In the recent past I suffered a loss of income, loss of health that prevented me from working with my hands, and loss of my marriage at about the same time. The combination made it difficult for me to stay current with credit card payments and I ended up in collection.
I set up payment arrangements with each company, which I kept faithfully until my income ended. Then I made settlement offers to FirstUSA, Discover and Citibank, which were accepted by the first two but not by Citibank. Even though Citibank was fully aware of my circumstances, they were absolutely inflexible and would be satisfied with nothing less than a full balance cash payoff. Eventually the Citibank account went to attorneys Shermeta, Chimko & Adams of Detroit. Even as they claimed to present my settlement offer to Citicard, they were preparing a lawsuit against me. The case was ordered to mediation, which failed because Citibank would negotiate nothing less than 90% of the balance in cash. I was then ordered to appear in court for a pre-trail hearing, for which I was told to present my evidence and argument to determine if the case should be dismissed or scheduled for trial. When I stood before the judge I found out it was the trail, not a pre-trial as the appearance order stated, for which I was unprepared and without legal representation. Even though I wanted to explain that Citibank had been fully paid for my purchases and interest and the account balance was for penalties only that should not have been charged, I was not given the opportunity to fully state my case with a judgment against me awarded to Citibank. They claimed to be able to attach any income, checking and savings accounts, and tax returns.
If you have trouble paying credit cards, be 100% open and truthful and they will most likely work with you. However, this does not apply to Citibank. I settled the other accounts for 25% and 40%.
Citibank understands only one strategy: go for the jugular, draw as much blood as possible, and take no prisoners. An attorney who specializes in credit card cases would not take my case because he said Citibank was impossible to work with, and that's the reputation they want to portray so people are afraid of them.
If you have a Citibank credit card and there is the slightest chance you will ever have a financial hiccup, get rid of it right now in favor of any other card.
If you ever deal with attorneys Shermeta, Chimko & Adams, watch your backside and be very careful about trusting what they say.
If you ever find yourself in Holland, Michigan 58th District Court, be prepared to feel betrayed.
Most important, get rid of your Citibank credit card now while you still have the option to do so. Any other credit card company would be better.