jillm, Home Buyer in Bensalem, PA

I called a debt collector the other day to try to make a settlement with them. I offered them $50 of the $108 that i owe

Asked by jillm, Bensalem, PA Tue Jan 15, 2013

They accepted it but refused to put anything in writing that they would accept it as paid in full. They said they do everything electronically and it would be sent to the credit bureaus electronically. Is this true that they dont put anything in writing?

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Alan Openshaw, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Southampton, PA
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Hello Jill,

I would tell them to bug off. If they are willing to make an agreement they can fax it to you. Otherwise there is nothing to stop them coming after you again or selling the debt. I have seen it happen too many times. Get a letter in writing faxed to you stating that if the $ XXX is paid by 0X/0X/2013 then the debt will be considered paid in full. ZThen pay by phone so that you now have proof that they received it on time.

As for not paying the debt at all......it may not affect your credit as much as you think. I often recommend leaving old debt alone.

Please feel free to call me anytime about fixing your credit. I will be happy to help

Alan Openshaw
Cornerstone Lending Inc
Southampton Pa 18966
215 953 0800
cell 267 992 7276
NMLS ID 143960
1 vote
No they cannot take more money and you can always reverse the credit card payment if they do not report the collection as paid
Flag Thu Jan 17, 2013
If i pay by phone with a credit card, and i do get a letter in writing would there be any chance that they could just take more money from my account? I know this may seem like a dumb question but I read somewhere that they could do that
Flag Wed Jan 16, 2013
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Tue Jan 22, 2013
Good morning jillm,

I agree with Alan, although I would probably use stronger, fouler language (hey, I'm in New York!). If you're willing to pay, a Collection Agency is usually tripping over themselves to accomodate your payment. They want their money, after all!

Here's an excerpt from my blog about "How To Settle A Collection Account:"

"Once you and the representative (or the rep’s supervisor’s supervisor!) have worked out the final number and your method of payment you will ask for written confirmation BEFORE you send off any money.

I once had a client settle two collection accounts for his daughters’ cellphone bills. He made the call, followed my instructions and got his payment in the same day. But he neglected to get a written confirmation that his payment would permanently settle the account. We discovered about a month later that the creditor maintained a balance due for the difference between what he had paid and what they felt was due.

GET WRITTEN CONFIRMATION OF THE SETTLEMENT AMOUNT BEFORE SENDING PAYMENT. This written confirmation should also indicate that you will permanently settle this collection account, no balance will be due, the amount of the settlement, and that your account with this collection agency will be closed. And you want this written confirmation on the collection agency’s letterhead, signed by the representative (or appropriate party at the collection agency) and dated. Email confirmation is NOT acceptable. Further, do not accept a letter if it doesn’t indicate all of the above terms and if it isn’t signed and dated."

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
Mobile: 516-582-9181
Office: 516-829-2900
Fax: 516-829-2944
PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
185 Great Neck Rd, Suite 240
Great Neck NY 11021
Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Dept. of Financial Services
0 votes
Hey Trevor! Thanks! That does help. I am also from New York. The bronx actually, so i think i may have needed that little push from you to get myself to start being pushy right back to these people!! Ill let you know how it goes.
Flag Tue Jan 22, 2013
R. Eric Axel…, Agent, Sewell, NJ
Tue Jan 15, 2013
Jill, I said it in my first sentence. "Ask for a fax." If you're asking about the law, you're in the wrong place. Consult a consumer affairs attorney.
0 votes
Shane Milne, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, South Jordan, UT
Tue Jan 15, 2013
From my understanding, no they don't have to give written correspondence because they don't have to settle the debt. However if it was me it would be in my best interest to get them to write a letter stating that paying $50 would settle the debt, because they could accept $50 and still want the remaining $58. So if it was me, I'd be polite and call them up and offer to pay them the $50 but would need that letter ahead of time.

Shane Milne | Lending in all 50 states | NMLS #81195
0 votes
thanks shane. I thought thats how it went. they did accept my settlement offer as "paid in full" but would not give me written confirmation of it. I think they wanted to use it as a payment and try to collect the other portion at a later time.
Flag Wed Jan 16, 2013
jillm, Home Buyer, Bensalem, PA
Tue Jan 15, 2013
Im not really getting the answers i need here... Maybe my question was too vague? All I'm looking for is if they have to give me written correspondence if i ask for it.
0 votes
Joshua Stein, Agent, Conshohocken, PA
Tue Jan 15, 2013
Eric's right. If the debt was over a year old, most credit counselors would recommend leaving it be.

Now that collection account will be the first thing that lender's see when they pull your credit report. Paid in full or not, that account will have a negative effect on your credit, since you just rest the clock on that debt.

Joshua Stein
Coldwell Banker Preferred
1207 Fayette St.
Conshohocken, PA 19428
(610) 828-9558 Office
(215) 866-8030 Cell
0 votes
ok so the debt is not even a year old and they just reported LAST MONTH.
Flag Tue Jan 15, 2013
R. Eric Axel…, Agent, Sewell, NJ
Tue Jan 15, 2013
They should be able to send you a fax. Did you know that what you just did may actually LOWER your score? By speaking with them and submitting a payment, that debt is shown as having "recent activity."if you haven't already, I would contact a professional before doing anything further. I'm presuming your goal is to buy a home in the near future.

Feel free to call me. I'd be happy to chat with you.

Eric Axelson, Associate Broker
Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty
956.979.5967 cell
Web Reference:  http://ericusa.com
0 votes
they just reported to the credit bureaus in december. and its now january
Flag Tue Jan 15, 2013
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