Last November I accidently wrote a $42 check to a local merchant that was returned for insufficient funds. I got a notice from my bank that they had returned the check. I waited to see if the merchant resubmitted the check or to get instructions from said merchant on how to fix the situation. I have no recollection of ever receiving anything and it doesn't appear that the merchant re-submitted the check for payment.
Fast forward to this week (7 months later), I get a letter from the Los Angeles District Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program threatening a possible 3 year prison term if I don't send them $276.75 check and attend a counseling class. I did a little online searching and found out that this is private company under contract with the LA county DA to recover bad check funds.
I have no problem sending the merchant a new check to cover his costs...but I DO NOT want to pay for and attend a totally unnecessary class on financial responsibility. This seems like a naked attempt to make money and I'm struggling enough trying to keep a roof over my head and food in the house.
By signing up a debt counseling session, your provided details (Name, Email ID and Phone No.) will be forwarded to the company advertising on the DebtCC. However, you have no obligation to use their services.
Some creditors and collection agencies refuse to lower the payoff amount, interest rate, and fees owed by the consumer.
Creditors/collection agencies can make collection calls and file lawsuits against the consumers represented by the debt relief companies.
Debt relief services may have a negative impact on the consumer's creditworthiness and his overall debt amount may increase due to the accumulation of extra fees.
The amount which the consumer saves with the use of debt relief services can be regarded as taxable income.