hope_faith

requesting to settle debt with collection agency

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i have a $1,500  close collection account. the original creditor was verizon wireless, it is indeed my debt so is it necessary to validate the debt or can i just skip ahead to  contacting the collection agency requesting a settlement of hopefully 25% or even less  of it?  i wanted to ask them if they could work with me in hopes that if they honor a affordable settlement will they promise to remove it. i honestly let my family member get service and they basically left me with this ridiculous debt that really hurt my credit.   Date of First Delinquency Dec 01, 2013 and here we are May 2017 i still have a long way to go until it goes away and i was going to just wait it out but if i can fix this i surely will. please help with the best way to go about dealing with this. thanks

 

 

 

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I would send a DV letter, even if you know it's your debt.  It sets up your rights, and they may make a mistake or violate the FDCPA.  Then you can sue them for $1000, and they will pay your attorney's fees too.  

Calif. has a four year SOL, so you aren't that far off from the end of the SOL.  Yes, it will remain on your credit report until it ages off,  7 years after default.

 

Also, look into arbitration.  That would give you leverage for a good settlement - like mutual walkaway.

 

i'm not trying to be rude or insulting, but, IMO, calling the collection agency and hoping they will give you a good, low settlement is naive.   They are more likely to think they have a sucker on the line and will try to get as much as they can from you, with lies and threats, if necessary.  These people do this for a living every day, and you don't.

Negotiation is best done from a position of strength and power, not from weakness, which is where you are if you just hope they will be nice to you.

You need leverage over them.    Such as: (1) waiting until the SOL expires, so they can't sue you.  That takes away their main powerful weapon.  (2) finding violations you can sue them for;  and (3) using arbitration to raise their costs of collection.

 

 

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I appreciate your advice and expertise. I actually thought i would just never try to do anything with this debt because honestly,  Ive made some bad choices throughout my early adult life and at my mature age im just barely for the first time adulting and boy do i wish i could go back and not be so irresponsible! i sometimes daydream about about what it would be like to get a little more financial independence. 

im going to follow the steps to deal with this collections account and see how it all ends. Im grateful that im learning a thing or two about something i thought i would not ever get around to working on. According to credit karma my two scores are 619 and 614 and im sure to most thats not good at all but i was so happy to make it to the 600s! proud moment for me and thinking i may have more options for credit i did apply for a second capital one card that was recommended as a VERY GOOD chance for approval odds and i was crushed when i was with no hesitation denied. that just really bummed me out and made me super cautious to even try applying for anything else.  i have been obsessing over my credit and it is giving me anxiety. i would love for someone to direct me to something else that i can do help me with this process. thanks for your time and being so informative. 

 

Edited by hope_faith

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First, I would recommend deleting, or heavily editing, the credit report you attached to your previous post.  It contains your name, addresses, DOB, and other identifying information.

Second, is the debt in question the one with Jefferson Capital?  If so, I think this company is a JDB, and the original creditor's account  has been sold to them.   The good news with that is JDBs are usually easier to defeat in court or arbitration.  Plus, they tend to violate as well.

I suspected that your goal is to clean up your credit, and, the JDB can guess that's your goal, too.  That is the usual scenario when there is a debt that has gone unpaid for 3.5 years, and then the debtor wants to settle.  They know you are desperate, and again, that is negotiating from  a position of weakness.

Has the JDB or its collection agency contacted you about the debt?    If so, how?  Letters, phone calls?  Are they being aggressive, threatening to sue?  Or have you just seen their trade line on your credit report?

I would advise, if you do settle with them, to be sure to get an agreement IN WRITING before you send them any money.  You need to emphasize that the settlement extinguishes the debt, and that the account cannot be sold to another JDB.

I think your first step needs to be disputing the debt, both with the JDB and the credit reporting agencies.  Then see what happens.  You can keep posting here for help through the process.

 

 

 

 

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If this is a JDB, I would send a dispute letter within 30 days of getting the first collection attempt from them.  Don't just say "validation", I would use the word "dispute".  My letter would look like this:

"I dispute this alleged debt. Please verify".  That's all that needs to be said.

I would also scour my credit report and find any mistakes.  JDBs are 99% likely to make some kind of mistake.  I would dispute the account with all 3 credit agencies.

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Thank you for replying and no I have not gotten any calls letters or threats of being sued, I am obsessed with my credit and this is now the only thing that is negative on my report. So I guess my first step is to send a DV letter and then go from there? By doing that do I risk starting over my clock for how long it will remain on my report? Also, how much longer should I expect to see it on my report if I leave it as is ? When did my clock actually start and does disputing with credit karma enough? I'm so ignorant to this. Thanks!

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No, disputing a debt does not start any clock over.  Just keep your dispute letter short and simple, like fisthardcheese recommended, above.   Don't admit to the debt or give them any information about it or yourself.

Bad debts remain on your credit reports 7 years after default, which is what starts the clock.

I would dispute with the JDB directly, and with each of the credit reporting bureaus.  I wouldn't use a service like Credit Karma.  

 

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I would not dispute directly with the JDB. I would not send a "DV letter" unless you have been contacted by then first.

I would simply dispute with the CRAs.

Always use hard copies. Credit Karma doesnt give you proper information.

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On 5/18/2017 at 1:06 PM, nobk4me said:

No, disputing a debt does not start any clock over.  Just keep your dispute letter short and simple, like fisthardcheese recommended, above.   Don't admit to the debt or give them any information about it or yourself.

Bad debts remain on your credit reports 7 years after default, which is what starts the clock.

I would dispute with the JDB directly, and with each of the credit reporting bureaus.  I wouldn't use a service like Credit Karma.  

 

So just to make sure I understand,  I appreciate the advice from anyone who gives it but quite honestly, I'm scared to make a wrong move so I need step by step directions. The JDB has never tried to contact me and the only knowledge of the collection is from viewing my Credit reports mind you I seen it go from the original creditor Verizon wireless/Charged off account to the current JDB/collection account Jefferson Capital Systems so I'm going to First: 

Dispute via all 3 reporting agencies but what is my reason for dispute since I'm responsible for the debt regardless of whom I let use the account and not pay, unless there is some type of loop hole I may use that I'm unaware of? 

After disputing, what is the possible next step from the agency I'm disputing likely to do? I know I'm not settling yet but if that is a possibility would $400 of the $1600 debt sound like an amount that's reasonable for all parties? Anything more than $400 is something I'm not prepared to pay so if someone could let me know what I may have to come up with I would be grateful. Last question, how much would it cost for getting help with hiring a professional to do all this stuff? Would I be better off or can I handle myself? I am aiming to get it removed from my credit reports asap

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On 5/15/2017 at 3:45 PM, nobk4me said:

I would send a DV letter, even if you know it's your debt.  It sets up your rights, and they may make a mistake or violate the FDCPA.  Then you can sue them for $1000, and they will pay your attorney's fees too.  

Calif. has a four year SOL, so you aren't that far off from the end of the SOL.  Yes, it will remain on your credit report until it ages off,  7 years after default.

 

Also, look into arbitration.  That would give you leverage for a good settlement - like mutual walkaway.

 

i'm not trying to be rude or insulting, but, IMO, calling the collection agency and hoping they will give you a good, low settlement is naive.   They are more likely to think they have a sucker on the line and will try to get as much as they can from you, with lies and threats, if necessary.  These people do this for a living every day, and you don't.

Negotiation is best done from a position of strength and power, not from weakness, which is where you are if you just hope they will be nice to you.

You need leverage over them.    Such as: (1) waiting until the SOL expires, so they can't sue you.  That takes away their main powerful weapon.  (2) finding violations you can sue them for;  and (3) using arbitration to raise their costs of collection.

 

So how do I verify the SOL for this collection? What types of violations could they have made? It should be a  collection since it never was paid and like I said I've never been contacted by the Agency only knowledge of it is through viewing my CR. I'm guessing the JDB receives the proper proof from the original creditor before accepting their potential clients in the event that someone tries to get validation or hires a lawyer, right?

 

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On 5/19/2017 at 10:39 AM, fisthardcheese said:

I would not dispute directly with the JDB. I would not send a "DV letter" unless you have been contacted by then first.

I would simply dispute with the CRAs.

Always use hard copies. Credit Karma doesnt give you proper information.

What do you mean by hard copies, certified mail? 

Also, since it's been only 3.5 years since date of first default am I suppose to wait the full 4yrs for SOL? I'm not sure if I'm on the same page 

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Hard copies = credit report by mail, not online.  Simply call all 3 CRAs and ask for a free copy of your report due to adverse action (collection account).  They will send it in the mail.  This hard copy will have much more detailed information allowing you to find the errors that Jefferson Capital may be reporting.  The first place I would look is at the amount owed.   Is it accurate to the penny?  If not, that is something to dispute.  Dates are another source of usual errors.

I am not sure that Jefferson Capital has bought this debt. I believe they may simply be a collection agency hired by Verizon.    The dispute with the CRAs (sent certified by mail) may be enough to get them to remove this from your reports.  Once it removed, I would forget about it.  Unless they start reporting it on your reports again, I would consider the debt gone after the SOL expires in 6 months.

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This may sound silly but I don't know the actual amount of the debt since I trusted a family member to use the account for 1 line of service but instead added multiple lines and received new phones and didn't pay the bill and I had no idea until I seen my CR so I was never aware that there was an unpaid balance or last bill since i had nothing to do with the account besides my credit being used. Should I contact Verizon for the actual amount? Can I begin the disputes now or am I waiting for a SOL? Will I be asked for reasons I'm disputing if so, what is best to say?

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I would leave this alone. You have 6 months until the SOL expires, I wouldn't want to awaken a sleeping giant. After the debt is time barred, then it is time to dispute with the CRA's and try to get it removed.  Unless you have a desire to become a lawyer using the credit infocenter crash coarse, I would wait. It is going to stay on your report anyway, wait until it is time barred, then they may lose interest. 

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On 5/21/2017 at 3:33 PM, shellieh98 said:

I would leave this alone. You have 6 months until the SOL expires, I wouldn't want to awaken a sleeping giant. After the debt is time barred, then it is time to dispute with the CRA's and try to get it removed.  Unless you have a desire to become a lawyer using the credit infocenter crash coarse, I would wait. It is going to stay on your report anyway, wait until it is time barred, then they may lose interest. 

I would agree with this.  Just wait until the SOL for them to sue you expires, then try to get it removed from your credit reports.  And DO NOT contact the OC (Verizon).

And, I think you are getting hung up on having an iron-clad, legitimate reason for a dispute.  You don't need one.  All you have to say is "I dispute this alleged debt."    It doesn't matter if you know it's yours (and don't tell them it's yours), or if you know the exact amount.   The CRAs probably won't ask for a reason.  If they do, say you don't recognize it.  After all, you didn't do business with Jefferson Capital, right?

 

And, don't assume the JDBs and collection agencies are honest and have all the documentation from the OC.  To understand the world of JDBs and debt collection, I would recommend that you read the book Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld, by Jake Halpern.  https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Paper-Chasing-Street-Underworld/dp/0374108234     It should be available in libraries; you don't have to purchase it.

And yes, underworld is an appropriate term.  At the bottom of the barrel are JDBs and CAs that are truly criminal.  They hire drug addicts and felons.   The debt portfolios they purchase are spreadsheets that can be copied a million times, and perhaps are.

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