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  1. #1
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    What to do When a Creditor Won't Accept Payment

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

    You would think they'd be more than happy to take it. Not sure if I can mention names here, but, the law firm is, Harris & Zide collecting for, Arrow Financial. I've done research on both & neither have a very good reputation.

    H & Z sued me last year. The mediation meeting is in three weeks. After that, they tried to put a lien on our property. Then, they did manage to put our bank accounts on hold.

    Contacting them by phone doesn't help. It's either an infinite loop in the automated system or, if someone does answer, I get passed from person to person, but, mainly put on hold. As I'm an independent contractor, doing customer service from home, I can't hold for too long. Especially since we depend on my earnings. My husband hasn't worked in a year. We recently sold our car to bring in some money.

    I've mainly written them. We want to have a record of our communication. I explained our situation & let them know what we'd be able to pay per month. So far, they haven't freed up our funds or even acknowledged the letters. Not even to reject the offer. Even though, I know they received them, as, we've mailed them certified. We didn't want to send a payment, until an arrangement has been made.

    The debt was originally with, CareCredit, parent company, GE Money. They closed the account & it wound up with the current creditors. Please advise as to how we should proceed. We want to start paying this off. Due to current financial circumstances, we aren't able to pay much to begin with, but, we do want to get this taken care of. Thanks.
  2. #2
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    It sounds like you are stuck until the mediation meeting. They are not obligated to accept partial payments and are apparently simply locking your money up until the mediation. When that is done, they will most likely take whatever was agreed to in the mediation and release the rest.
  3. #3
    cosine is offline Senior Member
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    You had money in bank accounts and didn't pay them? Why not?

    Now that they have a judgment, what would motivate them to make a payment agreement for what they can legally just take now that is in the bank? Why did you even have bank accounts after being sued? Do you think these people play nice?

    What can you pay them monthly on the remaining debt after they take all the money in the bank accounts? That's what they might agree to if they can't get anything else.

    The bank account money is gone (that's easy). They may take more if they can get it. This is all part of how a judgment works. It does not consider your financial position. There is only one primary means of protection that holds this back and that is bankruptcy (but you probably don't want to do that).

    The mediation is probably going to focus on how much more they can get somewhere else, quickly, and not any payment agreements until after they can get as much as possible (by their definition of possible, even if it means destroying your business) up front.
  4. #4
    davidmcbeth3 is offline Senior Member
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    Your title is not correct; you did not send them any money ---
  5. #5
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth3 View Post
    Your title is not correct; you did not send them any money ---

    they left off a word:

    What to do When a Creditor Won't Accept Payment arrangements?
  6. #6
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    Actually, at the time I was sued, we didn't have an account. We got one a few months after. That money, they put a hold on, was to go towards our rent. We own our mobile home, but, pay space rent. We had been behind on it, then, got caught up. Now, we're behind again, since we couldn't use the money in our account. Currently, I usually just earn enough to get us by, month to month, not any extra.

    I don't have a business. I'm an independent contractor. The only thing we have of any worth is our home. We have nowhere else to go, if they sell it. Do they take all the proceeds or only what they're owed? The amount I owe is $5500. It was $2000 less than that a year ago. They've been adding fees. At the mediation, will the amount be what it was when they sued me or what it is now?

    They had been calling a few times a week. Usually when I was working. Whether I answered or it went to voice mail, it was always a recording, never a person. After they put our funds on hold, they stopped calling. Is that typical? It seems they would continue.
  7. #7
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    Looking over the summons again, it's not a mediation meeting we'll be having. It's a case management conference. Is that normal that that would scheduled a year after a person is sued or did they do that to give us time to settle this before it ever came before a judge? I was attempting to make arrangements, but, they wouldn't respond. I accept I owe this. I'm not going to argue it. I'm just not able to pay much per month to start. They can have what's in our accounts & we'll go from there.

    Actually, I had emailed an attorney, here in town, about bankruptcy. This was after our accounts were put on hold. We were going to have a consultation, but, decided to sell our car instead. The person who bought it is a friend, who couldn't pay it all upfront. So, we allowed him to put some down & the rest in installments. We signed paperwork for that. We could use the money we get from him & put it towards the debt. It's more, per month, than we'd be able to pay ourselves.
    Last edited by GypsyButterfly; 03-23-2011 at 07:23 PM.
  8. #8
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    I filed a case management statement with the court and sent one to the plaintiff. I'm also suppose to receive one from them. The paperwork is to be submitted, no later than, 15 days before the meeting. It's not surprising I've yet to get anything from the plaintiff. They've never been good about communicating. I went to the court site & input the case # & nothing came up. Even though it was filed a year ago & the conference is in just two weeks. Do you know why it's not showing on their site? Thanks.
  9. #9
    Chien is offline Senior Member
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    OP Ė please clarify the timeline here. A CMC normally is scheduled for approx. 180 days after filing the Complaint, but you say a year has gone by.

    Parenthetically, they donít have to serve their CMC Statement on you (and, while it would be nice and probably informative as to their intentions, they probably wonít.) It simply has to be filed with the court.

    A CMC is for the purpose of allowing the Court to schedule further proceedings based on what the parties tell the Court about their intentions re: discovery (has any been served on you? Do you intend to propound any? I hope so.), alternative dispute resolution (mediation, early case evaluation, settlement conference etc. Did you request mediation? If not, go to the CMC and ask the Court to have the matter assigned. If the Court does, it slows things down and you get to tell your story to a neutral. The law firm is probably not interested in it and may not have a witness to participate, which is helpful for you to know).

    A CMC normally occurs well before trial. Therefore, there canít be a judgment. Therefore, it is hard to understand how your account(s) could be frozen. Were you served with a motion for a writ of attachment? That is probably the thing that is least understandable in your thread.

    I post very infrequently and had just happened to look in but, if you can provide some clarification, perhaps I can check back and improve on the advice that might avoid a bankruptcy.
  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chien View Post
    OP Ė please clarify the timeline here. A CMC normally is scheduled for approx. 180 days after filing the Complaint, but you say a year has gone by.

    Parenthetically, they donít have to serve their CMC Statement on you (and, while it would be nice and probably informative as to their intentions, they probably wonít.) It simply has to be filed with the court.

    A CMC is for the purpose of allowing the Court to schedule further proceedings based on what the parties tell the Court about their intentions re: discovery (has any been served on you? Do you intend to propound any? I hope so.), alternative dispute resolution (mediation, early case evaluation, settlement conference etc. Did you request mediation? If not, go to the CMC and ask the Court to have the matter assigned. If the Court does, it slows things down and you get to tell your story to a neutral. The law firm is probably not interested in it and may not have a witness to participate, which is helpful for you to know).

    A CMC normally occurs well before trial. Therefore, there canít be a judgment. Therefore, it is hard to understand how your account(s) could be frozen. Were you served with a motion for a writ of attachment? That is probably the thing that is least understandable in your thread.

    I post very infrequently and had just happened to look in but, if you can provide some clarification, perhaps I can check back and improve on the advice that might avoid a bankruptcy.
    Thank you so much for responding. A few years ago I was sued for a credit card debt. The wonderful advice I received here led to it being dismissed without prejudice. I never had to go to court or anything.

    With this current debt, I was sued a year ago. The date, for the CMC, was noted as being, Apr 11 of this year. I figured the court scheduled it so far out, because, they wanted us to be able to resolve it ourselves. Which I've attempted to do, many times. The plaintiff is just not communicating.

    After that, they tried to put a lien on our property. We received the paperwork for that, but, it didn't state what the lien was against. Apparently, not our car, as, we sold that a few weeks ago & our friend didn't say anything about the DMV telling them there was a lien on it, when they went to register it in their name. The request for the lien was done last Aug, wasn't entered until Dec & we received the forms a month later.

    The next month, Feb, they put our accounts on hold. The law office is in SoCal, we're in NorCal. They went through the court in their county. We found out, a few days after we had written some checks, that, our funds were frozen. I called our bank & they didn't have any information, other than, who had placed this. A week or so later, we received the paperwork about the hold.

    I have a debit card through one of the companies I work with. I'm an IC doing customer service from home. I had the other services put my payments into that account, instead of, the joint one my husband & I have. I didn't want that law office to freeze more of our money. What they did, was suppose to go towards our rent. We own our mobile home, but, pay space rent.

    We haven't received anything about discovery. As for the writ of attachment, when you say served, would someone actually have to bring it to us personally(as they did the summons)or is this something which could be mailed? Regarding our accounts on hold, as I mentioned, we didn't get anything about it, until, after the fact. That was only by mail. I'm hoping I answered all of your questions. If not, please let me know what else I may need to clarify.
  11. #11
    Chien is offline Senior Member
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    I can’t guarantee the same result but I have what might be called a personal interest and will try to help. Again, business demands preclude frequent postings, but I believe that I can work within your schedule (and, of course, there are others to comment).

    You’re in NoCal. No surprise; I might have guessed. It’s not a State Secret that Calif. is suffering a budget crisis, and some counties are seriously backlogged. I filed a case in one No. County 18 months ago and a CMC still hasn’t been scheduled. That works to your advantage as do several other factors. The courts need to reduce their calendars, so they are more disposed to using ADR in the hope that it will help. A fervent plea to the court for mediation, because you want to resolve this but haven’t had success communicating with the firm, might fall on receptive ears. Moreover, if this is assigned to mediation, the firm has to participate or be sanctioned. No way to avoid not confronting you. Plus, they don’t want to incur the costs to travel for a case that sounds less than ideal. (I’m sorry to say that, at this point, it sounds like most of your income is exempt and, if so, they’re going through the motions for a judgment that may be productive later.)

    Nothing you’ve said explains the frozen accounts in advance of judgment or absent a writ of attachment. Not only does attachment seem unlikely for the amount in contention but, yes, you’d have to get notice by mail of a hearing date and the opportunity to oppose. The frozen account is still the unexplained factor for me. Before that can be addressed, you have to contact your bank and find out the basis (you need to see documents – dates, case number(s) etc. One can’t simply file suit and gain custody and control of assets.) Has your bank remitted any funds to a levying authority or simply told you they’ve been frozen? Data is missing and we don’t know what it is.

    I think/hope there remains a lot of ground to cover procedurally, but one step at a time. Please get the information from the bank, as it is relevant to assessing the firm’s strength and weaknesses, if any. Also review your CMC Statement to see if you indicated a willingness to participate in mediation. If you didn’t indicate an intention to propound discovery in the Statement that you sent to them, that should probably be addressed with an amended Statement. Don’t worry about the 15 days. As long as you file it with the Court, it can be the day before the CMC, if it’s in the courtroom for the hearing. After all, you’re a pro per and likely to get leniency. They’re likely to participate by phone, if your court has the facilities.
    Last edited by Chien; 03-28-2011 at 01:19 AM. Reason: Typo
  12. #12
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    You stated, that, the plaintiff isn't obligated to send us a CMC statement. Perhaps, there's other things they haven't notified us of. As mentioned previously, they filed a lien against our property last Aug. We didn't learn of that, until, we received the paperwork from our county recorder in Jan. It said the amount I owe, but, didn't specify what the lien was against.

    As for the hold. I found out about it when I was looking at our accounts online & saw that a levy had been put on them. I called our bank & was told, we would be receiving information in the mail. Which we did, a week or so later. From our bank, not, the plaintiff. It included a writ of execution. The amount owed, at that time, was: $5, 340.78. We had less than $1000 in our accounts. Which, as I said before, was to go towards our rent.

    In neither of the above instances was I given the opportunity to explain my side before these actions were taken. I have not been to court, as of yet. I acknowledge I owe this amount. The original amount was far less. They keep adding fees to it.

    My husband hasn't worked in a year. I'm an independent contractor doing customer service from home. I only earn when I receive calls, not just for being logged in. There are months I don't make quite enough to take care of our regular expenses. Even though, they're not much compared to some peoples & we've cut back as much as possible. I have health issues, so, currently, am not able to work outside the home. I want to pay them something each month. They haven't acknowledged my willingness. Not even to reject it.

    I keep going to the court site & inputting the case #. Yet, not one bit of data regarding this comes up. You would think there would be something, especially since, the meeting is in two weeks.
  13. #13
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    I just checked the civil case calendar for Apr 11, 2011 at 1:30p in rm 17 of Sonoma County Superior Court presided by Hon Robert S Boyd. The cases are in numerical order. Mine was not listed. I decided to call the court to find out about it & I don't have to come in, because, there was a judgment against me. The lien & the hold. I did receive the paperwork for those things. Not from the plaintiff, as I stated in the previous message. I was never informed that the meeting had been canceled, though.

    Where do I go from here? Calling doesn't do any good. It's either an endless loop in the automated system or if someone does answer, you get put on hold or passed from person to person. Since I'm the sole provider, currently & work at home as an IC doing customer service, I can't stay on hold forever. One time, I did wait for 1/2 an hour & finally hungup. After the hold, they stopped leaving messages. Mainly, I've sent letters. Which, I know they've received, as, I mailed them certified.

    In one regard, I'm glad I don't have to make an appearance. On the other hand, I'm rather miffed that I didn't even get to state my side. Which is to agree I do owe this & want to make an arrangement. The law office isn't communicating with me. Should I go directly to their client? Part of me is feeling, that, they haven't even informed them I want to work something out. I appreciate your counsel. Thanks.
  14. #14
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    when was this judgment entered.

    What is sounds like is you were sued and for whatever reason, the plaintiff obtained a default judgment. As such, you wanting to make payment arrangements is irrelevant if the plaintiff doesn't want to make any such arrangements.

    If the accounts are seized pursuant to forfeiture based on this judgment, your only action is to protect any assets that are exempt.

    So, what you need to do is find out about the judgment. If service was proper and you simply failed to respond, you are pretty much out of luck. If there is a reason you can seek to have the judgment vacated, you need to take such action.
  15. #15
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    The levy was put on our bank accounts. There weren't any monies in there which were exempt. If they're not willing to make arrangements, then what are we to do? Is there anyone we can notify of our intent to make good on this? I feel we're in a stalemate. They're not releasing the funds to us, yet, they're not taking it for themselves. We're wanting to pay & they're not accepting. We do have other creditors. If this one isn't going to work with us, maybe I should make an offer to one of the others. It will be slow, but, we want to steadily reduce our debt.

    ETA: Is there anything I'm able to file with the court, so, they have a record of the fact I'm trying to make arrangements with this creditor & they're not even acknowledging me? I could send in payments, but, as we're not able to write checks currently, I wouldn't know if they deposited a mo or cashier's check. I want to get this taken care of & would like to know what my options are. Thanks.
    Last edited by GypsyButterfly; 03-29-2011 at 06:43 PM.

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