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The OC wants to settle. Need help Lady in Red or CALI Law


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Ok here it goes. Merrick Bank bought out my Next Card Account 3 years ago. I had trouble and did not pay my Next Card so Merrick bought the account and I have never paid under Merrick Bank.

Well I have 1 neg left on TU and Merrick Bank last November wanted to settle with a reduced payment in the amount of 230 on a 351 bill. If paid they will show account as settled and paid in full. I sent them two letters stating that I don't have an account through Merrick Bank and to validate this. They did not and instead sent a second letter for a paid in full settlement.

Are they desperate for a settlement? Do I have the upper hand to negotiate paid in full for delete of tradeline. That is what I want.

Where do I stand legally on this and perhaps get a delete. Looking for a delete or will wait. Help

Desperate in California

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I'm not an attorney and do not live in CA.

But a close friend of mine advised me, (after the fact to help me), that he had paid some accounts of his in exchange for removing the info on his report. He advised that you should get it in writing in advance, because - if your ready for this - Collectors will lie to you on the phone to get you to send them money.

Sean claimed he had three bad items removed this way when he paid them. But I believe this should done through the OC (or whoever owns them now) and not through a CA.

The only thing I cannot tell you, may have to check California laws, is if you contact them to set up such a settlement - would this be an admission of the debt? You could try sending a letter stating - that they did not respond to previous letter, you think they have info wrong, however you will pay $xxx if they'll just get it off your credit report. Make sure you tell them you want a written response.

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Well, from the sounds of it, Merrick is acting as a debt collector in this instance(I could be wrong...it's early, but that's what I'm reading). If that's the case then they broke hte FDCPA by attempting to collect the debt while it was still in the validation phase. I'd fire em off a letter with all your correspondance(DV, green card, settlement letters, and a copy of the FDCPA with the relevant area highlighted) and say delete or get sued.

Regardless of anything, though...SOL in California is 3 years if I recall, so they have no recourse to collect the debt anyways. And "Settled-Paid in Full" isn't a good tradeline either, so that's pointless to pay them off.

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Xanathos brings up a good point - if they were acting as a CA. However I think Merrick Bank bought out all of Next Card's accounts. Good, bad and ugly. I don't know if you remember getting a form letter when they bought them out - saying Merrick would be taking over the account, blah blah blah - it also said you did not have to retain the account, blah blah blah, etc. Kind of like when GECCC bought out Greentree a few years ago. They now own my Dick's credit card, not Greentree.

I'm not an attorney, but I think in this case Merrick may be acting as an OC not a CA. They probably still have your account in house. It sounds like you had a problem, do owe the money, but if it's going to be on your credit report anyways - why pay it? I've been there. If you are beyond the three year margin to be sued, but you still want it off your credit report, and they are the OC - these are the people to talk to as part of your settlement. $$ for removal of tradeline. Especially if they can no longer sue, I'm sure their in house collectors would rather get the $$ than screw you for seven years. It can't hurt to ask.

If they are acting as a CA then I'd go with Xan's route.

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