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Benedict Arnold? ... Who's Side Are You On?
I submitted the settlement...the trouble came next
If The Shoe Fits...I Will Wear It!
In the legal business we are really like programmed robots creating many documents, and going through the usual submission process of the court system. It is very matter of fact, and accepted by everyone. We all scurry about discussing, and filing various documents at one court, or another.
I have been on the corporate side of things most of my working life. However I always helped the consumers, or companies I was suing. I collected more accounts outside of court, because I handled everything I had to do through love. I got many thank you gifts, thank you letters, and compliments by phone as well as payment. Anyone who paid me to avoid going through the collection/legal process, got to walk away being educated, and feeling positive about what transpired. I have had my own technique since the early 80's and it has never failed me. Why? Because love is the best guide through any process in life. Any interaction you have with anyone, anywhere.
Recently I left a law firm that I found to be ruthless towards people. I was forced to do things I never had to do before. Like making people sign a confession of judgment, or not extending a professional courtesy to another attorney. Not wanting to help people settle the debt for what they could actually pay. Refusing to acknowledge the extremely large drops of fraudulent or criminal paper being placed with the firm. After witnessing so many things I could not believe I knew I would be leaving very soon.
Here's what happened.
I got an account to sue. The balance was around $190,000, a business line of credit, (large bank we all know and love), now in default and being sued by me. I typically try to reach the business owner by phone, and troubleshoot the situation. I am an investigator, as well as a skip tracer, among other things. I finally reached the wife by phone. She called me back and explained that her husband was abruptly put out of business, in NYC, with no option to revamp, and had little or no ability to pay. Their home was valued below what they owed, and they were also buried in credit card debt , (who was also suing them). They have 3 kids, and are living off of her pay alone which barely covered the mortgage. Her husband was on line at the job force to find a job.
Here's what happened next.
The wife called me back, and said her and her mom talked, and between the two of them they could come up with some money to settle it. Her mom sold jewelry, and she liquidated her retirement fund. The total they were able to raise was $38,000. I immediately said, "I doubt they will accept it, however I will submit it, because you have done your best". I had already evaluated what they had as far as assets, and things they could possibly leverage. There was nothing. The credit line was unsecured.
I typed up the settlement request on our official form, and submitted it. I waited a week for an answer. The next thing you know is I am being asked, "who's side are you on?" I said to them, "What are you talking about?" They responded with, that I was representing the consumer, instead of the bank, and firm. I disagreed with them profusely, and demanded an explanation. They were now treating me like a Benedict Arnold! They continued with the fact that I got a 20% Settlement approved, (meanwhile I didn't even know it was approved yet) and this is how I found out it was. I got excited and a big beaming smile came across my face. I said out loud, "It's approved?" With that I started dancing in the isle, (lol) and the others around me were clapping for me. Well...believe it not...this was not a good thing. For me it was, but evidentally not for the firm. Although as always, It depended on how you looked at it.
Here's what I typed in the settlement request to the bank. It was listed as: Reason for settlement request. I wrote: This customer has no current assets to attach. He is out of business, and looking for work. Family members have pooled together $38,000 on loan to him to help him settle his unsecured debt. This available money is not an asset we can attach.
The last sentence is the clincher. The magic words needed for the bank to see, and realize they should definitely take the money. As opposed to getting a judgment, and pursuing them through the execution process, to end up getting nothing. Hence the acceptance, and approval for my request. It was a simple matter of math. One of my best areas, and subjects of study. I identify the mathematics in any situation presented.
So after we calmed down, and took a little celebration break, I called the family and told them the news. The wife was so incredibly grateful and happy, she started to cry. She was thanking me, and praising me, and telling me she owed me. I told her no such thing, you owe me nothing, (I actually represented the bank in this case), so she really owed me nothing. She was so excited to be able to resolve something she thought would cause their financial ruin. She said she was bringing a bank check to the office personally within a day or two.
I was mortified with what happened next.
She brought the check to the office. The secretary was extremely rude to her, calling her a debtor. She stated to this woman, (the third party - wife) (not actually the debtor) we don't allow the legal staff to talk to the debtors. The woman had brought gifts for me. The secretary refused to allow her to give them to me, and refused to give them to me herself. She snatched the check from this woman, and walked away to come get a group leader. A receipt for the check was then walked out to her, and she left with the gifts for me in hand. I immediately went to one of the superiors and explained what I just witnessed, and what this woman was told. No action was taken, I was looked at like I had three heads, and why am I complaining about this, kind of look.
At any rate, she left the office crying, and feeling she was treated so poorly, and became depressed about how they treated her. I immediately ran back to my desk, (in a state of total disbelief) and called her cell number, luckily she answered. I immediately apologized for the firms behavior, and reassured her I would NEVER treat someone this way. I said, "Please forgive me for not being able to protect you from that. I had no idea these people in this office would treat someone that way. I am mortified, and horrified by their behavior, and so sorry you had to endure that". She knew it had nothing to do with me. I had already proven to be the opposite from that. She was forgiving of me, and assured me she knew it was no reflection on me.
I left the firm shortly after that incident. I was horrified at being a part of such a cynical office who treated people as if they were beneath them. Meanwhile they are the worst bottom feeders of all! They are actually loading in criminal and fraud cases into the system, for the legal staff to sue! That's not even normal protocol to begin with! Insanity has struck the industry of debt, and the people will be raked over the coals because of it. I see no mercy out there for people, and I am in the thick of things in the legal business.
Since leaving the firm after being forced to follow their process of shredding people, I decided to open my own branch of a nationwide law firm who specializes in Debt Settlement! I switched sides! I've never been happier, and I am so glad to be on the other side of the fence. Now firms like that have to deal with me on a whole new level...lol I can assure you I am relentless in my pursuit of fairness for the people. When they asked me who's side I am on, (had I known what they were talking about), I would have said, "I'm on the people's side, and only the people's side". What else? They probably would have fired me on the spot with that answer...lol
I am so proud to be called a Benedict Arnold, because it says a lot for who I really am. I am for the people, period. It's cut and dry. Debt Settlement is something I can do for the people, through my branch of the law firm. I know they will be treated fairly, politely, with respect, and we will be fighting for them to get the lowest settlement on debt, that they can actually afford to pay. As far as the dirty debt industry goes, I am truly driven to help people get away from these vultures as quickly as possible. Having the branch of a law firm affords legal protection for consumers, from these chronic offenders. Aiding people in the rebuilding of their lives, and finances is our firm position.
I have many debt settlement associates who cannot believe I did that. They cannot seem to fathom a twenty percent settlement from you know who, (Mr. Big Bank). Most attorneys cannot believe I got them a settlement for that low of an amount. So the story goes, and the calls keep coming, and fights to settle will continue. Litigation never stops...and neither do we. I tell all my associates the same thing. Work it from an angle of love, and I bet you come up with a better answer, and solution.
As far as the Benedict Arnold thing goes, I could care less what they call me. I know what I did was right, and sleep mighty fine at night knowing I worked my hardest to help people get the right solution to their problem. I will be remembered as someone positive that did the right thing by them. Despite the position it put me in at the firm. Who knew they would act like that?
They didn't like me, and I didn't like them either. It was a mutual departure...lol I was very relieved and happy to be disassociated from that whole scene. The moral of the story is...there are little or no morals in the legal debt industry. No mercy is paid to the consumer, or business affected by our economic collapse. In the legal debt industry all the consumer is good for, is catching the brunt of the banks, brokers, and other firms mismanagement, and fraudulent activities which took the economy down. There was no thought for the consumer, or small business in that equation either.
Hence the reason for the hub. Hopefully it will enlighten you, and give you ideas, and strength to stand firmly in your demands to settle. Feel free to post any comments or experiences you may have had, or are going through. Debt is a big issue today, and I know people have lot's of questions. For every problem...there is a solution. Fire away!
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