So I have a credit card with Capital One. The limit on it was $1500. I went to study abroad for a summer and when I got back, the economy had completely wiped out my old work. I struggled to find a job and had to settle for minimum wage to pay my living expenses. In the interim, I was not able to pay the Capital One credit card. I have finally found a decent job and want to settle this credit card and start repairing my credit. I have been researching debt settlement and would like to send a validation letter to Capital One to start getting things in order. BUT, from all the horror stories I've read about Capital One, I am afraid their answer will be a lawsuit. So here are the facts:
1. The credit card was maxed out at $1500 when I made my last payment.
2. I haven't made a payment in just over 2 years now.
3. I haven't received any bills, credit notices, etc for just over a year.
4. The last bill I received showed the account at $2500.
5. I have started setting money aside and should have $3000-$4000 saved up by mid-October.
1. How should I initiate contact with Capital One? Should I call them? Or is it better to start out with a debt validation letter?
2. When should I contact them? Should I wait until I have enough $ saved up to pay in full in case they try to sue me? Or should I start now?
3. The general consensus is that Capital One will not completely remove a collections. Is this true even if the account is paid in full?
4. Is it better to settle for a lower sum or to pay in full to have the mark removed from my credit?
Thank you for any and all help that can be provided. I've been lurking here for some time researching my options and I know I still have a lot to learn!