jmcreditinfo

WHO would you pay to?

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Hi.  I'm new here.  Hope you guys can help me here.  I'll try to keep it short.

Almost 7 years ago I went through a terrible time, divorce, lost business in the process and ended up homeless.  I owe Charter($400+ now) and Pacific Power($135 still apparently).  That debt went all the way to collections and they have been owned by multiple companies since then.   Now, I got an incredible opportunity to get back on my feet and rent a place, even with credit messed up, but you guessed it, Pacific Power wants me to pay for the unpaid bill first before letting me use their services.  I have always felt so guilty about my debt but never had the means to pay it until now.  So I called Pacific Power the other day and they told me I could pay them the debt, even though they have nothing to do with it, it appears.  The debt is about to expire from the credit report in less than a year, but I want to pay it as soon as possible, not only to be able to use the power service but for peace of mind.  That's my debt for power I used and I must pay it.  So what would you do?  Who will you pay the money to?  Should I contact the collection company who owns the account and pay the thing or give my credit card to Pacific Power and get it over with?  The fastest route the better with the best results for my credit.  If I can remove related negative entries from my credit the better.   Thanks guys for any help you can give in advance.

 

Note:  I don't even know what collection company owns my debt now.  I know the one that owned it last December, but it might have changed hands since then.

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Have you asked Pacific Power if they can accept payment? Call them and ask. If they say they sold off the debt, then the collection agency owns the debt and any payment to it they get to keep and nothing goes back to Pacific Power.

If you check your credit report it should list the accounts that are in collection with the information. Sign up for Credit Karma or Credit Sesame as its free and it should have them listed.

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If PP said you have to pay to restore power, then ask them who needs to be paid.

As @mrb0x mentioned, you need to find out if PP still owns the debt, or if they sold it to a JDB.  It they still own the debt, that makes it easier.

The thing about the SOL -- once that is passed, they can't sue you anymore, but in California (and 47 other states) the debt still exists even after the SOL.  In all 50 states, companies regularly deny accounts to people who owe them money.  

 

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Thanks both for your response. 

1.  Pacific Power doesn't own the debt anymore.  It's been through many collection companies. 

2.  Pacific Power told me over the phone that I could pay the money to them and that they communicate twice a week with the current owner of the debt.  But I don't know whether it is a good idea to pay Pacific Power the money, since they don't own the debt anymore.  What if the collection company want their money and I paid it to PP?  

3.  If I pay the collection company, will Pacific Power deny me service because I didn't pay the debt to them?

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14 minutes ago, jmcreditinfo said:

2.  Pacific Power told me over the phone that I could pay the money to them and that they communicate twice a week with the current owner of the debt.  But I don't know whether it is a good idea to pay Pacific Power the money, since they don't own the debt anymore.  What if the collection company want their money and I paid it to PP?  

Call back and speak to someone high up in the billing department not the front line CSR drone.  My educated guess is that it has not been officially sold but passed back and forth between the power company and collection agencies. Get someone of authority to verify WHO owns the debt.  If it has indeed been sold then you need something in writing from the current owner stating it has been paid so you can present that to the power company showing the debt is paid.  

It is not uncommon for utilities to require past balances to be paid prior to initiating new services.  If it is with a collection agency and not sold then you can pay the power company directly and the billing supervisor can confirm that by paying them they will recall the debt from the CA AND remove it from your credit reports.  

Get all terms in writing and you should have no problems.  Keep that paperwork for at least the length of the SOL in your state should another entity come forward down the line demanding payment.

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