Health Coach Institute

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Jul 11, 2019
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#1
Last year I enrolled for an online course through the Health Coach Institute (HCI). After missing 2 payments with them, they locked me out of my account and sent it off to a debt collecting agency. I contacted HCI and asked if I could pay them directly to finish my studies and they said no, I would need to pay the debt collector. When I asked if I would be able to finish my courses after I paid everything off, their exact response was, "We'll see." The debt collection agency says I owe around $10,000. I do not want to pay this seeing as I have no guarantee from HCI that I will even get the services I originally enrolled for. I only received 2 months worth of classes. Is there anyway for me to get out of this debt without paying $10,000? Thanks in advancement to anyone who can help!
 
Sep 27, 2017
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#2
There are two types of debt collectors -- those that work on behalf of the agency (in this case HCI), and those that purchase the dept from the agency for pennies on the dollar.

If your case involves a debt collector that actually purchased the debt from the agency, they may have purchased your debt for as little as 10%-25%. So for 1000-2500, they've got you on the hook for $10,000. Ain't America grand, right?

I would call, and see if I could make a settlement. If you offer them $3000 on a debt they purchased for $1k-$2.5k, they would still make a profit. (NOTE: they WILL NOT tell you how much they purchased the debt for, so don't ask).

Second, I would study FCRA and FDCPA. These are laws that govern collection agencies. Violations of are $1k statutory plus more at the judge's discretion. While violations of these laws do not absolve you of your debt, they do give you some negotiating power. For example, so bottom-of-the-barrel collectors tried to collect $8 on an old credit card debt with my name on it. I stuck to my guns, did my own research, and found 16 violations of these laws. I countersued for $16000. When the agency got their notice, I got a personal call from the head lawyer begging me to drop the suit.

Also, they may threaten legal action. If the collection agency is NOT an attorney's office located within your state and/or staffed with attorneys with privileges in your state, this is an empty threat (and violation of federal law), so if they call with this, laugh in their face heartily and document. Also, since collections are a civil matter, not a criminal one, any threats to arrest you, follow the same instructions.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#4
Last year I enrolled for an online course through the Health Coach Institute (HCI). After missing 2 payments with them, they locked me out of my account and sent it off to a debt collecting agency. I contacted HCI and asked if I could pay them directly to finish my studies and they said no, I would need to pay the debt collector. When I asked if I would be able to finish my courses after I paid everything off, their exact response was, "We'll see." The debt collection agency says I owe around $10,000. I do not want to pay this seeing as I have no guarantee from HCI that I will even get the services I originally enrolled for. I only received 2 months worth of classes. Is there anyway for me to get out of this debt without paying $10,000? Thanks in advancement to anyone who can help!
Was the entire cost of the course $10,000? Or does the $10,000 represent just the two months of missed payments?
 
Sep 27, 2017
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#5
When did you receive the notice from the collection agency? If it was within the past 30 days or so, you have an opportunity to challenge the validity of the debt. While it sounds like it is your debt, it doesn't hurt to put the onus on them where they would have to dig up the contract, correct account #, etc.

Sometimes a collector may not have all the documents, are sloppy with their bookkeeping, etc. What challenging them will do is keep them from bugging you with calls/letters while they are forced to research. This will give you time to plan a strategy/ make an offer to them lower than $4k.

With this letter, you can also demand that they contact you by letter only and not via phone. You can demand that they contact only you, and not a relative or workplace.

NOTE: If you demand (via written letter, certified/ return receipt) they prove debt (within 30 days) and they still contact you, or AT ANY TIME you demand they only contact you and that they do so in writing, and they don't follow these rules, they are violating FCRA/FDCPA, which means each time they do so it's a $1k violation that would go into your pocket.

Some of these companies are so large, they don't communicate well between departments; Others rely on RoboCalls; others are just plain sloppy or stupid. Your odds of throwing a monkey wrench in their plans are good. Just be sure you send your written request certified/return receipt so you can note the day they received it.
 
Sep 27, 2017
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#7
One more note: never admit to owing the debt, at least until they prove it to your satisfaction. Get used to saying things like"this alleged debt". While you have dealt with the company they represent, until you can match account numbers, exact amounts, etc., there is no way you can be sure this debt is YOUR debt. Sloppy accounting mixes things up all the time, and by admitting it is yours, this may have legal implications later.

If you've already admitted it's yours, then in your next WRITTEN correspondence, you can mention something like -- "I went back and researched and no longer believe this debt is mine."