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Can I talk a debt collector into lower my debt?

we owed 250 to a company and they put it into collections and with all the collections fees it's now up to 1,000.

If I call the collector and tell him I will pay it off in full right then and there if they come down on the fees will they do it? Are they even worth talking down?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:15 PM on Dec. 17, 2009 in Money & Work

Answers (9)
  • SOMETIMES they will offer a deal to pay off in full
    You just have to call to see. It is always worth calling at least.

    Answer by Mrs.Owen86 at 6:19 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • For a $250 bill to become a $1000 bill, due to non-payment fees is really kind fo ridiculous! I know it's not what you want to hear, but why didn't you try and work something out sooner--before the bill quadrupled? Debt collectors are not in the business to make "deals," their job is to collect the money owed.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 6:23 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Depending on what kind of bill it is im sure. Medical bills i know will settle out for less, and usually after a credit card has been written off it will settle for less! its worth a try!

    Answer by sweetstkissez22 at 6:29 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • To aswser the second reply: This bill is 6 months old. First time debt for us too. We tried to talk to the company about it but they said they couldn't help us- then they put it in collections and I just want to pay off my bill and not all this BS collections fees. I don't mind paying some fees for not paying- my fault but I just think it getting that high SO fast is crazy!

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:41 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • It sounds fishy to me. 300% interest for 6 months? I'd want paper documentation explaining how it added up that quickly. Even a credit card won't go up that fast.

    Answer by MonicaE521 at 8:30 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • If you are able to do that (some collection agencies will work with you) then make sure you get it in writing. Don't give them any access to your checking account etc. Anyway once you get it in writing send them a certified check. Keep a copy of the check and a copy of the letter stating that "x" amount is considered paid in full for ________ account in a file for the rest of your life. Make sure to send it certified mail so that they can't say they didn't get it or didn't get it on time.

    It's helpful if you already have the money on hand so that you can get the ball rolling as soon as they agree.

    Keep in mind that not paying the full amount will show up on your credit report- although having not paid for so long, has probably already done quite a bit of damage.

    Check out the Dave Ramsey group on CM for more helpful tips.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:51 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Anon :51 here.
    Also ask for a letter showing how much you owe and how they came to that conclusion. It is possible that they are off.... though I personally think it's unlikely with all the fees that most places have.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:53 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • I looked everywhere for the paper. Can't find it right now. Hubby must have it in his car. Anyway- the fees per month are about $200 from the collection people. It says "Collection fees: 185" or something close to that number.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:47 PM on Dec. 18, 2009

  • When you do pay off a debt at a lower rate you will get a form at tax time telling you the written off part is to be declared as income.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:03 AM on Dec. 19, 2009

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