To J. Edgar or anyone who can

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by C, May 29, 2000.

  1. C

    C Guest

    I made the subject to J. Edgar since he was the one who helped me with the problem of removing items from my credit report, but of course anyone who can offer credible advice is helpful. He told me that since collection agencies buy charge-offs for pennies on the dollar, I could make a deal to pay less than half of the amount I really owe. Exactly how would I go about writing such a letter to the collection agency? I've never done this before and I am a little wary that if not done the right way, I could ruin my chances of lowering my balance due and having the item removed from my credit report. I have a $1300 charge-off, so how much do you think I should bargain for? 300? 400? How would I word my letter? Any comments would really help. Thanks so much!
  2. Barry N -

    Barry N - Guest

    RE: To J. Edgar or anyone who


    Before you write any letter you need to actually negotiate the deal over the phone with a rep at the agency. How much you offer on the account depends on the age of the debt. For instance if it is only a year old, you will have less chance to negotiate. IF it is 4 years old, then you can get great deal... since the statute of limitation on the debt is most likely about to run out. You may have to agree to higher payoff to get the agency to agree to a positive rating or removal the item in your credit files.

    Negotiate on the phone, get the name of the agency rep that agreed to the deal. Mail them the letter outlining the agreement, and have their rep sign and return it to you. And then and only then do you mail them a check. Remember certified/return receipt mail is your friend, use it!

    We have an example letter on our site:

    Good Luck,

  3. J. Edgar

    J. Edgar Well-Known Member

    RE: To J. Edgar or anyone who

    Barry has given you pretty much the same advice I would have offered. Negotiate with them on the phone. Give them a low ball offer to start with and tell them that it's all you can afford right now. When they try to bump you, hem and haw and say things like "Well, I guess I could sell my wedding ring." or something to sound equally as pathetic. Let them think you are a total loser. It's in your best interest at this point.

    Once you've agreed on a reasonable number (taking into account the age of the debt), then you can hit them with the terms and conditions (removal from credit file upon full payment of agreed amount, no further collection actions, etc.) Get THEM to draft and mail a payment agreement. They do this all of the time, so it's easy for them to spit one out of the computer.

    When you get it, mark it up with all of the changes that are necessary that are inconsistant with you verbal understanding with them, including any omissions, along with a letter stating that the agreement as presented does no reflect the understanding that you came to with <name of person you dealt with>. Insist on a redraft.

    Repeat as many times as necessary until you get what you want, but don't back away from what you've already agreed to.

    If they balk, remind them that the statue of limitations is going to run out in X months (if that's the case) and they will get no money and you don't care if it stays on your report for another 2-3 years. (You may not mean this, but say this.) They want the money. They'll come around.

    To recap:

    1. Call them on the phone and pretend you are ignorant about things until you get them to agree to a number you find acceptable.

    2. Then hit them with the terms and conditions.

    3. Now it's time to show your smarts. Get their draft agreement and then red-pencil the hell out of it so it says what you want.

    4. Persist until they agree to want you want.

    5. When they do, send them all the money or begin paying it if you are going to send them installments.

    6. When you are all done paying, send a follow up letter recapping the agreement and asking for proof that they've complied.

    7. Check your credit report in 2-3 months to make sure they have.
  4. Doris K.

    Doris K. Well-Known Member

    RE: To J. Edgar or anyone who

    Very good, Barry and J. Edgar! No matter what, just keep in mind that the person you'll talk to will definately want to strike a deal. This person will most likely receive a percentage of the amount he/she collects, so his/her salary depends on making a deal.

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