My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Texas
I thought I posted this already, but I dont' see it. -hopefully this is not the 2nd time!
I know that if you make any kind of payment to a collection agency that they can renew the statute of limitations, but what if I am paying on a settlement offer that THEY sent on a LETTER. Is there any way that they could try to get out of the agreement so that they can just get me to make a few payments so they can start the SOL over? The company I am working with is making me very nervous! Let me explain what has happened so far....
I recieved a letter from a credit agency (Northland Group) who works for the original creditor (Arrow Financial-I think they actually bought the account from Household Bank). Northland did not buy the account -they only work for Arrow. The letter from Northland stated that Arrow would allow me to settle the account for X amount & that I could make 3 payments of X amount. The letter states "Upon receipt and clearance of all three payments of X, this account will be considered satisfied and closed, and a settlement letter will be issued." It also states that the payments cannot be more than 30 days apart.
I made the 1st and 2nd payment to Northland as agreed via check by phone. The 2nd payment was made exactly 30 days after, so I was safe (but barely). When I called to make the 3rd and final payment (on time), they said they couldn't take it because the "original creditor" had taken the account back. Can they do that when I'm in the middle of an agreed settlement with their collector?
When I called Arrow to find out what was going on, at first they told me that it was because I didn't make my payment within 30 days. My 2nd payment didn't clear to them until like 6 days later but I MADE the payment to Northland on time. So after verifying myself that Northland did for sure have the correct dates to show that I was on time, I told the Arrow that they could verify that with Northland & everything should be fine for me to make my payment. They still wouldn't return the account to the debt collection so I could make my last payment and be done. (the debt collection even sent a request to see if they could get it back so we could get it over with, but they refused).
After speaking with Arrow several times, they had me fax over the settlement offer letter from Northland. They said that they would honor the agreement and accept my last payment & I would recieve my letter of settlement. I was willing to make a payment over the phone right then and there. They said that they could not take a payment over the phone though because of a Texas law. When I asked what exactly that law stated they said that they didn't have to discuss it with me. I told them if they were going to use a law for an excuse, then they should be able to quote me all of the law. I was transferred to a Sr. rep who told me that it was actually just THEIR policy but I was never told why.
I just feel like something is fishy. Why wouldn't they want my payment right then? And why tell me that it was a state law that they couldn't take my payment (I was actually told that by two different people). I don't feel comfortable paying two payments to the collection agency and one to the original creditor -especially since the date is going to be late now because they wouldn't accept my payment when I tried to make it. They refuse to give me a letter in advance saying that the account will be closed & considered settled even after the account was taken back and my payment was late because of them doing that. (they said my original letter was enough).
I don't have proof that I paid on time -the bank will only show when the check by phone cleared. Northland has the correct dates, but since they work for Arrow, what if those dates magically "disappear". Supposedly, the dates that Arrow have are only the dates that THEY got the money. (which would show me to be late and therefore cancel the agreement).
I would appreciate any info you could give me on this -Has anyone heard of this? Does it sound like a scam or a common trick? What rights do I have if they do try to pull something?