I recently moved addresses and closed my Internet account with Time Warner. During the move, I ended up losing the cable modem that was Time Warner's equipment. Now I have received a collection notice from North Shore Agency (the in-house collection agency for Time Warner) for the unreturned equipment, an amount of $59. I want to pay this off before it goes on my credit report as I know it is my fault for losing the equipment. My question is, how should I go about paying this off? Should I just contact North Shore tomorrow, pay it off by credit card, and request an email confirmation of the payment? I have not received any notice on my credit monitoring that a collection account has appeared, so I don't think it is that far along in the process yet. I just want to make sure it gets paid off and dies with that payment. Any advice?
1. Send a DV, thus immediately preventing reporting of the collection until such time as they provide verfication.
2. Make a "pay for not reporting" offer, and wait for acceptance.
3. Pay, and hope that they dont report after payment
Option 1 has the benefit of forstalling credit reporting until they verify the debt, but also precludes you from negotiation due to the cease collection bar it imposes.
Option 2 has the benefit of getting a commitment in writing, but does not require their acceptance or prevent reporting.
Option 3 has the benefit of immediate payment, thus closing the debt.
Which to pursue is a personal choice.
Personally, since verification does not seem to be a major concern, I would first attempt option 2, but by calling them rather than doing it in writing. Not knowing how imminent their reporting might be, I would get a real person on the phone and begin solid negotiations.
An additional issue in any pay for not reporting negotiation will be how much you offer as payment.
Thank you for the reply Robert EG. Would it help to get an email confirmation from them that the debt is paid in full and no further collection efforts are necessary? I want to get rid of this potential collection, but I don't want to pay it then have them put it on my report anyway. Would getting something in writing from them allow me to dispute any negative collection reporting they place on my report in the future regarding this collection?
Getting an agreement in writing initiates a written contract with them. It gives you the right to initiate legal action for breach of contract should they not comply with the terms of your agreement.
The CRAs dont usually interject themselves into private contract issues. They have a policy that prior reporting should not be deleted based on payment of the debt, so if they do report, CRA involvement in deletion of their reporting is, in my opinion, unlikely.
The debt collection notice is the FIRST attempt by Time Warner to notify me of this amount due for unreturned equipment. I never received a single phone call, email, or the like from Time Warner. I only received the collection notice dated June 25, 2012 from North Shore, their in-house collection agency. It offends me enough as it is that they didn't even bother contacting me about this amount prior to giving it to their collection agency. So are you saying even though nothing has been reported yet that they can still report even after I pay off the balance? This seems highly unethical to me. Can they really get away with this? Is sueing my only option if they decide to report after I pay? Can't i dispute with the CRBs if I have an email confirmation from them that nothing will be reported?