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advice needed on debt settlement strategy


braveheart90
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This is my first post and I would like to thank everyone who contributes to this site. I have just started my credit repair journey and the amount of valuable information provided on this site is incredible.

My question pertains to a settlement offer follow-up. I sent an initial settlement offer to CA for $830 (25% of the original balance). The settlement offer was tailored after one of the sample letters provided on this site so I made sure to ask for a paid for delete but did not acknowledge the debt.

Today I received the following response in the email. Attached to it was copy of an inquiry into my credit report on which my name, social sec # and their account info were highlighted. I’m assuming this was their DV.

"Dear___,

As per our conversation, we have agreed to settle your account in full. The agreed upon settlement amount is $2,650. This amount must be received on or before 11/26/2007. Failure to comply with this agreement will deem this settlement null and void. Upon receipt of your payment, we will forward verification that your account is paid in full. Furthermore, we will request that all three major consumer reporting agencies update all marks pertaining to CCC and your credit report."

What is my next step here? I definitely didn’t have a conversation with them nor did I agree to a settlement amount of $2,650. I’m obviously going to counter-offer but am unsure on the verbiage I should use or how much I should offer. Do I even bother to ask for a pay for delete again?

Thank you all in advance for your help, it is greatly appreciated.

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This is becoming a common ploy that CAs use to get consumers to pay. They send letters outlining a settlement agreement and mention a conversation about the settlement that never happened. Debtors often have more than one account in collections and get confused thinking that maybe they did agree to a settlement.

Did you send a debt validation request before sending the settlement letter? That letter sent to you is not validation. If you have been waiting for validation, why did you send a settlement offer?

Which CA is it? Who is the original creditor?

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I did not send a validation request just an initial settlement offer. I'm under intense pressure to clean up my credit report and thought I could make a deal with the CA.

My initial letter/settlement offer basically stated that "while I have yet to have the debt verified to me as legitimate I can save us both some by settling this alleged debt out. offer. It is not a renewed promise to pay nor does it constitute any agreement unless you sign and return it. I have not agreed yet that this debt is mine and have the option to seek further proof from your agency of this debt.

The CA is Complete Credit Solution, the OC was Chase/Circuit City account was closed 12/2003.

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You say that you are under pressure to clean up your credit. Have you recently applied for a mortgage? Collection agencies trying to collect from you have access to your credit reports. If they see that a bank has done a hard pull they are going to be thinking that you are in credit clean up mode, and they are going to be agressive about squeezing every cent out of you, especially since you talked settlement before asking them for validation.

I don't have any experience with Complete Credit Solution. I would send a DV, but if you are determined to settle, they all will usually go lower than their first offer. Does Chase still own the account or has it been sold?

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