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Do you have the right to request proof of the remaining balance of your contract because your last payment is due and is different from the contract?

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2011-09-13 02:05:56
2011-09-13 02:05:56

Do you have the right to request proof, or substantiation how the balance was calculated? It depends upon the contract. While many companies find it prudent to deal with their customers openly, they often do so out of customer support reasons as opposed to contractual reasons.

You can request records of your payment history and your outstanding balance, but unless your contract states they must provide it, you do not have the right to demand it. If there is a disagreement concerning the final balance, and you have all the records and documents to prove your final balance calculation, then you have several options:

1 - Call them on the phone

Start with a phone call. Talk to them politely - never raise your voice or use profanity. Treat them the way you would like them to treat you. This is important if you need to prove later that you acted reasonably. Keep detailed written records of all your converations.

2 - Offer a final payment.

If you cannot come to a settlement over the phone, then send a cheque to the lender in the mail, and write very clearly on the cheque "FINAL PAYMENT FOR ACCOUNT". Attach a letter to the cheque explaining that, according to your calculations (you do not need to include your original records), this payment will clear the oustanding balance in your account. Further state in your letter that, by accepting this cheque, notwithstanding any provisions set out in the contract, the lender agrees that the attached cheque shall be the final payment required for the account. Photocopy both the signed cheque and signed letter for your own records before mailing it.

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Many companies deposit cheques before reading attached letters (at their own peril), so there is a good chance the company will deposit the cheque. If the lender demands subsequent payment, you will be on solid legal ground to refuse further payment. Even if the lender refers the matter to a collection agency, most collectors will acknowledge they have no means to collect after you send them photocopies of your copies of the checque and letter.

3 - Pay their amount

If it is a trivial difference (a few dollars), then it might just be easier, and less costly, to pay the amount they say you owe.

Do you homework

You must confirm that they received every payment exactly on or before the due date in full. If even one payment was made a day later (1st of the month on a Sunday, paid on Monday), a bit extra interest accrued that month and therefore a bit less principal was paid. If you paid on-line, sometimes the payment transaction takes days before the money actually arrives in the lender's account, and you can thus be charged for late fees even though you initiated the on-line transaction before the due date.

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From that point on, the interest is accruing on a slightly higher balance than the prediction and the final payment will be more. If you make a habit of paying as late as you can without a late charge (often 10 or 15 days), it can make a substantial difference in the final amount due. And of course, if you were even later with payments, there are probably late charges that were "deferred" and due at payoff.

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