Offering Lang Richert and Patch a Payment Plan on Old Citibank Credit Card with Unifund CCR
I am in California and was making monthly payments toward a credit card from Citibank until I lost my job and was no longer able to. My last payment was made about 2 years ago. Unfortunately, I'm still unemployed and I owe Citibank $17,000. They sent my acct to creditors whose calls & letters I was ignoring, and week 2 weeks ago I received a letter from the law office of Lang, Richert & Patch in Fresno. I have been 30 days to respond. How should I proceed? I can only come up, at this time with maybe $1000 but I could start making small payments (say, $150/month) until I start working again. Once working, I could make bigger payments. Should I contact them and offer this? I want his gone as much as they want there money. Now that it's in the hands of a law office, is it to late to offer payments? I can't have this turn into a lawsuit and have ny account frozen...it would really screw things up for me, and as it is I'm just barely hanging on.
Your advice is greatly appreciated and thank you so much for running this website!
Should I contact the law office and offer some money up front ($1000) and see if they make payment arrangements? And if not, how should I proceed so that this doesn't end up becoming a court scenario with my bank acct frozen?tiodj
Getting a letter from Lang Richert and Patch, attorney’s attempting to collect a debt, is a fairly clear signal that your risk of being sued for the old Citibank credit card have increased dramatically.
Setting up payment arrangements with Lang Richert and Patch.
Before looking at your options to set up some form of monthly payment agreement with Lang Richert and Patch, can you tell me who they represent with their collection effort? Look on the letter you received from them. While it may say the debt is related to your Citibank account, I suspect after 2 years of not paying Citi, the debt has been sold by Citibank to a debt buyer. If I am correct, the name of the debt buyer should appear on the letter.
Who the law firm is collecting for could impact the direction you choose to take to resolve the account.
The letter Lang Richert and Patch sent provides you an opportunity to contact them and make payment arrangements. If you want to go that direction, the 1k upfront is a good way to be taken seriously. But the 150.00 a month after that may not be enough to prevent them from filing a lawsuit in order to guarantee payments each month, or as a means to try to collect more than 150.00.
I know…. It does not make sense to you or I for them to spend money and time on a lawsuit against someone who is unemployed and not able to come up with much more than 150 dollars a month. But that is how debt collectors roll a lot of the time – without sense – but with an eye on the cents….
When you cannot fund a lump sum settlement offer for your Citibank account.
If debt buyers were a bit less zealous, and if debt collection attorneys were not all about earning fees, I would be happy to have different feedback than follows:
Because I can predict with pretty good odds that Lang, Richert and Patch will be more than happy to accept your 1k down payment, followed by either suing you anyway, or asking you to sign a consent to judgment in short order, I suggest:
- Holding on to your money for right now.
- If the Lang law firm is working for a debt buyer – use your available money to hire an experienced debt collection defense attorney to defend a case if you are sued.
If you were in a position to come up with say 30 to 50% of the 17k balance in order to negotiate a settlement with Lang Richert and Patch, I would have different feedback than numbers one and two. If you think coming up with additional resources to settle this old Citi account is an option, let me know that when posting a comment reply answering my other questions. I will have more feedback related to settling with them.
For now, I would highly recommend connecting with an experienced collection defense attorney in California. I can email you contact information for the type of attorney you will want to consult with. These types of attorneys generally offer a free consult. Getting input like this will help guide you on your next move.