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Debt Collectors?

Ok I have a phone bill from 3 1/2 years ago that is for about 1200 dollars. I have not been paying on it or anything since then. I was sent a book from a financial advisor about raising your credit score and it said in there that usually if a company has owned your debt for over a few years they will accept a lower amount, sometimes close to half of what you owe because they are losing money with you not paying at all. I have the money to pay it if they will take less. Has anyone ever done this? I mean is this true? Will they actually accept less?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:24 AM on Dec. 18, 2008 in Money & Work

Answers (5)
  • Yes but make sure you get the offer in writing before you send it in. Also, make them agree to remove the item from your credit report before you agree to pay anything and again, GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING!

    Answer by customcat2000 at 9:26 AM on Dec. 18, 2008

  • Most likely they will settle for something on it. It might not be half, but usually 75% or so. It kinda just depends on how desperate they are. Is it accruing interest? If so, then they might in position to sue you over it if it goes over $1500. I am going to tell you from sheer them and work something out with them. Don't ignore this. Once they have means to sue you, it can be a pain to get out of it and you don't want to go to court over it. If youre sure they won't sue you, then maybe just pay the minimum on it or ask them to cancel it. Doubt they will do the latter, but you never know until you ask.

    Answer by momofsaee at 9:30 AM on Dec. 18, 2008

  • I can check the balance online and it doesn't show that it is accruing interest so I don't think it will go any higher. Also, if I call and ask about it and they agree, how do I get it in writing? Do I just ask them to send me a new bill reflecting the amount we agreed on? Thanks for your help ladies!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:32 AM on Dec. 18, 2008

  • sadly we know this stuff from experience. There are two ways to pay a bill.

    "Settle in full" means that (as an example) lets say your bill is 850 dollars, they say they will take 275 for it and considered it settled in full. After you pay that, you dont have to worry about them bothering you anymore. Your credit score will take hit.

    Then there is "Pay in Full" thats where you pay the whole 850 dollars and your account is closed and you no longer need to worry about it. It reflects better on your credit score.

    My husband had a horrible credit score when we met (reason I know this stuff from experience) and we always paid in full, his credit score has gone up almost 250 points since we paid things off.

    Answer by vickwu at 1:52 PM on Dec. 18, 2008

  • Yes people do it all the time HOWEVER a lot of times they will also report to the bureaus that while the debt was paid it was paid for less than the amount that was owed and that can still ding your credit. Always get something in writing that says they are accepting XYZ amount as payment in full before you send them a dime.

    Answer by mamakirs at 2:14 PM on Dec. 18, 2008

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