PROCESSING & RECEIVABLES MANAGEMENT
Home      FAQ's
Print this pageAdd to Favorite
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 

If you have received a letter and / or phone call from this office about your account or claim, you may be wondering if it would be in your best interest to contact a member of our staff. What can you expect if you do voluntarily respond? Will it be in your best interest to do so?
 
To help you, the consumer, understand the pros and cons of resolving your past due obligation, Pinnacle Asset Group has compiled the following list of questions and answers that will help you to make an educated decision regarding resolving your delinquent account or claim.

 
Question # 1 - What does Pinnacle Asset Group do?
 
Answer # 1 - Pinnacle Asset Group is a processing and receivables management firm and limited liability company in the State of New York. Our firm specializes in the acquisition of debt portfolios consisting of past due consumer credit receivables that are owed to banks and other creditors and lenders. These financial institutions include some of the largest and best-known lenders in the United States. However, Pinnacle Asset Group is not collecting on behalf of a bank or credit-card company. We purchase debt from them, and we also have clients and investor groups who place their delinquent consumer debt portfolios with our firm for us to service. If you owed money to one of those companies, did not pay the entire balance, and we purchased it, or have been assigned the rights to service it, you now owe that money directly to Pinnacle Asset Group, and only to Pinnacle Asset Group. We will of course attempt to work with the consumer to resolve their delinquent loan or credit card obligation whenever realistically possible. This is largely based on the consumers cooperation and diligence in making it a priority to work with a member of our staff to resolve their account or claim.
 
Question # 2- Your company claims you will "work with me", what exactly does that mean?
 
Answer #2- It means that after you contact us in response to our letter or phone call and we explain to you the status of your account or claim, we will invite you to provide us with your "statement of intent" and your "consumer hardship statement". This is simply your opportunity to share with your assigned associate whatever applicable hardship information you believe to be relevant to your situation, and also to state for the record if it is your goal to settle your account or claim voluntarily with a member of our staff. Once we are aware of your current financial & employment circumstances, and know that your intentions are honorable by you stating that you wish to settle your account or claim, we will attempt to offer you several options to help you to voluntarily settle your account or claim, on mutually acceptable settlement or re-payment terms.
 
Question # 3- How do I know if i contact you that you wont only tell me I have to pay the entire balance immediately like other companies have said to me in the past?
 
Answer # 3- The more consumers we help solve their debt problems, the more successful we are as a company. It’s in our best interest to seek mutually acceptable settlement or re-payment terms based on a number of unique factors. We generally find it saves both parties time and money to settle these accounts and claims amicably and on a voluntary basis in good faith with the consumers cooperation. Our staff is trained to listen, empathize, and negotiate, and we strive to do those three things well.
 
Question # 4- Ive heard that a consumer can "settle" their debts, for less than what is legally owed, and be permanently released in full of any type of financial or legal obligation that they have for their account. Is that true?
 
Answer # 4- Yes. You will find that when you respond quickly to verbal and / or written notification that your account or claim has been purchased or placed with this office for servicing, that the less time it takes you to pay off your account or claim, the better a "deal" we will cut you. Since we either own your account or claim, or have contractually agreed to service your account or claim on behalf of one of our clients who have assigned the rights to do so to us, we have the right to offer you a potentially large reduction of your balance in the event you pay a lump sum expediently. The sooner you pay your account or claim off in full, the less you will have to pay, and the greater a reduction you will receive. In the event a heavily reduced lump sum payoff of your account or claim is not something you can currently afford, we will offer you several amnesty programs, which are basically re-payment terms of your full balance. Some programs we may offer you go up to 2-6 months with no down payment, some go up to 12 months with a down payment. We generally reserve these types of programs for accounts with a medium sized to larger delinquent balance, but we treat each situation on a claim by claim basis. This is why we encourage you, the consumer, to share with us your situation, as we are willing to negotiate with you.
 
Question # 5- I didn't borrow the money from your company, why cant i call the original lender to pay off my account to them directly?
 
Answer # 5- The bank or credit card company that you borrowed from decided they no longer wanted to try to collect the debt due to the amount of time that has elapsed since you fell into default. They made a lawful and legitimate business decision to have us “take over” your debt. The contractual agreement you had with your original lender has been transferred to us, and as such the financial and legal obligation you had to pay the original lending institution has been transferred to Pinnacle Asset Group.
 
Question # 6- Is it true that a consumer can be sued over their delinquent loan or credit card obligation?
 
Answer # 6- Yes. A creditor, recovery agency, receivables management firm, processing firm or subsequent purchaser of the delinquent account or claim may pursue legal remedies to recover the debt per the terms and conditions of your contractual agreement. If you are sued, you will be asked to come to court to defend yourself. If you fail to try to work the situation out, default, fail to appear, or lose the court proceeding, the original creditor, debt recovery agency, receivables management firm, processing firm or subsequent purchaser will win the lawsuit and be awarded a judgment. Once initiated, the legal process can be very often significantly more costly to the consumer than the original debt due to legal fees and court costs that are attached to the judgment once awarded.
 
Question # 7- Even if a judgment was placed against me, I've heard that it is just reported to my credit report, but my credit is already tarnished, so why should I care about a judgment?
 
Answer # 7- It is true that successful judgments are reported to credit reporting agencies. Once awarded, a judgment will be noted on your credit reports and remain a damaging entry on your credit reports for the next seven years. But thats not the end of the negative consequences the consumer could experience as a result of having a judgment placed against them.  Depending on jurisdictional considerations, your wages or bank accounts may be garnished to pay the debt under the judgment, and a property lien could also be filed as a result of a judgment.
 
Question # 8- What should I do if I am ever sued over a delinquent loan or credit card obligation?
 
Answer # 8- Take the advice of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): “If a debt collector files a lawsuit against you to collect a debt, respond to the lawsuit, either personally or through your lawyer, by the date specified in the court papers to preserve your rights.
 
Question # 9- I can see how it would benefit me to pay my debt off, but I still don't care as I have a lot on my plate right now. What if I decide to simply screen my calls, throw out your letter, and basically ignore your company?
 
Answer # 9- Under certain circumstances we reserve the right to pursue litigation through a member of our legal network of affiliate state attorney's against qualified accounts and claims whenever deemed appropriate or necessary by our chief of staff in the event voluntary recovery settlement options cannot be mutually agreed upon or adhered to despite our best efforts. It is not something we always do or necessarily want to do, but, unfortunately, there are instances in which Pinnacle Asset Group may be compelled to file a lawsuit directly to recover a debt or refer an account or claim to one of our legal affiliates to institute legal proceedings to protect our interests. This decision generally is made by either our general counsel or our chief of staff.
 
Question # 10- Is there any benefits to me to pay off my delinquent account to your company?
 
Answer # 10- Absolutely! Upon completion of final funds clearance to satisfy the re-payment terms, amnesty program, or settlement stipulation agreement, you will be provided with a "letter of release" which proves for you in writing that not only were you advised of our settlement offer to satisfy your account or dismiss your claim, but that you have fully upheld your end of the agreement. Our paid letter will state that you have paid your account or claim in full, and that you have a zero balance remaining. You can then send that paid letter certified, with a return receipt requested, to the credit reporting agencies. The law states that upon receipt of that proof your account or claim is paid in full, they have to update your credit record accordingly, generally within thirty days. This tends to give your credit rating a substantial boost, especially due to the fact that our paid letter verbiage states your obligation is completely paid in full, with a zero balance remaining, despite the fact you may have taken advantage of a substantial settlement reduction of your actual balance.
 
Question # 11- I've read on the Internet that I can send a "cease and desist" letter to a company like yours and that will make you stop calling me if I don't want to pay off my account to you.
 
Answer # 11- According to the law, you certainly can send Pinnacle Asset Group a Cease and Desist letter. At that point, Pinnacle Asset Group’s communications to you will stop. But that Cease and Desist letter to Pinnacle Asset Group does not affect a consumer's legal or financial obligation to pay the debt. If the debt is legally owed, Pinnacle Asset Group may, under certain circumstances, and if appropriate, file a lawsuit against you, either directly or through a member of our legal network of affiliate state attorney's.
 
Question # 12- Ive read on the Internet that I shouldn't bother to pay off old debts or my delinquent obligations once they are no longer with the original lender. Why should I believe its better for me to pay off my old debts instead of ignore them and hope you just stop calling me?
 
Answer # 12- Consider this for a moment: Does it benefit the person or company or website on the Internet that you're referring to to give you the advice to "roll the dice" and not pay your delinquent obligations? If a website advised you not to make your car loan payments and said nothing negative would happen to affect you, would you listen to them or realize that website is giving you terrible advice? If a website advised you not to make your home mortgage payments and that nothing negative would happen to affect you, would you listen or realize that website is giving you terrible advice? Unfortunately, the Internet is a cesspool of cynics and "snake oil salesman". It is alarming that so many so-called "consumer advocates" advise people to walk away from their debts and financial obligations. It is always best to consider the source of the information, and take everything you read on the web with a grain of salt. We at Pinnacle Asset Group encourage all consumers to complete their own "due diligence" process with respect to their account or claim. The only way to avoid negative credit consequences and possible legal consequences of not paying off a financial and legal obligation, is to pay it off !
 
For the record, failing to honor your legal contractual financial obligations or to pay off your delinquent accounts can result in the following consequences:
 
-Damaging credit report entries
-Inability to obtain a line of credit, loan, or mortgage
-Inability to obtain a cell phone, automobile insurance, or to lease an apartment
-Inability to obtain employment
-Collection letters and phone calls
-Legal action to recover funds owed
-Court costs, interest, penalties, legal expenses
-Judgment resulting in wage garnishment, freezing or seizure of bank accounts and / or property liens.

Question # 13- My account balance your letter states is due is more than what i originally owed. Is it legal for me to owe more than what I borrowed?
 
Answer # 13-  It is absolutely legal. Per the original terms and conditions of the original loan or credit card contract and agreement that you signed or agreed to, your delinquent account will continue to accrue interest regardless of its current status as long as it remains unpaid. What this means is that even after your delinquent loan or credit card account was charged-off and subsequently sold or outsourced, post-chargeoff interest continues to accrue ! For example, if the loan or credit card contract permitted 19.99% interest, and the delinquent loan or credit card account was charged-off in January 2008, than the principal balance amount charged-off has continued to accrue interest at a rate of 19.99% interest since January 2008. It is thus clearly in the consumer's best interest to settle the delinquent account or claim with our office as soon as possible because it will continue to incrementally grow on a monthly basis.
 
Question # 14- My credit report states that my delinquent account is "charged-off". What does that mean? Does that mean I don't have to pay it off?
 
Answer # 14- No. A lender or creditor will generally write off an account as a bad debt within six months of it going into default, which means six months after the consumer's last payment was made. The writeoff is reported to the credit bureaus as a "charge off". Many consumers mistakenly are under the impression that a charge off means they no longer have to pay their debt. However, a charge-off is just basically an accounting term for the lenders books and tax preparation filings. A charge-off does not release you of the legal or financial obligation to pay the loan or credit account. Furthermore, the purchaser of the debt, or the company that acquires or has the rights of ownership of the delinquent account assigned to them, can still legally pursue a claim in court for full recovery of the delinquent account balance, plus legal fees and court costs.
 
Question # 15- Why do i read on the Internet that some consumers feel they have been harassed by your company? Why do some say they have even been contacted about debts they didn't recognize or owe and accuse Pinnacle Asset Group of being a scam?
 
Answer # 15- Believe it or not, there is some bad information on the Internet. Accusations about Pinnacle Asset Group's being a scam are misinformed and misguided. Some consumers and debtors simply don't like to be contacted about their delinquent financial and legal obligations, and tend to react by going on the defensive and evade paying their obligations by screening their phone calls. Also, other companies in the collections business may have used inappropriate tactics with these consumers, causing some people to expect to be harassed when they get called over having a delinquent debt that is due. These consumers tend to be very quick to accuse companies like Pinnacle Asset Group of FDCPA violations or of using unfair collection tactics. We are guided by the set of laws governing the collections industry and a set of internal company policies that are often even more restrictive. Harassment violates The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Pinnacle Asset Group won’t tolerate violations of the law. While it is understandably not pleasant for consumers to be reminded they have an obligation to pay their delinquent account or claim to us, this does not constitute harassment. We have a legal right to contact the consumer about paying their debt, we have a legal right to collect the debt, and we reserve the right to take legal action to compel a consumer who refuses to pay their debt voluntarily to make restitution if we deem legal action to indeed be both appropriate and absolutely necessary. Furthermore, to understand Pinnacle Asset Group's collections process, remember, we buy debt from the lenders themselves, and have debt placed with our office to service on behalf of our clients. In some cases, original lenders have merged with or been acquired by other banks and lenders. So some of the names may have changed. As a result, some people simply don’t recognize the debt as being theirs. In attacking Pinnacle Asset Group or our integrity or professionalism for collecting on those debts, these people are therefore making an honest mistake. But it’s a mistake nonetheless.
 
Question# 16- Can a debtor really have their wages garnished or their bank account frozen if a judgment is placed against them? That seems like an untrue scare tactic to me. After all, its just a defaulted credit card !
 
Answer # 16- While it may seem surprising that what started out as just another credit card in your wallet or purse has escalated to a point where you are being contacted by our office for these funds to be recovered, a legal and financial obligation is still a legal and financial obligation. And in reference to your question, consider these facts from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “If you don’t pay a debt, a creditor or its debt collector generally can sue you to collect. If they win, the court will enter a judgment against you. The judgment states the amount of money you owe, and allows the creditor or collector to get a garnishment order against you, directing a third party, like your bank, to turn over funds from your account to pay the debt. Wage garnishment happens when your employer withholds part of your compensation to pay your debts. Your wages usually can be garnished only as the result of a court order. Don’t ignore a lawsuit summons. If you do, you lose the opportunity to fight a wage garnishment.”
 
Question # 17- My credit report does not show that my delinquent account has been sold to, acquired by, or even placed with Pinnacle Asset Group, LLC. However I do see your inquiry on the bottom of the report. It does look like the original lender did report the debt you are referring to as "account sold by original lender". Should I call the original lender to verify they no longer have the debt with them and you have the legal rights now?
 
Answer # 17- We at Pinnacle Asset Group always encourage you, the consumer, to complete your own "due diligence" process if you have a question as to why we are contacting you over the debt or if you want more information or debt verification / validation then our demand letter or our settlement offer letters will provide you. In the lending and debt buying / debt selling business world, there is something called a "chain of title". This title chain proves who the original credit lender was, and who that lender sold or outsourced ownership or assigned rights to collect or legally pursue a portfolio of debt accounts to. Our letters always state that we either own your delinquent loan or credit card account or claim now, or that the rights and obligations that you originally had with the lender have since been assigned to us. When we examine an account upon its acquisition or placement, one of the first steps in our process that we take is ordering a credit report so we can determine our steps we will take to recover said funds. These steps that we deem both appropriate and necessary to take are largely based on if your credit report indicates that your default is a habitual pattern, or if it is a one time anomaly, likely due to some kind of temporary hardship. This is the reason for the credit inquiry you noticed. However, we do not always directly report account delinquency to the consumer's credit reporting agencies for the simple fact that in the majority of situations, the bad debt has already been reported by the original lender and / or by the debt re-seller that preceded us in the chain of title. We at Pinnacle Asset Group in those circumstances feel it would be overly detrimental to the consumer to report that debt as delinquent yet again. If you do feel compelled to call the original lender to confirm they no longer own the account, they will simply refer you to who they initially sold or outsourced your account to, who in turn will then refer you to either us directly or to one of our clients who retained us to service their portfolio of accounts.

 
If you have any additional questions that have not been addressed above, please contact our office chief of staff, toll-free, at 1-866-751-2884, ext 228.