Debt Settlement

Getting out of debt without bankruptcy by negotiating settlements at good discounts.


Hired Ferry & Nicholas? Consider Getting a Refund – Alabama Debtor’s Rights Lawyer Judson E. Crump

Ferry & Nicholas Sends Advertisement Letters to Debtors in Alabama.  I believe they may be sending false advertisements. If you have been sued by a debt collector or credit card company in Alabama, you’ve probably received a letter from a company called Ferry & Nicholas.  They claim to be “professional […]


A New Scam: “Debt Validation Services!” – Alabama Consumer Rights Attorney Judson E. Crump 1

There’s a new scam in town!  It’s called “Debt Validation.” While the life of a consumer protection lawyer can be riveting, it isn’t every day that you see the birth of an entirely new scion of the American scam industry.  Well, today was my lucky day.  I got a call from […]


Credit Associates – Is this Debt Settlement Company a Scam? – Alabama Consumer Credit Attorney Judson E. Crump 10

Credit Associates advertises debt settlement services on TV and Radio.  Are they a scam? I suspect that this outfit may be a scam, and I want to hear from anyone who has experience with them.  I saw this television advertisement recently: A serious man in a business suit stares grim-faced at […]


Alabama’s Exemption Statute – Why so stingy? – Alabama Debtor’s Lawyer Judson E Crump 2

DID YOU KNOW? Alabama (No Longer) has the weakest exemption statute in the country. This is a correction to a previous article I wrote, which has been made necessary by a positive change in Alabama law. In January of 2015, I wrote the following article about Alabama’s exemption statute: “What’s […]


“If you have a bill in collections that is dragging down your credit score, chances are high that it’s medical.”

So says a recent Washington Post article about the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent study of medical bill collections.

The study found that over half of the delinquent accounts that are reported against US citizens’ credit reports were medical bills.  And there were a LOT of people – about 15 million – whose only delinquent account on their credit report was a medical bill.

Medical bills are often hard to prove.  Very often, there is no written contract.  The provider may have not submitted the bill to insurance properly or timely, and therefore lost the right to collect from insurance and instead just decides to try to collect directly from the patient.

And a short visit to a single hospital can spawn a dozen separate bills – one from the hospital, one from each lab that handled your blood, one from each doctor who either saw you or your X-rays, one from a pharmacy, and God knows what else.  You may have never encountered these people and have no idea who they are, but they’re still asking you for money.

And if you ask for verification of the amount allegedly owed, you may not ever get any information.  The whole process is very mechanical and there’s often little to no human involvement in the collection process.

So what do you do if you have strange or inflated medical bills showing up in your credit report?

First, you should contact the medical provider and ask for an itemization of the bill.  How much are they charging you and why?  Will they give you a discount for what your insurer won’t cover?

Second, you should send a written dispute to the credit reporting agencies.  Tell them how much you legitimately owe and ask them to report nothing more than that.

Third, NEVER pay money just to get something off your credit report. A LOT of collection agencies report bogus amounts just to coerce you into paying.  If you owe a hospital $60, a collector may report that you owe $100, just because they’re betting that you’ll pay them the full amount to clean up your credit records.  Don’t fall for this.

Fourth, don’t be afraid to challenge them if they’re asking you for an unreasonable amount.  If they were to take you to court, they’d have to prove that the charges were reasonable and medically necessary. If they inflate the ‘price’ of services to compensate for discounts they provide to insurers, then they can’t just force you to pay whatever they want to put on some bill.


What Happens When You Hire Freedom Debt Relief – Alabama Consumer Credit Attorney Judson E Crump 4

Freedom Debt Relief Credit Counseling Customer Stuck with Big Judgment in Alabama Credit Card Lawsuit Freedom Debt Relief advertises itself as a way to avoid Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy by negotiating discounted debt settlements for people with lots of credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, or other unsecured […]


What is Garnishment? Part 2 of “Dealing with Default Judgments” – Alabama Collection Defense Lawyer Judson E. Crump 1

What is a garnishment? Let’s start with the judgment – because for everything except student loans and taxes, no* garnishment can happen without first obtaining a judgment.  At least, not in Alabama.  If you get sued and lose, or don’t bother to answer, then the person who sues you gets […]


Who is Ferry & Nicholas? Why you should not hire them. – Alabama Consumer Credit Attorney Judson E Crump

If you have received a letter from a “firm” called “Ferry & Nicholas,” it means that you have been sued by a credit card company or debt collector.  Ferry & Nicholas runs a clever little scheme.  See, they’re not lawyers, which means that they don’t have to comply with the Alabama […]


Credit Card Aggression Ratings 2014, Continued: The Best Credit Cards to Have if you Fall Behind on Payments – Alabama Consumer Credit Attorney Judson E Crump

(Continued from Page 1) 4.  Local Credit Unions.  Varies from 4 to 9 out of 10. Smaller credit unions who issue credit cards are usually pretty tough to beat in court, mostly because they’re local and they can drive a witness there to prove their case against you, rather than […]