As most of you know, I’m making auto payments to Machol & Johannes, P.C for a debt my father left.
Someone emailed me offlist raising questions about whether or not this might, in fact be a legit thing they are doing:
“I noticed in one of your posts on the debt steps group you wrote you were making payments to a collection agency.
I hope I don’t seem like a snoop, but I would like to ask you a question.
Are you sure this agengy is being honest with you? I ask because I was scammed by one of these places.
I agreed to make monthly payments and paid $1,700.00 over a period of months thinking I was reducing my debt. After getting suspicious when they failed to give me any accouting of my payments I found out they were charging me high interest and instead of my debt going down, it was increasing.
Citibank was the original creditor who sold my account to the collection agency. I had paid the original balance to them several times, but was not able to pay the balance in full so was held hostage with high interest and other fees.
This collection agency actually bought an account that was all interest and then added their own interest.”
As I’d mentioned before, they were in fact doing this on a $200.00 a month plan in 2003-4, but when I called to raise heck, they wiped the interest off and applied it instead to my principal.
I am in until 2008 (July) and would like to ditch this account sooner than that.
I called them and found out I am over half paid off. So every payment and any augmentations (Say if I can send checks and such also) is in fact going to the balance. Not the interest. This is good, and makes me feel better too.
But this brings to the board a good question: How would one go about checking up on these ‘collection agencies’? Is there an oversight committee or BBB, legal body with which one can call or mail to check them out?
When someone dies the only recourse for collecting on debt is there estate. If there is not estate they cannot go after the kids to pay it off. Something does not sound right here. In Texas you can contact the Secretary of State for collection agencies who can legally collect in Texas. You said that you are paying your father’s debt. Did you co-sign a loan with him or something? Unless you were a co-borrower, we usually aren’t responsible for our parent’s debt.