Get collectors to agree to delete before paying!

Delete before paying

Keep = delete (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Get collectors to delete before paying

If a debt is paid after it has been reported to the credit reporting agency it will show as paid.  Unfortunately this has little effect on your credit score although lenders will look more favorably on paid matters.  It’s the fact that there was a collection incident that is important to the credit scoring computers.  Payment actually refreshes the entry giving it more negative impact than it deserves.  The paid delinquency will still have to be deleted after 7 years.  The 7 years is counted from the date of first delinquency.  Delete before paying is discouraged by the contract between debt collectors and the credit reporting agencies but it is legal.  If accurate information is routinely removed it would dilute the accuracy of all credit reports.  That’s what makes delete before paying such a challenge and so interesting.  The ultimate goal is to remove the negative information in such a way that it might as well never have existed.

Offer to Settle for Less than the Full Amount

It is a rare debt collector that will not agree to delete before paying.   The negative entry on your report is to be removed in exchange for paying. Call the debt collector.  Don’t write a letter and tip him off that you really care enough to pay the full balance.  Leave the emotions aside. This is business.  Start by offering 30 percent of the total or even 10 per cent if the debt is really old. You just may settle for less and get it removed as if it never existed by remaining in a business like frame of mind. If you pay first and then ask them to delete they will laugh at you.  Remember that the law that allows them to keep it on the credit reporting agency‘s report for 7 years does not require that they do so.  They may tell you otherwise but they are allowed to delete for payment.  Ask to speak to a supervisor.  Find a small technicality to dispute to make it easier for them.  They are discouraged by their policies from delete before paying but the flimsiest of disputes gives them an out.  If it was an electric bill there may have been something wrong with the meter. Or simply say “bill cannot be proved to be mine.”

Ask to speak to a supervisor if the collector is stubborn.  Have your credit or debit card ready to go.  Debt collectors work on commission and they need to perform.  “Today” money is just as important to them as it is to anyone else.  Tell them to send you an e-mail agreeing to delete before paying and you’ll pay the agreed amount right now.

Debt collectors buy these debts for as little as pennies on the dollar.  Many people don’t like to haggle I know but there is so much to be gained by asking.  You should have in mind the goal of saving money and getting the entry deleted too.  As a last resort you can pay, wait until you are sure it’s been finalized and then file your dispute.  The dispute letter should say “the debt cannot be verified.”  There’s a very good chance they won’t bother to respond.  The credit reporting agency will delete it 30 days later by default.

Be Pro-Active with Debt Collectors

I know this is easier said than done but try treating the debt collector as just another person doing a thankless job.  Do you think that annoying person at the other end of the line is there because it is such a wonderful career?  Don’t project more power on to the debt collector than he deserves. It’s usually not practical for them to sue for smaller debts. Delete before paying is a win-win for everyone. If your emotions are just too much have a trusted relative or friend call for you while you sit alongside.  The collector will talk to a third party as long as you are on hand to confirm that they have your permission.

If all else fails…

If the collector won’t listen to reason, challenge the debt in the usual way and make them validate it.  Use your rights.  No question that paying a fraction in exchange for deletion is your best outcome.  Beware of paying a fraction in settlement without a delete before paying agreement.  This is recorded as having been settled for less than the full amount which has a negative impact.  Insist that the debtor agree not to make this entry. Remember that it is always worth challenging a negative entry on a settled debt.  There is really no motivation for a creditor to respond to this kind of challenge.  The delete for default after 30 days with no response will be the same as delete before paying.

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After practicing law for 37 years Edward F. St. Onge, Sr. now devotes all his time to helping consumers achieve a high credit score with amazing speed. Learn the counter-intuitive secrets to credit scoring through his down to earth instructions backed by extensive knowledge of the laws and trends. All of the latest tricks and techniques that they don't want you to know now at your disposal. At last a level playing field for the consumer!

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