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You vs ConServe Debt Collection: A Guide to Resolving Your Debt

Have you been hounded by ConServe debt collectors? Relentless phone calls, letters demanding payment, threats of legal action – it can feel overwhelming, but, take a deep breath. You have rights, and there are proven strategies to resolve this situation favorably. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore your options for tackling debt with ConServe, providing step-by-step instructions, real-world examples, and expert insights from the nation’s top criminal defense attorneys.

Understanding Your Rights

Before we dive into solutions, it’s crucial to understand your rights as a consumer. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects you from harassment, deception, and unfair practices by third-party debt collectors like ConServe. Some key provisions:

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  • Debt collectors cannot call you before 8 am or after 9 pm
  • They cannot use profane, abusive, or threatening language
  • They must stop contacting you if you send a written request

Familiarize yourself with the FDCPA, as violations can strengthen your negotiating position or even lead to a lawsuit against the debt collector. ConServe has faced numerous consumer complaints alleging FDCPA violations, so stay vigilant.

Validate the Debt

Your first step? Ensure the debt ConServe is attempting to collect is legitimate and accurate. Under the FDCPA, you have the right to request debt validation within 30 days of their initial communication.

To exercise this right, send ConServe a debt validation letter via certified mail, requesting evidence that:

  • The debt belongs to you
  • The amount owed is correct
  • ConServe has the legal authority to collect the debt

If ConServe cannot validate the debt, they must cease collection efforts. Even if they do validate it, this paper trail can help strengthen your case later.

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“I had an old credit card debt that ConServe claimed I owed over $8,000 on,” says Sarah, a former client. “I requested debt validation, and they couldn’t provide adequate proof of the amount. Their case crumbled from there.”

Negotiate a Settlement

In many cases, debt collectors like ConServe are willing to accept a lump-sum settlement for less than the full balance. After all, they likely purchased your debt from the original creditor for pennies on the dollar.

But, don’t make settlement offers blindly. First, calculate a reasonable opening offer based on:

  • Your financial situation (what you can realistically afford)
  • The debt’s age (older debts are easier to settle)
  • Whether the debt has been re-aged or sold to multiple collectors

As a rule of thumb, your opening offer should be 25-35% of the outstanding balance. If the debt is particularly old or your financial hardship is well-documented, you could start even lower at 20%.Let’s look at an example:

John has a $10,000 credit card debt that ConServe has been pursuing for three years. Given the debt’s age and John’s limited income, his attorney advises an opening offer of $2,000 (20% of $10,000).

ConServe will likely reject this initial offer and counter with a higher percentage or different payment plan. That’s okay – it’s all part of the negotiation dance. Through multiple rounds of offers and counters, aim to reach a settlement of 35-45% of the original debt.

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Remember, any settlement should be contingent upon ConServe removing the debt from your credit report. Get this term in writing before paying a dime.

Request a “Pay for Delete”

Even if you negotiate a settlement, that debt could linger on your credit report as “Paid Collection Account,” potentially damaging your credit score for years. To avoid this, request a “pay for delete” in your settlement negotiations.

A pay for delete agreement legally obligates the debt collector to remove the negative account from your credit report after you’ve paid the settled amount in full. This helps protect your credit as you move forward.

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ConServe may initially refuse a pay for delete. In this case, your leverage includes:

  • Pointing out FDCPA violations they’ve committed
  • Threatening to initiate a lawsuit or report them to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • Highlighting the debt’s age and diminishing likelihood of full payment

With careful negotiation, many debt collectors will ultimately agree to pay for delete terms to avoid further headaches.

Dispute the Debt on Your Credit Report

If ConServe won’t provide debt validation or agree to a pay for delete, you still have recourse: disputing the debt directly with the credit bureaus.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the credit bureaus must investigate any items you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete. If the investigation doesn’t confirm the debt’s validity, they must remove it from your credit report.

To initiate a dispute, you’ll need to contact each credit bureau (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) in writing with supporting evidence like:

  • Debt validation materials from ConServe
  • Documentation showing the debt may be too old to appear on your report
  • Proof that ConServe has violated fair debt collection laws

While this process takes time, successfully removing erroneous or unsubstantiated debts from your credit file can dramatically improve your credit score.

“I disputed an old debt ConServe was reporting to all three bureaus,” recalls Mike. “After providing proof of their FDCPA violations, the debt disappeared from my credit report within 60 days.”

Consult a Consumer Protection Attorney

Dealing with aggressive debt collectors is stressful, especially when your rights are violated or negotiations break down. This is when consulting a consumer protection attorney can be invaluable.

An experienced lawyer can review your situation and ConServe’s conduct for any FDCPA violations. If violations exist, they can draft a strongly-worded cease and desist letter, demanding ConServe stop all collection efforts.

Additionally, your attorney may advise filing a civil lawsuit against ConServe for damages you’ve incurred due to their unlawful practices. Potential compensation includes:

  • Actual damages (lost wages, medical bills, etc.)
  • Statutory damages up to $1,000
  • Attorney fees and court costs

The mere threat of legal action is often enough to force debt collectors like ConServe to reconsider their position and renegotiate a reasonable settlement.“ConServe was relentless until we hired legal representation,” says Jill. “Once my attorney got involved and threatened a lawsuit over their violations, they immediately agreed to settle for a fraction of the debt.”

Respond Strategically to a Lawsuit

In some cases, ConServe may file a debt collection lawsuit against you in an attempt to secure a court judgment. Don’t panic – you have options, but swift action is critical.

  1. Respond to the Summons Promptly
    Failing to respond to a debt lawsuit within the allotted time (often 20-30 days) could result in an automatic default judgment against you. This gives ConServe the right to garnish your wages or freeze your bank accounts.
  2. File an Answer and Affirmative Defenses
    Work with an attorney to file a formal Answer admitting or denying ConServe’s claims, raising any affirmative defenses like:

    • Violation of the statute of limitations
    • Lack of proof/documentation
    • Improper service of the lawsuit
  3. Demand Debt Validation and Discovery
    Even after being sued, you maintain the right to demand complete debt validation from ConServe. Your attorney can also pursue discovery to obtain additional evidence supporting your case.
  4. Negotiate a Settlement
    Lawsuits are costly for debt collectors too. ConServe may be open to negotiating a reduced settlement to avoid a lengthy and expensive court battle.
  5. Request a Hearing
    If negotiations fail, you can request a court hearing to present evidence and arguments challenging ConServe’s case against you. With adequate preparation, it’s possible to have the lawsuit dismissed entirely.

“I’ll never forget the look on the ConServe attorney’s face when the judge dismissed their case due to lack of proper evidence,” laughs Doug. “Preparation with my lawyer made all the difference.”

When to Consider Bankruptcy

For some debtors, bankruptcy may be the best solution for resolving overwhelming debt burdens – including debts being collected by ConServe.

There are two main types of consumer bankruptcy:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

  • Allows many debts to be completely discharged (eliminated)
  • Requires liquidation of non-exempt assets to repay creditors
  • Impacts credit for 7-10 years

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

  • Debts are consolidated into a 3-5 year repayment plan
  • No liquidation of assets required
  • Impacts credit for a shorter period

Bankruptcy has significant long-term credit consequences, so it should only be considered as a last resort after exhausting all other options. However, if your debt burden is truly unmanageable, it may provide a much-needed fresh start.

An experienced bankruptcy attorney can review your financial situation and advise if bankruptcy is a viable solution for your ConServe debt.

Seek Professional Guidance

Dealing with aggressive debt collectors is never easy, but you don’t have to go it alone. Consulting professionals can protect your rights and drastically improve negotiation outcomes.

Consumer Protection Lawyers
As discussed, hiring a consumer lawyer provides invaluable leverage when ConServe has violated debt collection laws. These attorneys understand the FDCPA and FCRA inside and out.

Credit Repair Specialists
If ConServe has severely damaged your credit through inaccurate reporting, credit repair companies can help dispute the negative items and rehabilitate your credit score.

Nonprofit Credit Counselors
For those struggling with overwhelming debt burdens, nonprofit credit counseling agencies can negotiate with creditors, create debt management plans, and provide budgeting guidance.The right professional assistance can resolve your ConServe debt efficiently while avoiding costly mistakes.

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