Author Topic: Too "Big" Bank Wants 'Hardship Letter'  (Read 146 times)

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AZgranny

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Too "Big" Bank Wants 'Hardship Letter'
« on: September 02, 2015 07:46:56 PM »
Here's a little History on my circumstances:

Summer 2004—purchased motor home from a dealer in WA state;  financed via a ‘Consumer Credit Sales Agreement/ Security Agreement' thru a “too big” bank.

Both Hubby & I (while in our early and mid 60’s) lost our jobs (one after the other) by early Summer of 2009.  Eventually we had no alternative but for both to file for early S.S. retirement benefits.

Moved from WA to AZ where we continued to scrape payment together until Spring of  2012; when we notified bank we couldn't do it any more and went through w/ voluntary repossession. We were notified by bank of motorhome's pending sale and then later a notice of amount of the sale (which was less than ½ of the NADA avg. retail--OUCH!) and explanation of deficiency balance of approx. $40K.

Since then we get a phone call from the bank approx. every 6-8 wks. wanting to know “when & how much we are going to start paying monthly”, etc.---our reply has always been “our only income is Social Security benefits & we are not able to pay anything.”  We have also received letters making an offer to us if we “send a check within xx days, for $ xxxx amt.” etc.

Yesterday we got a phone call from a collector at the bank asking for us to send them a “Hardship Letter” telling about our only source of income being S.S. and any other hardships we may have. He said with the receipt of the letter, they wouldn’t have to keep calling us so often—he then gave me the instructions of what to include in the letter:  “Account #, source of income, etc---“and don’t forget to ‘sign’ the letter---both husband and wife must sign it.” He kept using that phrase several times—I became a little suspicious.

So I’ve composed a Hardship Letter that ONLY says that “(1) our source of income is only from social security benefits, and (2) that my husband’s battle with a long term illness requires expensive co-pays & out-of pocket  for tests and treatment.”

I made absolutely no mention in the letter of trying to pay ANY amount of money in the future (and have sent NO amount of money since the final payment we made 2 months before repossession—3+ yrs. ago!)

Now I ask for any opinions----do I actually mail MY letter; is this normal for the creditor to ask for one? Or does something sound like they’re hoping to spring a trap?  Also can anyone tell me when the SOL started, and what states SOL do I go by---the state the contract originated in—WA; or the state where repossession took place—AZ ?

Thanks for any input you may have—it’s much appreciated!

Bruno the JDB Killer

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Re: Too "Big" Bank Wants 'Hardship Letter'
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015 08:10:29 PM »
Doesn't matter, both states have a six year SOL. Date of default starts the SOL in most states.  AZ is a bad place to be sued, very creditor friendly. Not that it matters, nothing from nothing is nothing. They want you to sign because you moved from one community property state to another. Both spouses are on the hook for any debt.

Me, I wouldn't even respond, but that's just me. What bank? Does the contract have an arbitration clause?
I am not an attorney. Any information I post is strictly my opinion and should be treated as such.

Flyingifr

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Re: Too "Big" Bank Wants 'Hardship Letter'
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015 08:14:24 PM »
Granny - I suggest you go to the Flyingifr Method and read the following threads:

Making Yourself Judgment Proof (hint - you already are)
Understanding the Collection Agency
Now the Fun Starts - They Have an Attorney
In a Hurry to Settle? Read This
Understanding the Statute of Limitations (Hint - you are in year 4 of 6)

Then do a search through DB for my threads that have the term "Talk off" - it will give you a script to use when talking to them.

Frankly, I wouldn't send them a thing. If they want to find out how Judgment Proof you are, all they have to do is sue you.
BTW-the Flyingifr Method does work. (quoted from Hannah on Infinite Credit, September 19, 2006)

I think of a telephone as a Debt Collector's crowbar. With such a device it is possible to pry one's mouth open wide enough to allow the insertion of a foot or two.

Debtors Exams are the perfect place for us Senior Citizens to show off our recently acquired Alzheimers.

Founder of the Credit Terrorist Training Camp (Debtorboards)

CleaningUp

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Re: Too "Big" Bank Wants 'Hardship Letter'
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015 08:26:07 PM »
The bit about medical co-pays is irrelevant to the discussion.

Your income is Social Security...It is protected by law.

As for any other assets you might have, taking FlyinIFR's suggestions as to reading will serve you well.

Note for your future understanding:  The sale of the vehicle for less than 1/2 of the retail value is actually quite good.  The rule of thumb is that such sales are at auction and auction sales normally only return about 1/3rd of the blue book value.  It is called the WHOLESALE value and is normally listed in the blue book data as such.

AZgranny

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Re: Too "Big" Bank Wants 'Hardship Letter'
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015 09:12:39 PM »
Thanks everyone for you input & suggestions! I do think I'll forget about sending the Hardship Letter, and read-up on all of the "reading material'----and study the script for the next call!

Afterwards if I have any more questions--I hope you all don't mind me popping back on again.  Oh, and the bank is B of A

Justanothernumber

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Re: Too "Big" Bank Wants 'Hardship Letter'
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 04:06:24 AM »

I don’t think one can ever be too suspicious when dealing with debt collectors. 

Collectors are a lot like salespeople – they go from one lead/contact to another.  Time is literally money and they are not going to spend a lot of time on you, if there wasn’t the possibility of a return on the investment.

When I was in the industry, there were of course, quite a few ‘direct’ collectors – the ones who would say things like ‘what kind of example are you setting for your children?’ and far worse.  They didn’t last long, nor bring in the ‘big bucks’.  The ‘Good Cop’ collectors, on the other hand, had the nicest cars in the parking lot.  They got the plum accounts and mentored the green collectors (like yours truly).

If I thought there was an attachable asset (through either intuition or ‘creative research’), I would call up the debtor and be the nicest guy in the world.  I would say something to the effect of: “Hey, I need to clean up my collection list and I feel like you would pay if you could, but you just don’t have the ability to.  If you could help me clear your name off my list here, that would be great.  I just need to let my client know you just aren’t able to pay.”  With that, I would have the debtor verify their employer (and most of the time, a salary), disclose assets, sources of income, etc. 

This method was successful over 90% of the time.  I still cannot believe how successful the ‘Good Cop’ method was – and how much information debtors were willing to give me.  Of course they were immediately either referred to suit, or there was a second call (not so nice).  There was a huge disconnect between the amount debtors think they can pay and what they can be forced to pay – especially when they are not fully aware of their rights.  Most often, all it took was the threat of a suit or garnishment, for payment to come in. 

Note that I would be VERY careful not to say that I would stop calling them.  I might say something like ‘not call you as much’, instead.  Of course, if the collector truly wants a reason not to call you, there are some very good letters on this board that will help him out with that. :vbrofl:

Also – I treat my (real) signature, like I do my Social Security Number.  If it’s not 100% required by law, it’s not going on the document.  Period.
 








Harry Seaward

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Re: Too "Big" Bank Wants 'Hardship Letter'
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 09:14:09 AM »
Re: SOL:

Quote
Arizona Revised Statutes §47-2725  Statute of limitations in contracts for sale


A. An action for breach of any contract for sale must be commenced within four years after the cause of action has accrued. By the original agreement the parties may reduce the period of limitation to not less than one year but may not extend it.

B. A cause of action accrues when the breach occurs, regardless of the aggrieved party's lack of knowledge of the breach. A breach of warranty occurs when tender of delivery is made, except that where a warranty explicitly extends to future performance of the goods and discovery of the breach must await the time of such performance the cause of action accrues when the breach is or should have been discovered.

C. Where an action commenced within the time limited by subsection A is so terminated as to leave available a remedy by another action for the same breach such other action may be commenced after the expiration of the time limited and within six months after the termination of the first action unless the termination resulted from voluntary discontinuance or from dismissal for failure or neglect to prosecute.

D. This section does not alter the law on tolling of the statute of limitations nor does it apply to causes of action which have accrued before January 1, 1968.

Also:
https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=10069423147809869705

From what I can tell, this applies only where the dealer arranged the financing.  If you went and got a loan on your own, you would likely be subject to the AZ 6-year SOL on written contract.

So if the dealer arranged the financing for you, it sounds like you have a little less than a year before you're out of the woods.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 09:35:38 AM by Harry Seaward »

BarkingDog

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Re: Too "Big" Bank Wants 'Hardship Letter'
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 11:28:56 AM »
Granny - I suggest you go to the Flyingifr Method and read the following threads:

Making Yourself Judgment Proof (hint - you already are)
Understanding the Collection Agency
Now the Fun Starts - They Have an Attorney
In a Hurry to Settle? Read This
Understanding the Statute of Limitations (Hint - you are in year 4 of 6)

Then do a search through DB for my threads that have the term "Talk off" - it will give you a script to use when talking to them.

Frankly, I wouldn't send them a thing. If they want to find out how Judgment Proof you are, all they have to do is sue you.
Granny, tell them that You and your husband are on Social security and have no no garnishable income or assets. You don't want them to sue you. If they sue you and win a judgment against you they can haul you into court for a debtor's exam. they will send you a Financial Disclosure Form. If you don't fill-out the Financial Disclosure Form or don't show up in court for the debtors exam they can have you arrested for " Civil Contempt Of Court "

Flyingifr

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Re: Too "Big" Bank Wants 'Hardship Letter'
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 03:25:44 PM »
Granny, tell them that You and your husband are on Social security and have no no garnishable income or assets. You don't want them to sue you. If they sue you and win a judgment against you they can haul you into court for a debtor's exam. they will send you a Financial Disclosure Form. If you don't fill-out the Financial Disclosure Form or don't show up in court for the debtors exam they can have you arrested for " Civil Contempt Of Court "

Debtor's Exams can be a lot of fun and since Granny and her hubby are both retired they have nothing better to do.  The fun part of a Debtor's Exam is that the creditor will be paying a Court Reporter to take down EVERY WORD that is said, type it up and give the collector a bill for every page. You would be surprised how little can fit on a page with 2 inch margins all around typed in double space.  And what do they get for their efforts and money? NOTHING.

If they are dumb enough to bring you in for a Debtor's exam, the rule for you is simple - talk much, say nothing. Ramble on and on about totally irrelevant topics - bring your grandchildren into the answer somehow - I an sure you can tell them all about how much they liked Christmas last year and how much your own kids like the train set you bought them in 1972 and on and on.... Debtors Exams are the perfect place for us Senior Citizens to show off our recently acquired Alzheimers.

Let them bring you in for a Debtors exam - I am sure they won't do it twice...

Do a search for my posts in DB and use the search term "debtors exam" and you will see examples of what I mean.
BTW-the Flyingifr Method does work. (quoted from Hannah on Infinite Credit, September 19, 2006)

I think of a telephone as a Debt Collector's crowbar. With such a device it is possible to pry one's mouth open wide enough to allow the insertion of a foot or two.

Debtors Exams are the perfect place for us Senior Citizens to show off our recently acquired Alzheimers.

Founder of the Credit Terrorist Training Camp (Debtorboards)

 

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