It rarely happens that creditors and collectors are SUED for refusing to honor settlements, but it happens all the time.
You MUST either get the agreement in writing or RECORD the call and ensure the terms are clearly audible. Restate in your own words what you think you are agreeing to.
And as much as I’m aware of the bankers’ fraud and deception, I’m still shocked to see this class action against Household. Whenever I’ve had a problem with a creditor or collector reneging on a settlement it was related to credit reporting and usually they complied quickly once they found out that I had the recordings with their promises.
So what is HCBC thinking?
Charles Toutant, New Jersey Law Journal, On Friday January 28, 2011, 3:02 am EST
A nationwide class action in federal court in Trenton alleges that credit card issuer HSBC didn’t honor its agreements to let delinquent debtors settle their accounts by making installment payments towards a reduced debt total.
The suit, Bradley v. HSBC Card Services, Inc., 11-cv-00447, alleges that the company breached its contracts and committed common-law fraud by offering delinquent cardholders an installment plan to pay off their debts at less than the full amount due; abiding by the plan until the last payment is made; and then declaring the agreement void.
The suit was filed on Jan. 21 on behalf of all U.S. consumers who entered into settlement agreements that HSBC, of Schaumburg, Ill., did not honor.
The lead plaintiff, Chastity Bradley of Somerville, reached such an agreement last January that called for HSBC to discharge Bradley’s debt if she paid $81 in February 2010, followed by $80 a month from March to July. Court documents do not disclose the amount of Bradley’s original debt, but say the company agreed to reduce it to $481.
According to the suit, HSBC promised Bradley the account would be settled and closed if she made the payments as directed. Bradley made all the payments on a timely basis, but when she submitted the final one in July, HSBC returned it and insisted on the balance in full.
Bradley negotiated the payment plan with representation from Persels & Associates, a consumer-rights law firm in Towson, Md. That firm negotiated installment agreements with HSBC on behalf of a number of debtors but the agreements were dishonored when the final payment came due, according to an Aug. 23 letter to HSBC from an attorney at the firm, Lisa Perillo.
HSBC “lured in plaintiff and all those similarly situated with a discounted settlement amount, only to accept all but the final payment and proceed to declare the settlement void, says her complaint.
Just when I thought I’d seen it all. I really shouldn’t be surprised, but it is shocking to see that HSBC wouldn’t honor the agreement even though a LAW FIRM negotiated the settlement.
And I’d sure like to know what they charged for settling those debts.