The collection agency is FCO? I have dealt with them. They were actually nice of the phone, but I have had no luck at all getting them to agree to my GW attempts. Mine too was for an apartment lease and originally they wanted about $6k from me (which I did not agree with the amount). I was past the SOL so I went in REALLY low. I offered them $500 and asked the collection to be removed. They countered back with $557.00 and no removal. If you are past SOL I say go really low, all they can do is say no or counter with a higher number. Good luck!!
You will sleep better at night with this thing settled... I settled a BIG baddie (18k judgement) I immediately felt better.
Good luck to you I agree with offering something like 1k in a counter offer. The worst they can do is decline to settle.