Pay for Deletes?

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I have been reading that if it comes to the point where I have to settle with the collections agencies I should negotiate a pay for delete, rather that paid in full or some other jargon like that.


However, I have been researching and Ive heard from some others say that it's technically illegal and a lot of them wont agree to this. Is this true? Because one source says go for it and another says it doesnt work and its better off to just let the debt sit on your report because merely settling the debt won't do anything beneficial for your credit score.


I'm new to all this so thanks for all your help.

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If the debt is with an OC probably not. If its with a JDB then maybe.


Just be careful because many people end up in a  much worse situation trying this. Any agreements you make should be in writing and always have a legal professional look them over. 

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So basically I want to dispute every negative account with the bureaus first. If the bureaus can't validate it with the creditor than I am good on those ones and they are removed. If they do legitimize the account I am going to have to wheel and deal with the collection companies to try to get the lowest settlement while obtaining a pay for delete. I'm not sure how hardcore the guys Im dealing with are.  Worst case, I negotiate a lower settlement with paid in full or something like that on the report?  But that wont really do anything really that substantial to my score so I am going to hope the bureaus take care of it right off the bat. If they don't I guess I have to play the waiting game and wait for my score to climb by paying all my bills on time, maybe get a few secured credit cards and keep optimal balance percentages, And possibly dispute a few inquiries?


I just dont really trust these JDB's to honor their side of the deal and totally delete the account. Have you ever heard of someone setting up a deal like that and paying the collection agency and they didnt honor their side if the bargain?


Any other ideas you can think of, besides what I mentioned, that could bump my score up?


Thanks alot guys, this helps a lot. Im reading a ton but I love hearing from people with experience.

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PFD works when you have the leverage.  You have the leverage when they can no longer sue you for the debt.  Has the SOL passed for filing a lawsuit?  Because if it has not you could simply be waking a sleeping bear by alerting them to the fact you have money they can try to grab in a judgment.


When I did PFD with a few CAs (NOT JDBs)  I sent my settlement offer with 2 signed copies of my settlement agreement which included the following terms:


  • I would pay within 14 calendar days of receiving the settlement agreement back
  • no 1099-C
  • They would delete the TL with all 3 bureaus within 7 calendar days of receiving my payment
  • the amount of the settlement was full and final payment.  Any remaining amount no longer was collectible.
  • No selling of the debt to a JDB
  • failure of either side to perform within the defined required period stated in the agreement constituted a breach of contract and for consumer non-performance the offer to settle was null and void.  For CA non-performance suit for breach of contract, damages, and violations of the FCRA and FCDPA.

The last part of the letter said if they agreed to the settlement to have an authorized representative sign and return one copy to me and keep a copy for their records. All 3 did so within a couple of weeks and I paid via money order the same day I received their copy back accepting and mailed it with delivery confirmation.


It isn't that PFD is illegal, that is just the excuse they give to refuse to do it.  The CRA contracts state they are not supposed to do it but it doesn't mean they can't. 

Some companies have a hard line stance against doing it and no matter what you put on the table:  they will not do it.  Keep in mind that even if you get the JDB to delete it may not get the OC TL off.  They have every legal right to report to the end of that 7 year reporting period.  


"Any other ideas you can think of, besides what I mentioned, that could bump my score up?"


The ONLY thing that is guaranteed to work to improve a credit score is TIME.  Two years of good payments with no lates on current accounts and getting negative entries removed either through them dropping off after the reporting SOL, settlement, or PFD.  It all takes TIME.  You didn't get in debt over night and you won't get out overnight either.

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thanks guys, I just need to get to a 620 to get my VA home loan. Im at 550-575. I'm also thinking of writing some "goodwill" letters to some creditors I missed a couple payments on, cant hurt right?


It is going to take WAY WAY more than simply getting to a 620 credit score to be approved for a mortgage.  You have a LONG list of very recent debt that you can be sued for and any underwriter is going to require that they ALL be cleaned up and taken care of whether it says paid/closed or is not even showing.  There is NO way you will be approved with bad debt reporting that you can be sued for.  The mortgage underwriter is not going to take the risk that they put a lien on the home then you default on them.  

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they told me as long as everything is paid off 


THOSE are the key words.  You have 12 negative accounts totaling quite a bit of money.  Unless you can pay all of them you are looking at 6-12 months minimum to even begin approaching a 620 and getting it all taken care of to an underwriter's satisfaction.  This is why you deal with ALL the debt problems BEFORE you go house hunting.

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