Request a Goodwill Deletion
In the letter, you’ll request that the agency delete the collection account from your credit reports as a goodwill gesture.
Naturally, it’s not as simple as all that. First, the collection account will need to have been fully paid at the time the goodwill deletion is requested.
Based on your letter-and the fact that the debt will already have been paid-the collection agency may delete the collection account.
But then again, they might not. That’s what makes dealing with collection agencies so difficult. They’re far from the most cooperative organizations in society.
Offer a “Pay-for-Delete” Agreement
As dealing with collection agencies go, this is something of an advanced strategy. And, you should know from the start that it’s not a legally binding arrangement.
You’ll submit a pay-for-delete letter in which you’ll request that A1 Collections deletes the collection account from your credit reports in exchange for full payment of the debt owed.
This could be potentially attractive to a collection agency, since it ensures they’ll receive full payment of the collection amount.
However, since pay-for-delete arrangements are not legally binding,-and are actually a violation of the creditor-credit bureau relationship-the agency may accept your payment but still fail to remove the collection accounts from your credit reports.
If that happens, you have no legal recourse. But, if you have the funds to pay the debt in full, and you want to get A1 Collections out of your life, pay-for-delete may be worth a try.
If A1 Collections fails to send you a debt validation letter, or if the information is incomplete, you’ll have a legal right installment loans Alaska to demand they remove the collection account from your credit reports and stop further collection actions against you.
You can open a dispute with the three credit bureaus, who will be required to investigate your claim within 30 days of receipt.
If A1 Collections is similarly unable to verify the information surrounding the collection, the credit bureaus will delete the collection directly.
Settle the Debt
If A1 Collections does provide a fully complete debt validation letter, or if you already know the debt is legitimately yours, the best approach ount owed.
That won’t remove the collection account from your credit reports, but it will eliminate the debt and keep A1 Collections from contacting you in the future.
How to Negotiate a Settlement
Make them a written offer to pay something less than 50% of the amount owed in full satisfaction of the entire debt.
They’ll counter with a higher offer, and you go back and forth until you both agree on a settlement amount.
Once that amount is reached, insist A1 Collections send you a letter verifying the settlement amount, the fact that it will represent full satisfaction of the debt owed, and that they’ll report the paid status of the collection account to all three major credit bureaus.
Only once that letter has been received should you send payment. If you send payment without receiving the letter, A1 Collections will accept your money, and then pursue you for the full amount of the debt.
The moral of the story is that you never send money to a collection agency without first getting written confirmation of all agreements surrounding the payment.
Not only will the letter bind A1 Collections to accept the reduced payment amount as full satisfaction for the debt, but also, if they fail to report the paid status of the account to the three credit bureaus, you can use the letter as evidence to send to the credit bureaus.
They’ll correct the collection account to show it as paid even if A1 Collections doesn’t contact them to do it.
If they’re unable to provide a debt validation letter, or if it comes back incomplete, you’ll have a basis to challenge their claim and insist they remove any collection accounts from your credit reports.