Panicked over Collection Agency

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Kaish, Jun 11, 2014.

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  1. Kaish

    Kaish Well-Known Member

    I'm finding myself so panicked over a situation I'm in. I am quite the story teller so if this gets long please forgive me. A couple weeks ago I found an online auction for charity. It was for my number one dream to come true, as well as my boyfriend's... to meet Celine Dion. I was feeling suicidal at the time because May was such a horrible month. The auction ended the night of the 31st, which I thought if I won would be perfect because I could then wake up the next day and work on being happy again. My father agreed to pay for a large portion of the auction. The night the auction closed I put a winning bid in and for the first time that month I had reason to smile and to see life does get better... things did get better. I spent the first two days of June returning to a good place, but then the bad news. My father backed out, leaving me with something I cannot pay for. I spent almost all of last week depressed and trying with all my might to stall with the hope my father would change his mind. Yesterday, the people at the auction sent the first nasty email in which they wrote things such as it's heartbreaking and what I did to them and they can't believe someone would be so irresponsible. They have not been professional about it at all and have threaten to turn the bill over to collections if I don't pay within the next 24 hours.

    I have beat myself up because it's for a charity and what kind of person does this to charity? But each time I call the crisis line they tell me it happens and the auction will be understanding. It didn't turn out that way, but it's showing me that compassionate people understand, someone even said this doesn't add up and could possibly be a fraud. Sadly, I looked into it and it's legit. The people at the auction are only thinking of themselves. They tell me I ruined the entire event and all the hard work they have put into it. I know I did not handle this well, but at the time I didn't have much to give. It's hard when you're suicidal. You don't make the best decisions and when you see the glimmer of hope, you go for it. Truthfully though, I didn't do much wrong. I was told by someone they would pay a large portion of this. It was them who backed out and left me in this position, but regardless, doesn't this happen in life? Business transactions don't always work out. Can't they just offer it to another bidder or relist it?

    These people work as a go between for me and the people who work with for Celine. I do however have the contact information for people who work for Celine, including her stepson. I have never wanted to use it because it's valuable information, but because they donate and endorse this charity I'm starting to think I need to contact the people who work for Celine. The people at the auction tell me they don't think Celine will continue in the future if I back out, but it seems more likely they would stop donating due to her being unprofessional. I'm really hoping her team will intervene and assist me.

    I guess I'm looking for advice. I am very passionate about following dreams and being compassionate for others. I realise I did not handle this situation well, but I am not a bad person and even if I was, as a business you need to treat people with respect. They're not showing any compassion for me. I don't know anything about collection agencies and I guess I'm looking for advice there. Is it realistic to take a year to pay it off? Will a monthly statement be set up for me? Will this ruin my credit history? I read something about it only being there for seven years, but still that's bad. It just seems to ruin someone's credit history when you have 35 other people willing to pay seems unfair and more about payback. I have a feeling too that the meet and greet would go to waste.

    I just don't know. I'm starting to become depressed again, but am trying to rise above and be okay. It's hard though. I wish this could all go away. I feel I have overcome so much and learned so much about myself this past month that for this to go away I could continue to put my life together. It's sad to reach a point in life where you feel happy again to only see it go back down.
  2. Hatshepsut

    Hatshepsut Guest

    You need to ask an attorney. Some lawyers will offer a free initial consulation (look for bankruptcy lawyers in USA), or some cities have a "legal clinic" you can go to with Qs. Generally, if you bid and win at an auction, the auctioneer can hold you for the bid amount--you've bought it.

    But do talk with someone who knows the law as a professional--either a lawyer or an accountant. It's possible something was improper with the auction itself; in which case you might get a release from obligation.

    If you can't pay, they can't break your legs like they did during the 1920s gangster era. It is true a default or a bankruptcy will hurt your credit. If you take out Bankruptcy it appears on your credit history for 7-10 years. But this doesn't mean you can't get any credit afterward. People get new home mortgages or car loans only 1 year after bankruptcy--the catch being the interest rate is higher.
  3. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    If it is a collection agency calling you, the agents are experts at getting people to make payments - often via threats or insults. In reality, they don't really know the people they're calling, but the agents have the indifference required to say nasty and outrageous things. It is not personal - especially since they do not know you at all.

    I don't know for sure how an auction deals with sale that doesn't go through...the simplest solution would likely be that the group holding the auction just takes back the item for resale to someone else. With a charity auction event, reselling/re-auctioning might reduce the amount of money that the charity gets, which would account for the nasty tone of their comments. However, I would agree with the crisis line workers that this simply must happen from time to time - you're not the first or the last to bid and then not be able to pay, and you sure didn't mean for it to happen.

    A lawyer would be able to tell you if you are legally bound to pay some or all, or if you can't and don't pay, if the item (tickets) simply is returned to the seller to deal with.

    I'm sorry you're in this situation. I would recommend that if you are concerned that you have a legal obligation to pay, speak with a lawyer - as Hatshepsut has noted, some will offer a free initial consultation.

    Wishing you good luck with this!
  4. NWAD

    NWAD Member

    I looked up some resources, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada has a free Ask a Lawyer event. It looks like Small Claims would be your best bet.

    You could go down there and ask them what to do.
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