GC Services for Home Depot

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by gwenny, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. gwenny

    gwenny Member

    Originally posted as a Reply to another thread, but Hedwig kindly suggested that I begin my own thread:

    <<Recd call from GC Services for Home Depot


    First of all, this woman scared me when she mentioned Garnishment. I normally don't get rattled but that caught my attention.

    Our situation: hubby & I have approx $2500 owed to Home Depot. I had tried to work with them a couple of months back but the only options they were offering were simply not going to be plausible for us to do. Things like sending "$600 now and .... " They lost me at the $600 now part.

    So, we've not been paying. I see from our free credit monitoring that we are getting dinged every single month by Home Depot.

    Now this phone call from GC. They say that Citibank sent letters regarding the amount, and I suppose that, loosely, they did. The letters simply said to call them, which I had already done.

    So. I'm not trying to dodge the bill but I just can't send them a ton of money right now. Heck -- I made the error of borrowing from hubby's 401k last fall and paid Homer $4,000 then! I wish I still had that money in my pocket.

    When GC Services called me, I politely told Mrs. Kurtz that I am requesting that all correspondence regarding the issue be in writing. She continued badgering for answers to which I kindly replied, "you have the information that you need. Thank you for calling ... " As I was hanging up the phone, I heard her saying something about "I'll take this as a refusal to pay and will look into garnishment options." (not verbatim, but fairly close)

    What do I do? What I want to do is send a payment arrangement letter to Home Depot and see if we can work it out; as I did from the beginning. Can someone tell me if this is the right move while I go grab some Excedrin? Please?

    Again -- pls let me know if you need more info. I'm sorry. I just can't get myself collected (pun intended), here.

  2. jjgross

    jjgross Well-Known Member

    What you can do is to call home depot and see if they'll pull the account back from the collector and try to workout a plan.
  3. sparq

    sparq Well-Known Member

    What state are you in? Some states do not allow garnishment for anything other than domestic support or back taxes. If the CA threatened garnishment, that could be a FDCPA violation, but that would be difficult to prove. This is why, as you've learned, you never, ever, EVER speak to debt collectors over the phone.

    Also, when was the last payment you made on this account?
  4. gwenny

    gwenny Member

    Thank you so much, jjgross and sparq, for your prompt and kind responses.

    Sparq: I am in West Virginia; I apologize for not including that the first time. And the last payment made to Home Depot was March 3rd, 2009.
  5. gwenny

    gwenny Member

    Proposed Letter to Home Depot (and other creditors, too)

    I am including the letter that I am prepared to send to Home Depot (as well as other creditors) for opinion/suggestions:

    Our name/address

    Home Depot Credit Services
    PO Box 689100
    Des Moines, IA 50368-9100

    Re: Account Number xxx xxxx xxxxxx

    June 2, 2009

    Dear Credit Manager,
    This letter is in follow-up to several phone calls that we have had with your representatives as well as a letter that we sent to you via www DOT Homedepot DOT com in January (copy included). Unfortunately, we did not receive a response to that letter and the payment options offered by your representatives were not within range of what we are able to afford.

    This is a written request for a temporary change in the repayment terms of our credit card. We are currently experiencing a financial crisis and are unable to follow the normal payment plan, as our record indicates. This crisis has several sources, including a loss of hours in gwenny's part-time substitute teaching position as well as no strong prospect of steady, full-time employment despite submitting an average of 4 resumes per week. We do not plan to file bankruptcy nor do we intend to default on our obligations.

    When we examined our financial situation and planned a budget, it became clear that we would have to request each of our creditors to accept an alternative payment plan for six to eight months. We would appreciate your cooperation in making this payment plan effective immediately. We request that Home Depot accept a monthly payment of $50.00 in lieu of the regular payment. Additionally, we request that all late fees on our account be blocked that would result from the difference between the regular monthly payment and our alternative payment.

    We would appreciate a return letter from you confirming your acceptance of our payment terms. If we do not hear from you, we will consider your cashing or depositing our check as confirmation of the payment terms. If you do not accept our terms then we expect the enclosed payment immediately returned to us in the enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope.

    Of course, should Dianne receive a job offer, we will notify you immediately and resume making our regular monthly payments. Your co-operation during this difficult time is highly appreciated.

    Yours sincerely,

    Signed by both
    enclosures (2)
  6. jjgross

    jjgross Well-Known Member

    One thing they can't threaten to garnish only a court can do that,Do not let them BULLY you.You have certain rights under the law.They can't threaten or bully or use profane words.They can't threaten a judgement with out doing it.
  7. sparq

    sparq Well-Known Member

    I would hesitate to send in a payment with the letter. Or, at the very least, I would word it differently. Something to the effect of "here's what I can afford right now. Please let me know via my mailing address above if you find this offer to be acceptable."

    Some people will tell you that you can write "paid in full" on a check and if someone cashes it, it represents full satisfaction of whatever remaining balance exists. This is not true; I don't have the link handy, but under these circumstances, a check is not necessarily a binding contract for anything other than transferring money. So while I realize it's not exactly the same thing, I don't think you can say "accepting this check for money that I already owe you means you agree to these terms".

    As for the dates, I don't know West Virginia's laws at all, but it's a sure bet that you're well within the SOL by several years. Google West Virginia wage garnishment laws; I'm sure you'll find a few sites that give you an answer.
  8. gwenny

    gwenny Member

    jjgross: Thank you for the information regarding the courts being the ones to initiate garnishment. I'll definitely keep that in mind should I inadvertently end up on the phone with these folks, again.

    sparq: I agree with you regarding not sending the money in with the letter. I had found that on a sample letter I had located online and thought that, maybe, it added teeth to my letter.
  9. sparq

    sparq Well-Known Member

    Good luck - keep us posted!
  10. gwenny

    gwenny Member

    What about Charged Off HELOC?

    I'm not certain whether I should include this under this thread, but we also have a Home Equity LOC thru Wells Fargo which was put into a charged-off status a couple of months ago. We last paid them in January. We tried working with them along with our 1st mortgage, but Wells said that we made too much money. (!!!)

    It's a HUGE chunk of change -- $90k. It'll take me till I die to get this paid off, but we want to chip away at it. Would a letter like the one I sent to my other creditors work in the case of Wells? Or is there something else I need to do?
  11. Dumb Bob

    Dumb Bob Well-Known Member

    They certainly can do this, they just did it. Whether they will get in trouble is another matter. Dumb Bob is guessing that it is unlikely that mumbled violations of the FDCPA will be enough to be worth going after. Now if they left a voice mail screaming about how they were going to garnish you, that's another thing.

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