Both my husband and myself have 3 collections each. 2 of the 6 are valid debts, 1 we know is not valid, the rest we don't know. They are all under 4 years old.
What is the best process to get each removed?
Starting with the ones that you assert are not valid.... is your reason that you never had an account wth the alleged creditor, thus meaning the debt itself is not yours?
If so, you can have their reporting immediately blocked from your credit report, and thus excluding from scoring, by using the FCRA identity theft process, which in a nutshell requires you to put the assertion that you never authorized the account, and thus its reporting must have been due to someone else using your identity, into a police report.
Once you have obtained a police reportm you simplly send it to the CRA, requiring them to thereafter block any reporting related to that asserted identity theft from your credit report. See FCRA 605B.
As for unpaid collections, the usually step for attempting CR deletion is to make the debt collector an offer to pay in exchange for their agreemet to delete the reported collection from your credit report.
I thought it wasn't a good idea to do the pay for delete while it was within the statute of limitations?
If you can afford to pay the entire amount there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is when you cannot pay the entire amount that you should not send a DV etc, so as not to wake the beast.
Once you find out that your account has been turned over to a collection agency, you should contact the original creditor to make sure this is true and find out if there is any way to have your account recalled. The original creditor may take the account back if a educed payment can be negotiated. If the original creditor will not recall the account, try to work out an agreement with the collection agency. If you are experiencing any financial hardship explain this to the collection agency. If you can afford to pay some or all of the debt at this time, you should.
WHEN NEGOATIATING WITH A COLLECTION AGENCY-
If a payment has been negotiated with a collection agency make sure you ask them to send you the payment arrangement in writing to keep copies. You should also ask for the representative’s name that you spoke with. This will serve as proof of the agreement if any problems occur in the future. Most collection agencies will negotiate a settlement, which would be taking less than the total amount due. This normally requires a onetime payment in full. Be careful! A settlement may report negatively on your credit report. The IRS also considers a settlement taxable and treats the amount forgiven as income for tax purposes.
YOUR RIGHTS WITH COLLECTION AGENCIES-
COMMON THREATS MADE BY COLLECTION AGENCIES-
Most people are contacted by collection
agencies over the phone. Some collection agencies will threaten you in order to receive a payment. They may say that they will tell your employer about the debt you owe. They may threaten to send you to jail or they may threaten to garnish your wages. These threats are illegal and violate Section 807(4) of the Federal Trade Commission Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
You may contact the FTC to make a complaint at 1-877-FTC-HELP.