EL&A In Action
EL&A Assists Client with Debt Settlement
Mr. K came to Elder Law & Advocacy with a debt settlement issue. Mr. K, a senior living alone and on a fixed income, had an outstanding debt with Bank of America for about $3000. Mr. K received an offer from B of A in the mail that stated that if he were to pay $1700 immediately, B of A would accept that amount in settlement of the entire debt. The offer said that Mr. K would have to call a certain phone number to accept this offer of settlement. Mr. K presented the letter to the teller at his local B of A branch, told the teller that he wanted to accept the settlement offer, and paid the full $1700. However, the B of A teller simply applied the $1700 to Mr. K’s account, and B of A continued to pursue Mr. K for the remaining $1300.
A contract is an agreement between two parties that is legally enforceable. A simple example of this would be an agreement to paint a fence in exchange for a payment of twenty dollars. These agreements usually begin as an offer from one party, which the other party then chooses to accept. In this case, Mr. K upheld his end of the agreement, and B of A did not.
An Elder Law & Advocacy attorney drafted and sent a letter to B of A stating that continuing to pursue Mr. K for the remaining $1300 would be a breach of contract. After six weeks, B of A acknowledged that the debt was settled as of the date that Mr. K made his $1700 payment, and promised to report the debt as settled to credit reporting agencies.