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Credit Card Debt Settlement and Credit Repair


Determined1
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My business was shut down during the pandemic and it took some time to get it back on its feet. Now it's thriving again. I had several credit cards cancelled / charged off in 2020, and they are still weighing down my credit. Most of the accounts are still with the original creditors and one may be with a collection agency. I've received a few offers to settle in the mail, but have not acted, yet.

My question is this:  Has anyone used an attorney or a company to successfully negotiate your credit card debt? I'm trying to decide if I should use an attorney or company that specializes in debt negotiation (not consolidation) to obtain settlements and written agreements, ie. pay for deletion with the credit bureaus. Alternatively, I do this myself.

I'm still within the statute of limitations and don't want to trigger any lawsuits.

I welcome your feedback and referrals to any attorney or company that you think could assist. If you think it's best I do this myself, please share why. Also, does anyone have a solid "Pay for deletion agreement" they can share?

Thanks!

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41 minutes ago, Determined1 said:

 

My business was shut down during the pandemic and it took some time to get it back on its feet. Now it's thriving again. I had several credit cards cancelled / charged off in 2020, and they are still weighing down my credit. Most of the accounts are still with the original creditors and one may be with a collection agency. I've received a few offers to settle in the mail, but have not acted, yet.

My question is this:  Has anyone used an attorney or a company to successfully negotiate your credit card debt? I'm trying to decide if I should use an attorney or company that specializes in debt negotiation (not consolidation) to obtain settlements and written agreements, ie. pay for deletion with the credit bureaus. Alternatively, I do this myself.

I'm still within the statute of limitations and don't want to trigger any lawsuits.

I welcome your feedback and referrals to any attorney or company that you think could assist. If you think it's best I do this myself, please share why. Also, does anyone have a solid "Pay for deletion agreement" they can share?

Thanks!

Credit repair companies don’t do anything more than what you can do yourself.  In fact, most of what they do is send out a bunch of letters to creditors and credit reporting agencies.

The same goes for using attorneys.  The only time an attorney might be more successful is if information on your credit report is incorrect, you can prove it’s incorrect, and the furnisher won’t correct or delete the specific piece of information.  

It’s difficult to get a pay for delete with an original creditor.  They are just less likely to agree to it.  Your best bet is to send a letter offering a settlement or payment in full in exchange for deletion.  The worst they can do is refuse.

In regard to the collection agency, is the agency collecting for the original creditor, or is it a debt buyer?  Note that if the original creditor is showing a balance owed, then the collection agency is collecting for that creditor.  It has not purchased the account.

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Hi BV80!

Thank you for your reply. First, my apologies if I posted this to the wrong topic. I am asking about both debt settlement and credit repair, so I posted it here. If it belongs in the debt settlement board, please feel free to move.

I don't plan to use a credit repair company. I am trying to decide if 1) I want to use a debt settlement company or an attorney, 2) who will also provide some documentation that can then be used with the credit bureaus. If the second part of my question is not possible or likely, then I need to zero in on the debt settlement piece. The question is essentially - use a debt settlement company or lawyer, or handle the debt settlement negotiation myself?

 

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59 minutes ago, Determined1 said:

Hi BV80!

Thank you for your reply. First, my apologies if I posted this to the wrong topic. I am asking about both debt settlement and credit repair, so I posted it here. If it belongs in the debt settlement board, please feel free to move.

I don't plan to use a credit repair company. I am trying to decide if 1) I want to use a debt settlement company or an attorney, 2) who will also provide some documentation that can then be used with the credit bureaus. If the second part of my question is not possible or likely, then I need to zero in on the debt settlement piece. The question is essentially - use a debt settlement company or lawyer, or handle the debt settlement negotiation myself?

 

Hi!  Ok, I confused debt settlement with credit repair.  Sorry about that.

Personally, I would do the negotiating myself.

If the debts are still within your state’s SOL, you have less leverage.  Original creditors are only going to lower a balance so much because they know they have the upper hand.  Unless you have valid disputes regarding the amount, even a lawyer can’t do much more to persuade them to come down further.  Even if he could get the amounts a little lower, you still have to pay for his services.  Would you end up saving anything at all?   This is also applies to a debt settlement company.  You have to pay for the services.

The only way I could see the advantage of using an attorney or debt settlement company is if you simply don’t have time or inclination to do the negotiating yourself.  

 

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On 4/11/2023 at 8:54 AM, Determined1 said:

 

My business was shut down during the pandemic and it took some time to get it back on its feet. Now it's thriving again. I had several credit cards cancelled / charged off in 2020, and they are still weighing down my credit. Most of the accounts are still with the original creditors and one may be with a collection agency. I've received a few offers to settle in the mail, but have not acted, yet.

My question is this:  Has anyone used an attorney or a company to successfully negotiate your credit card debt? I'm trying to decide if I should use an attorney or company that specializes in debt negotiation (not consolidation) to obtain settlements and written agreements, ie. pay for deletion with the credit bureaus. Alternatively, I do this myself.

I'm still within the statute of limitations and don't want to trigger any lawsuits.

I welcome your feedback and referrals to any attorney or company that you think could assist. If you think it's best I do this myself, please share why. Also, does anyone have a solid "Pay for deletion agreement" they can share?

Thanks!

How long has it been since you made payments on these cards and what is the Statute of Limitations for suit in your State for this type of debt? If you are near the SOL it might be best to simply wait out the Statute and shut up until it has expired.

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23 hours ago, Flyingifr said:

How long has it been since you made payments on these cards and what is the Statute of Limitations for suit in your State for this type of debt? If you are near the SOL it might be best to simply wait out the Statute and shut up until it has expired.

Thank you for the feedback Flyingifr. Some are fairly close to the SOL. SOL on CC accounts in my state is 4 years. I am inside of 1 year to go on the CC accounts. Some are fairly small and I'm inclined to pay them off, deal or no deal, just to clean the slate and improve my credit. However, I'm concerned about "ringing the dinner bell" for three larger accounts, one of which has a 5 year SOL. 

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On 4/13/2023 at 9:21 AM, Determined1 said:

Thank you for the feedback Flyingifr. Some are fairly close to the SOL. SOL on CC accounts in my state is 4 years. I am inside of 1 year to go on the CC accounts. Some are fairly small and I'm inclined to pay them off, deal or no deal, just to clean the slate and improve my credit. However, I'm concerned about "ringing the dinner bell" for three larger accounts, one of which has a 5 year SOL. 

Paying the accounts off will NOT improve your credit. FICO makes no differentiation between a "Charge Off" and a "Paid Charge Off". The only way paying a charged off debt will improve your credit is a PFD (Pay for Delete). Since you don't say which State you are in, I will assume you are in one of the many with a  6 year SOL. In that event, the FCRA SOL for reporting the debt  is 7 years 6 months, so if you were me you would realize you have already sat out 80%+ of the time where the debt comes off your credit report by law, so why try to decrease that time with a PFD? Of course, if you do contact your creditors to ask for a PFD you may simply be reminding them of a debt the forgot about, and they would then reject the PFD and sue you before the SOL for suit runs out. My suggestion - do nothing until the debt is absolutely Out of Statute for suit.

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