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What if you DO owe the debt?


webmistress
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If you owe an OC, then by all means pay it. But you should first try to negotiate a favorable settlement. Maybe they could lower interest rate or agree not to wreck your credit? If you want to pay them and they want to take your money, you should be able to work something out together. A CA or a JDB is a different story all together...

How do you really know that you owe these people any money? Have you ever had business dealings with them? Imagine if I came to your door said "Hey, your neighbor says you owe him money. Pay me it now--plus whatever interest and penalties I say you owe!" Would you pay up, even if you did owe your neighbor money? What if you paid me and then a week later another guy shows up and tells you that, no, you ought to pay him what you owe your neighbor.... or he going to embarrass you at work or take your house?

The whole industry is a joke. Apparently it's more profitable to harass and intimate people than it is to play by the rules, follow the laws, and keep accurate records. If that's how they want to play, then fine. There's a difference between morally owing someone money and legally owing someone money. If it makes you feel better, pay these guys after you beat them at their own legal game. Or donate to a charity in their name. But don't be another "success story" for them or their business methods will never change.

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Nice answer Shortbus.

No matter if I owe a bill or not....I still send a DV. If they send me valid validation...then I work with the OC to pay it. I also always try to work for a delete. If I pay it and they don't delete it....my credit is still wrecked.

What's the point of the CA not deleting after you pay the bill? It's for spite. They don't care....they got paid.

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No matter if I owe a bill or not....I still send a DV. If they send me valid validation...then I work with the OC to pay it.

Validation is there for a lot of reasons. One that consumers seem to forget about is to prevent fraudulent claims. The validation process, by it's nature, is supposed to confirm that a debt collector has been authorized by the OC to pursue the debt...and that it isn't just some shmo sending you a bill demanding money.

Still, it is never wise to pay a collector. Their records are, by and large, abysmal. There is no way to guarantee that you have not paid too much, or that you won't get a demand to pay it again from another collector. Deal with the OC as much as possible.

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Thanks everyone!

If you owe an OC, then by all means pay it. But you should first try to negotiate a favorable settlement. Maybe they could lower interest rate or agree not to wreck your credit? If you want to pay them and they want to take your money, you should be able to work something out together. A CA or a JDB is a different story all together...

How do you really know that you owe these people any money?

These are credit cards that I know I owe. So if I settled with the OC, would my credit score automatically go up?

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You score would go up merely because you've reduced your credit utilization, yes. Sometimes that alone could be a healthy boost. That's the only thing you'll get automatically without haveing to ask for it.

But... unless you negotiate it ahead of time, your negative payment information will still remain on your CR and drag down the score. If you've been a good customer for a while and are only marginally late, sometimes the OC will agree to delete the late pays if you write them a goodwill letter. If the account is horribly mangled and you have ducking them for a while, then you're better off trying to negotiate a "pay for delete" instead which will delete the whole account rather than spot clean it. However, getting a PFD from a CC company is next to impossible (doesn't hurt to try though).

Either way though, you'll want to deal with this ASAP. Once the CC company gives up trying to collect from you, the TL is updated as "Charge off" which will tank your score. Things will get even worse if they sue you and get a judgment. So deal with them now--sooner the better.

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You score would go up merely because you've reduced your credit utilization, yes. Sometimes that alone could be a healthy boost. That's the only thing you'll get automatically without haveing to ask for it.

But... unless you negotiate it ahead of time, your negative payment information will still remain on your CR and drag down the score. If you've been a good customer for a while and are only marginally late, sometimes the OC will agree to delete the late pays if you write them a goodwill letter. If the account is horribly mangled and you have ducking them for a while, then you're better off trying to negotiate a "pay for delete" instead which will delete the whole account rather than spot clean it. However, getting a PFD from a CC company is next to impossible (doesn't hurt to try though).

Either way though, you'll want to deal with this ASAP. Once the CC company gives up trying to collect from you, the TL is updated as "Charge off" which will tank your score. Things will get even worse if they sue you and get a judgment. So deal with them now--sooner the better.

:(wow, thanks, it's not looking too good for me right now. We got behind when my husband lost his job. We are just now starting to get back on our feet. The collection agency sends settlement offers, such as "send 3 installments of $750." We can't afford that, so it remains unsettled. And I've been told to stay off the phone and not negotiate with the CA. So is it ok to negotiate with the OC?

Excuse my ignorance, but I'm a newbie and keep reading different things.

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I just read this...

"When negative information in your report is accurate, only the passage of time can assure its removal."

So there's no need for me to dispute? I've been wasting my time reading/studying? So everyone (on here and creditboards) whose had negatives removed from their report actually had inaccurate info on their report? That's a lot of people...

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webmistress: What you read on the net is flavored by the author's experience and perspective. The statement you quoted sounds like something from the CRA's or FTC. If so, then understand that the credit/finance industry has a huge vested interest in keeping the status quo. They live and die by the information bought and sold each day. Letting it be known that much of it is flawed, faulty and easily shielded from view would jeopardize their livelihood.

Many consumers obtain their credit goals by the methods discussed here and elsewhere, although there are no guarantees.

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I just read this...

"When negative information in your report is accurate, only the passage of time can assure its removal."

So there's no need for me to dispute? I've been wasting my time reading/studying? So everyone (on here and creditboards) whose had negatives removed from their report actually had inaccurate info on their report? That's a lot of people...

I've had one legit "account is not mine" error removed. The rest have been removed because they couldn't prove to me (or a CRA) that I owed them money. Were they likely debts that were legitimately mine? Most likely, yes. But if you can't prove to me that I owe you money, why would I possibly pay you? It would seem like a pretty obvious prerequisite to have that documentation before demanding money. But apparently debt collectors have figured out that so few debtors bother asking for proof that it isn't worth the cost to acquire and maintain it.

Debt collection is probably the shadiest--yet legal--profession on the planet. I'd feel like an idiot if I let some JDB bully me into paying them only to discover they previously sold the account to another JDB (who might sue me). So no proof = no payment.

Now, the one OC that I have an outstanding debt with is the only one that I am actively negotiating with. And that's because they can prove what I owe them.

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:(wow, thanks, it's not looking too good for me right now. We got behind when my husband lost his job. We are just now starting to get back on our feet. The collection agency sends settlement offers, such as "send 3 installments of $750." We can't afford that, so it remains unsettled. And I've been told to stay off the phone and not negotiate with the CA. So is it ok to negotiate with the OC?

Excuse my ignorance, but I'm a newbie and keep reading different things.

"Stupid is forever, ignorance can be fixed." ;)

Yes, feel free to contact the OC. They might try to make you talk to the CA, but be insistent. Tell them that you refuse to communicate with the CA because you don't trust them and you're trying to make a good faith effort to resolve this matter. After all, you owe the OC, not the CA.

I'd recommend that you know exactly what you want out of the call before dialing though. Figure out what you can afford and then present those terms. Don't make the mistake of calling them up asking what can they do for you, rambling on about how much your life has sucked, and how deeply sorry you are. They hear this same story all day, every day so don't bother wasting their time. They're more interested in how the problem is going to be solved rather than how it was created. You can commiserate here instead if you'd like :-) Just briefly explain the situation and then tell them what you want to do to correct it. Don't be intimidated, but don't be nasty.

Whatever deal that you do come to, make sure that you follow through with it though. You're likely only going to have one bite at the apple if you want to resolve it amicably. So don't be pressured into paying more than you know you can afford.

You might want to identify the creditor, the amount you owe, and how far past due you are. Different banks have varying reputations and policies. Other people here might be able to chime in with some more specific advice.

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I just read this...

"When negative information in your report is accurate, only the passage of time can assure its removal."

So there's no need for me to dispute? I've been wasting my time reading/studying? So everyone (on here and creditboards) whose had negatives removed from their report actually had inaccurate info on their report? That's a lot of people...

If your ultimate goal is to repair your credit by all legal means then I would say that it was time well spent.

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