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Should I attempt to Validate a debt first, or try to Settle?


wyoshiela
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I have received a settlement offer letter from First Collection Services for a $450 debt that I owe to Alltel from about a year ago when we switched carriers. They have offered that I pay about 70% of the debt.

I would like to settle for much less than that.

I have read on this site about the verification process, but I know we did owe Allel, and I don't want this to end up in the courts at all. I don't want to threaten what I don't want to follow through on. I do not know if the debt was assigned or purchased. So I am wondering if I should start there or jump straight to the "Agreement to Compromise a Debt" letter, offering 25%.

Also, if they do not accept that, do I just keep making settlement offers?

I do want to take care of this quickly, I don't have the stamina to drag it out for a long period.

Thank you so much for any insight you may have.

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If you don't want to drag it out by going the validation route, then make them a counter offer. It's not likely they will be quick to sue you over an amount that small, especially if you are trying to work it out. But the validation isn't always about if you owe the debt or not, it's about WHO you owe the debt to. You want to make sure the party saying you owe is the actual party entitled to collect. You don't want to pay in good faith and then have someone else down the line say you owe THEM the money. It happens all the time. And you don't have to send a nasty or threatening letter like you've probably seen on here. Just tell them you would like to discuss settling this, but you would like some documentation proving they are rightfully entitled to settle this account. Good luck.

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You want to make sure that they own the debt and are able to agree to a settlement that will end any further collection attempts.

Since it's only been a year, more than likely Alltel still owns the debt. I think you meant to say the OP wants to make sure the CA was authorized by Alltel to collect the debt, and that any monies paid to the CA will go to Alltel.

If it were me, I'd check my credit report to see if Alltel is reporting. If they are reporting, see if their entry says "sold/transferred". If it doesn't, they still own it. Then call Alltel and offer to pay them directly. If they agree to that get it in writing that the debt has been paid in full.

If they want you to pay the CA, make sure the CA who's contacted you is the one Alltel hired. Then go through the same thing with the CA and get everything in writing. After that, I would still contact Alltel to make sure they recorded the payment.

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Since it's only been a year, more than likely Alltel still owns the debt. I think you meant to say the OP wants to make sure the CA was authorized by Alltel to collect the debt, and that any monies paid to the CA will go to Alltel.

If it were me, I'd check my credit report to see if Alltel is reporting. If they are reporting, see if their entry says "sold/transferred". If it doesn't, they still own it. Then call Alltel and offer to pay them directly. If they agree to that get it in writing that the debt has been paid in full.

If they want you to pay the CA, make sure the CA who's contacted you is the one Alltel hired. Then go through the same thing with the CA and get everything in writing. After that, I would still contact Alltel to make sure they recorded the payment.

Yes. The important part is that whoever you settle with has the power to do so. You don't want to settle and then have someone else come after you for the remainder.

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Yes. The important part is that whoever you settle with has the power to do so. You don't want to settle and then have someone else come after you for the remainder.

WHAT!!! A CA would do such a thing??? What is this world coming to? :rolleyes:

In all seriousness, you're absolutely right. I'm sure there are many who've trusted the "nice person on the phone who was only trying to help".

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Thank you everyone for your answers; I will definately be contacting Alltel to determine if they still own the debt. If they do, is it still reasonable to offer a 25% settlement?

It depends on what you can actually afford to pay. If 25% is your limit, don't start there. Start lower and hope you can compromise at 25. Something that small though, will likely go at 50-60%, but try anyway. You never know...

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