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Let's not be too harsh to coffeeaddict...yet.

I work in the field and I would pay the CA if they own the debt. If they are just collecting it for the OC then thats a whole other story.

I'd have to disagree here. I'd much rather pay a CA collecting for an OC, than a JDB who now owns the debt and is using a holding company (ahem LVNV) to report as a creditor, and then pay the "servicer" of the account. Paying the OC at least minimizes the damage. Even without a PFD from the OC, you're only having one tradeline reported. Even if it is a CO or a Paid CO. With a JDB, you have the OC's CO and the JDBs tradeline. Double Damage. So, I'd definitely pay the OC's CA before I'd pay a JDB.

As for removing it from your CR, its not going to happen. It does not matter who you pay, the CR will report it as paid when its paid, in I think 7 years it will go away eventually but for now you will have to see it and so will everyone else.

There have been PFDs with many collectors. Granted, it's a slight violation of the CROA, but there are ways around that with a NDA, which essentially bars the CA from communicating with the CRAs, and in turn requires one more step from the consumer to dispute with them, but it still falls off because they can't verify. So it is possible, and with decent odds, to get it removed prior to the seven years. Hell, sometimes it just falls off with a dispute after it's paid, no PFD or NDA agreement. That of course is a rarity, though.

The thing is you paid it so that looks good and does not automatically mean you won't get credit, it will bring your score up.

The FICO algorithm is a fickle thing, and a paid collection not only reages the reporting period (which in turn is more damaging because it is more recent), but also almost nullifies your ability to dispute it off for being inaccurate. However, I do agree to an extent, that a paid account may look better to a lender (this is particularly important in mortgages, where some lenders require that you have no outstanding COs or unpaid collection accounts), but as far as FICO goes, paying is detrimental, and this is directly correlative to the age of the account. The older a collection is, the less likely it is to harm FICO substantially.

Also a cease and desist notice does NOT mean the CA or OC can not file legal papers and notify you. It does not stop any actions besides you not having to hear from them by phone or mail(besides legal proceedings).

This is mostly accurate. However, most states don't have C&D clauses that will apply to an OC. And because of this, we also have the DV.

My best advice, stop playing games with them and pay the debt if you owe it.

This is only good advice, if you've tapped out all of your other options. Remember, CIC is here to help you improve your credit. Not to help you settle your debts. Sometimes debt settlement is part of it, sometimes it's not. Situationally specific. And in the OP's case, he's not yet tapped all of his options.

They will mark it as paid and you move on. You could possibly settle for less than what you owe too, make them a reasonable offer,

Concurred. And you can possibly settle for less, or you can settle in full and get the CA to agree to delete or not disclose the TL. Hence, the credit repair aspect. My "reasonable offer" would be to go to court, drive up the litigation costs, and then see how serious they are about collecting the debt, but I'm a disciple of the Flyingifr method, so this advice may not apply to the OP.

if you own a home or any other items of great value, they will know because they can check your credit report.

And they can only check it occasionally. If they're doing it repeatedly, as many lowlife CAs are know to do, then they're poisoning your CR and you have actionable cause for FCRA violations. Not saying your company does this, but it's been done. And don't forget about state protections about garnishment exempt income and assets. There's more to it than just seeing if they have assets.

Just think, if you pay it, you won't have to spend every night and day on this site.

Strong is the social conditioning in this one it is. yoda_biography_3_normal.jpg

Also you may want to keep in mind that as your debt sits there its more than likely acruing post charge off interest which is just as high as the previous interest charged on it, the only thing not happening is the late fees and over the limit fees.

Unless it's a medical bill, in which interest is not allowable, or for a utility. Or in the case of a JDB, if they can't prove the contract, or chain of title, or chain of custody (especially the chain of custody). Then they may not be entitled to the debt at all. Also, the longer it sits there, the longer the SOL clock ticks, and if it's just not collectible, then the debt is forgiven due to the lack of ability to litigate on it. Couple that with a FOAD letter, and all you have to worry about is the potential 1099c. Again, not as cut and dried as we like to think it is.

Credit repair is not a rigidly defined, black and white one-size fits all affair. There's a wide expanse of grey area for debtors to explore every nook and cranny of.

Now, on to the OP:

Listen to Ahntara. If they won't PFD, they may agree to an NDA, which gives you the same results, but consists of one extra CRA dispute.

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"...a paid collection not only reages the reporting period..."

Paying off a collection account doesn't (automatically) trigger re-aging. The FCRA 1681c, Subsection 605 allows collection accounts to appear for 7 years plus 180 days from the 'beginning of the commencement of the delinquency' regardless of their status.

If a CA reaged an account upon PIF, that would be a violation.

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I stand corrected.

I think my chain of thought there was more along "reaging" in regards to FICO scoring. What I was thinking, but didn't express correctly, was that paying off an older collection, reages how FICO sees it. More recent = more damaging.

Or am I still off base?

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That's it LU...

Updating a collection account, for whatever reason (Payment, PIF, in response to a dispute or just because the DF wants to) may cause a drop in your score. FICO-based programs incorrectly view recently reported derogs as 'new' and penalize in the History category, which currently adds up to 35% of the total number. That can mean a huge hit depending on how the TL previously reported.

If coffeeaddict is unaware of this, perhaps he/she can understand why so many warn AGAINST paying collection accounts. Changing this aspect of the process could bring untold $ into CA's willing to accept a PFD.

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