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Help!!! Providian/TriAdvantage debt

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What is the name of your state? North Carolina

Okay. I am not too sure where to start. First of all the "debt" that I am in question of is not from North Carolina. It is from California. My husband is a Marine, and we haven't had a permanent state in the past year or so.

The debt was originally owed to Providian Visa Corp. I got a "Half-Off" letter from them stating that if I paid half the balance by October 31, 2001. That (and I quote!) "owe us nothing more. no more calls, no more collection letters, and we'll report to the credit beauraus that your balanced owed is $0.00."

Stupid me, I went ahead and called Providian and agreed to a payment plan that was different that the one that they stated in the letter I recieved. I had asked for a copy of it in writing and never recieved it. Anyhow, to make a long story short, I made the two payments for the amount requested and was told that they would be mailing me my settlement letter and that it would be taken off my credit report within 90 days after the last payment (October 28th 2001) had cleared. I have the receipts AND bank statements from both Providian and my bank saying that these payments were made (they were done over the phone).

In April I was home visiting my parents when I got a letter in the mail from a different card company stating that I still owed Providian this debt. I called her back and told her the same things I have told all of you. She said that she would be looking in to it and to call her back. She called me back herself, and told me that the debt had been paid and to write to providian and ask them for my settlement letter. (I have, but I didn't send it CRRR- I think I will do that again this week)
Now, three months later, this account is now handled by TRIADVANTAGE. They now say that the debt I owe is 1134.00 (the original was for 848.00 then the settlement brought it to 441.00... and then since I paid check by phone I was supposedly only supposed to pay 290.00). YES I did ask for it all in writing, but I never recieved it and attributed it to the fact that since my husband and I were never in one state long enough to recieve all our mail, that it got lost in the shuffle.

They have been calling me at least once a week, harassing me and one man even called me a "no good wh*re" among other colorful phrases. This has begun only recently. I would like some advice on what to do, and how to handle this. TriAdvantage is offering me a settlement (I told them to send it to me in writing) for 550.00 in one payment or to pay the full amount at 50.00 for the next two years.

The man at TriAdvantage told me my contract with Providian was not met and that the payment plan that was agreed upon over the phone was no good and that I am an Imbecile (A nicer word than he used) for believing such. That may be true, but I do have one question. WOULDN'T THAT CALL TO PROVIDIAN HAVE BEEN RECORDED? If so, is there anyway to find a copy of that call??

If I screwed up with PROVIDIAN on MY part, then I would be obliged to pay them back, and would have no problem doing so. Of course I would need a payment plan since we are poor. (They just don't pay the Marines enough).


Senior Member
First thing to note.. NEVER, EVER agree to ANYTHING over the phone, it will simply be ignored at some point and they will claim, as you have found out, that no 'agreement' ever existed and continue to harrass you. You say you asked for a copy of the agreement with Providian, but did you send make it a written request ???? That 'half-off' letter Providian sent you was a HOOK to get you to call, then they pulled a switcheroo on you to pay on the terms they REALLY wanted !

Second.. NEVER give out your banking information over the phone, all that does is give them virutally free access to your funds. No matter how much they threaten, you do NOT have to give them this information.

Collection agencies are all about one thing.. get the money ! They will use intimidation and scare tactics to do it and figure that most people will cave in over threats of lawsuits and pay, even when they don't have to. They bank on people not knowing the laws and their rights that bind collection agencies.

Go to www.ftc.gov, Consumer Protection, Credi, and read the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Verbal abuse, harassment, and most certainly profanity is a violation of the FDCPA and you can sue the scum for their violations ! Read up, learn what you can do and what they can't and then document every call and every violation these scum make. You can then quote from the FDCPA section on harrassment and let the dirtbag know that you DO know your rights and their legal limitations.

If you want to stop the calls, send them a Cease and Desist letter, Certified RRR, and tell them they are not to contact you by phone, only by mail from now on. Document everything !

You do need to try getting some kind of statement from Providian, but the chances are that Providian took your payment and then sent the unpaid balance to collection agency !! They do this ALL the time unless you have an agreement, in writing, that the settlement pays the debt IN FULL and they will not resubmit the balance for further collection.

I wouldn't pay the CA a dime, yet. Personally, I'd start the validation process. Make them PROVE that they have a right to collect from you ! It will also stop collection until they produce validation. If they can't produce it in 30 days, they have to cease collection. Go over to www.credinet.com and look at the sample letters in the Discussions area. You have to register but its free. You can also read a LOT about how to go about the validation process at www.creditinfocenter.com.

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