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 repâ€™s supervisorâ€™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 daughtersâ€™ 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 agencyâ€™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 doesnâ€™t indicate all of the above terms and if it isnâ€™t signed and dated."
PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
185 Great Neck Rd, Suite 240
Great Neck NY 11021
Licensed Mortgage Banker â€“ NYS Dept. of Financial Services