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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Corrie, Jul 17, 2000.
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Is the debt valid? What I mean is, has the statute of limitations passed (for your state and the type of loan) and you don't legally owe it any more? Many collection agencies will try to scam you by attempting collection, often for reduced amounts, on accounts that have passed the statute of limitations and can NOT be legally collected on. Every state is different, and every type of loan have different lengths. You can check on www.creditinfocenter.com - there is a page that will tell you exactly how long the statute lasts for your type of loan.
Don't confuse the statute of limitations for COLLECTING versus the length that an account can be reported on your credit report - these are two DIFFERENT things. Most derogatory items can be reported for 7 to 10 years, while most statutes allow collection (obtaining a judgement for collection, actually) from 4 to 7 years.
If it IS a valid, collectable debt, get EVERYTHING IN WRITING BEFORE you send a dime. Make sure it's on the letterhead of the company or agency listed ON YOUR REPORT, as they are the only ones who have the right to change your credit report. Make sure it's in writing that everything will be REMOVED and all history of the account DELETED from the records of the creditor. Do NOT agree to or participate in any payment plan (payments over time) -- this will restart the clock on both the statute of limitations as well as your credit history.
It is always advisable to deal with the creditor when trying to reduce the amount owed. The creditor is also more willing to work with you.