
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