I admit I had a credit card and charged more than I could afford to pay. That was my fault. I accept responsibility for this.
There came a time when I became disabled and could no longer make the payments. I tried to negotiate with the creditor but they would not work with me to make payments I could manage. So I had no choice but to quit paying completely.
My debt was eventually sold to Resurgence Financial, LLC who later changed their name to Resurgence Legal Group. I was sent a summons to appear in court to answer to a judge regarding the disposition of payment.
I went to the court and waited for the session to begin. Before the judge appeared, someone called me into the hallway. He led me to believe he was an officer of the court. After getting me into the hallway, he identified himself as an attorney working on behalf of Resurgence Financial, LLC, and asked me to sign a paper agreeing to pay Resurgence Financial the entire amount of $2,159.31. He showed me the contract Resurgence Financial had purchased from Chase Bank where I had once had a Visa credit card. The contract with Chase bank allowed for interest. I did not know how much the original debt was. I told him that I was living on SSI and as such had only a fixed income and did not have the money to pay the monthly amount he was demanding. In addition I asked about whether or not interest would be charged. This was especially important since the debt he was pushing at me was $2,159.31. He said it would be "unethical and immoral to charge interest" due to the fact that I was living on the fixed income of SSI as a disabled person. He had originally asked me to pay the entire amount in one lump sum. I couldn't pay that so he offered a payment plan of $50 per month. I still couldn't pay that. He asked me to make an offer. Since he verbally acknowledged that charging me interest would be both unethical and immoral, I understood that he was not going to have me charged interest, only the original debt. I offered to pay $25 per month. He identified himself as Herman Winkler and gave me his business card. He filled out the court papers in handwriting showing that I would pay $2,159.31 in monthly installments of $25.00 beginning April 10, 2006 and continuing until the full amount was paid. I signed the papers and paid $25.00 per month as agreed.
In September of 2011, I decided to check the math and figure out how much more I still owed. I had paid all except the remaining $509.31 of the original debt. I figured that if I doubled my payments I would be within $10 of being paid off. So I doubled my efforts and paid $50.00 per month for 7 of those last remaining 10 months. I paid $53.00 for 2 months. July of this year, 2012, I paid $53.31 as the final payment. On the memo line of my check I wrote "Final Payment". I wrote a letter to Resurgence Legal Group, listing every payment I had made, the check number of each check, and stating that this was the final payment of $53.31 and that I expect to never hear from them again.
They never cashed the check.
I have waited until today, October 1, 2012, to call them to find out why the check has not been cashed. Or has it not be received?
A woman answered the phone, and did not identify herself. Since I don't know the case number, she asked for my social security number to call up the case on the computer. When she found my case on the computer, she said they had received the check, but have not cashed it. She said they are pursuing more money, THE INTEREST! The interest, she informed me, comes to an additional $977.31, which includes the $53.31 check they refuse to cash. This was why they had not cashed my last check. Cashing a check that has "Final Payment" on the memo line apparently negates their legal right to pursue more.
I had to hang up the phone in order to take the time to regain some semblance of intelligent thought.
I called back a little while later and spoke to Conrad Noll, a lawyer who's part of Resurgence Legal Group. He asked me to send them a copy of the court paper that I signed, since they don't keep copies of those. He said that they go strictly by what is written on the court paper that you sign. Apparently Herman Winkler, his associate, did not specify on the court paper that rights to interest, was waived. Therefore, in other words, they are holding me responsible for $977.31 of interest, that Herman Winkler told me I was not going to be charged because it was "unethical and immoral".
I also asked Mr. Noll why I had not over all these years been informed of the interest. He said they don't send monthly billing, as a matter of policy. I think they could have at least made mention of interest on the court paper. I think they could have at the very least sent me a notice once a year reminding me of how much interest was accruing over time. Creditors are currently required to not only list on their monthly billing how much you owe, the amount of interest and the rate of interest, but also how much time it will take to pay it off at various payment levels. Resurgence Legal Group thinks it has a loophole in that law because they are not the original creditor. I personally believe that anyone who takes money on a debt has the obligation to tell you what all they are charging you.
I have not yet sent the copy of the court paper I signed in 2006 to Mr. Noll.
I have no proof of the verbal conversation I had with Herman Winkler on that court date in 2006.
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