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(no subject)

Jun. 15th, 2009 | 08:22 pm

 My wife is the best and sexiest woman in the world, and I love her :)  My kids aren't bad either.

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Debt Settlement 101

Jun. 15th, 2009 | 06:55 pm

 I talk to people about credit building and credit repair a lot, and one subject seems to come up a lot.  Many people have some kind of medical debt, and collection agencies harassing them endlessly about it.  Then, one day, the debt collector sends them a letter, offering to cut the debt in half if it is paid in the next X days.  It seems like a good deal, right?  By this point, the debt appears on their credit files, probably getting them rejected for credit cards, car loans, and insurance.  So, people scramble trying to come up with the money to take care of it, putting themselves in more debt or financial risk, only to find out that paying the debt really didn't help anything, because their credit scores don't change.

With the high price of health care, the stinginess of insurance companies, and the traditional billing method that healthcare providers practice ("You need it now, don't worry about the cost, we'll bill you"), its no wonder that many people have a few medical bills that they can't afford to pay, and eventually make it to collections.  If you ever find yourself dealing with a collection agency, I can offer a few tips.

First, if you don't want the collection agency to call you anymore, all you have to do is send them a letter.  Give them your name, account number (if you have it), and your phone number, and state that you want them to only contact you through US Mail at whatever address you specify.  Send it Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested so you have proof of its delivery.  If they call you after that, they're in violation of the FDCPA.  Don't request that they cease all contact, because then they can charge off your account as bad debt and it becomes very difficult to get it removed from your credit report.

Next, you can decide how you want to deal with the debt.  While the process of annoying them into disgusted dismissal of your account is beyond the scope of this post, I can direct you to some good resources on the subject.  We'll talk about the quick and dirty "pay for delete" method.

The collection agency bought your debt from the original creditor for pennies on the dollar, so there is plenty of settlement room.  How much you can talk them down depends on how old and large your debt is, and how likely they think it is that you'll eventually pay them.  An old debt that they've had on the books for years is probably nearly hopeless in their eyes, so they may be willing to settle for less.  Try for 25% of the original amount and work up from there.  Also, that settlement offer that they may have sent with an expiration date will always be good, don't worry about trying to meet their deadline.

The best method I've found for settling is to send them an offer through the mail.  No need for certified here, if they want money they'll respond.  Just write them a letter with your name and account number, and an agreement for them to sign saying that upon receiving a postal money order for XX dollars, they will have the account deleted from all your credit reports.  Make sure there is a signature line for a representative of their company to sign.  They will probably counter offer.  Just make sure that in the end, you have a form that you wrote signed before you send them a money order, and send your payment certified mail with a copy of the agreement.  Here is a sample of what the agreement might look like:

 

Sample AgreementCollapse )

 

If the collection agency tells you that they will delete the debt from your credit file if you'll just pay them over the phone, THEY ARE LYING.  If they will take a money order but say that they will still delete it, THEY ARE STILL LYING.  You MUST get it in writing from them that they will have the item deleted from ALL credit bureaus that they have reported it to when they have received their money.  If you don't have it in writing, it won't happen.  Once they have money, they have absolutely no motive to deal with you any more, and your chances of having the item removed is almost zero.

All people or agencies that collect debts for others are bound by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  The FDCPA sets forth guidelines of how collection agencies can deal with consumers, including defining harassment and detailing how the agencies must handle accounts that are disputed.  A summary of the Act can be found at:

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm

The full text of the FDCPA can be found here:

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre27.pdf
 

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Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead

Sep. 25th, 2008 | 05:21 pm

 Jack Thompson to be disbarred, freaking finally.

www.gamepolitics.com/2008/07/09/we-have-judge039s-report-recommending-permanent-disbarment-jack-thompson


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NIN Windowness

Sep. 13th, 2008 | 07:01 am

rofl, technical difficulties?

behold, the stunning imagery of the BSOD.

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Lipstick on a pig

Sep. 11th, 2008 | 09:06 pm

 

She's still a pig.

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rofl

Aug. 11th, 2008 | 06:30 am

and all the french people watching the men's 400m freestyle relay yell, in unison, "aw, WTF?!?"

seriously, that was great. 

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(no subject)

Jan. 21st, 2008 | 07:33 pm

we have decided that naming a baby is too difficult, so we will rely on the clearance rack of wooden letters at Walmart to guide us.  The best looking arrangement of the five available letters is:



Yes, that's right, our baby's name will be Fuvyx.  Or Glover.  :)

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Holiday Recipe

Dec. 24th, 2007 | 09:10 am

Jason's Fucking Pumpkin Rolls
(makes 4 feet of fucking pumpkin roll)

Cake:
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
12 eggs
4 cups sugar
2 cans of fucking pumpkin
1 can Dollar Store brand cooking spray
1 can Walmart brand cooking spray

Mix all this stuff together.  Forget to preheat oven to 375.  Coat two 15x10 cookie sheets with the Dollar Store cooking spray.  Spread somewhere between 1/8 and 1/2 of the batter onto each sheet, depending on your measuring method; hope you have enough left to fill 2 more sheets.  Realize you forgot to preheat the oven, do this now.  Wait.  Place both sheets side by side in the oven, taking up the entire rack.  Bake for 13-15 minutes.  Open oven to release cloud of smoke, remove burnt cakes.  Realize that taking up the entire rack prevented heat from getting to the top of the oven, burning the bottoms.  Swear.  Go to Walmart to buy another can of fucking pumpkin, for best
effect, do this on the Saturday before Christmas.  Mix together 1/2 of the above recipe to make enough batter to replace the two cakes that now occupy the garbage can.  Coat another cookie sheet with the Dollar Store cooking spray.  Bake ONE cake in the oven 13-15 minutes, then turn pan over onto a paper towel sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Attempt to remove the stuck-on cake with a spatula or a fork.  Roll pile of crumbs in the paper towel, to keep them from sticking together.  Throw away Dollar Store cooking spray in anger.  Coat another cookie sheet in Walmart cooking spray.  Repeat baking process 3 more times, or until you run out of batter.  Let each rolled cake cool to
room temperature on a wire rack.

Filling:
4 packages cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla
3 sticks butter

Mix this stuff together.  Unroll each cake, spread mixture on, roll it back up, cover in saran wrap, and give away as a gift.  Never eat a bite of it, because you dislike fucking pumpkin rolls anyway.  Repeat once per year.

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(no subject)

Nov. 4th, 2007 | 10:45 am

We went to the car lot yesterday intending to either trade in our Jeep or get it refinanced, and we left with the Jeep and a truck for me.

Pictures

It's a '99 Dodge 1500, 5.2 liter V8, automatic.  Only 36400 miles, pretty damn good for an 8 year old truck I think.  I'm glad we got it, we each work 25 minutes from home in opposite directions, so sharing one car was adding up to 3 hours of driving a day.  Even without the convenience factor, the gas savings nearly  pays for it.

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(no subject)

Nov. 4th, 2007 | 07:16 am

 We went to a good concert :)  Red, Seether, Breaking Benjamin, and Three Days Grace.  It was fun, I wish I'd brought a better camera, but we thought we wouldn't be able to get one in.  Turned out lots of people were taking pictures.  This was at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, lots of people, including some guys in front of us who high fived eachother with lots of excessive touching and a guy next to us who gave us all an amazing demonstration of his air guitar skills.  It was fun :)  Here's some crummy pics:

Concert Pics

Tonight they're having another concert, Fall Out Boy, Plain White Ts, Gym Class Heroes, and Cute is What We Aim For.  If I was a 14 year old girl, I'd be excited.

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