Greetings, FICO forum, I need a little advice and wisdom from my fellow credit rebuilders.
A few months ago I sent out a PFD letter to a collection agency called Escallate for an account in the amount of $637.00
On 3/23/2011 I received a call from an Escallate collector named Kathy, who said they'd accept my offer if I was willing to pay the full amount without a discount.
I said that wouldn't be a problem and I would be more than willing if I could get those deletion terms.
Kathy put me on hold and brought a gentleman on the line who claimed to be edited, the Vice President of Escallate.
Jim stated he had approved the decision and extended me this 'courtesy offer' since I was attempting to purchase a house in a few months.
He said they would send me a deletion letter in 3 business days after I paid the account in ful and would delete with all 3 credit bureaus.
He said however, they would NOT be willing to put the agreement in writing because they were not going to jepoardize their 11 year reputation with their client.
Jim told me once I received the deletion letter for me to take it to my mortgage lender and wait for the CB's to update my reports, which could take up to 30 days.
Personally, I know the old rule, "It's NOT worth the paper it's NOT printed on" but these guys absolutely refuse to budge on giving me something in writing.
We were on that phone for over 30 minutes, at which point Jim got frustrated and gave the phone back to "Kathy" and told her to terminate the call since I wasn't willing to accept their offer.
Kathy stated, since I wasn't willing to accept their "courtesy offer" the account would just stay on my credit report, after which she hung up.
I received 3 calls later that same day, to which I let go to voicemail.
What should I do?
Take these guys on good faith???
Edited to remove someone else's full name. - llecs, myFICO moderator
Personally, I wouldn't do it. Most CAs cannot be trusted to do what they say they will, if it benefits you.
There are others that do what they say.
I guess it is a judgment call on your part.
Consider emailing them. If you get a reply, at least you will have something.
Thanks alot, I really appreciate your advice.
That was my gut instinct but they dangled the carrot, so I had to be sure.
I'll send another letter or email higher up their food chain and see if somebody bites.
See, this is where I probably will differ from most here on this board. But, it seems to that it's worth it to just get the thing paid and take them at their word. Dead worst, you can at least have something to show the party you're buying your house from that you've paid it (which is usually good enough for them). If, for some reason, they don't delete, then as long as you have good info on your conversations, you have some substantiation to the fact that they were supposed to delete, which you could work with later. I've personally done PFD over the phone three times and it's worked fine each time.
I think I agree with bpohl's post. If you kept good records of your phones call, dates, times, people spoke to substance of conversation and agreements as well as just getting it paid (which is what most lenders care about), then you should be ok. I think the only thing I might do in addition is when I send a money order in (not a personal check), I would include in my letter to them that I was including a M.O. in the amount of $XXX, which per agreement with so and so on such and such date would constitute payment in full for such and such account and also per agreement, the account will be deleted from the CRA's and depositing the M.O. would be a confirmation of said agreements. I've also seen and heard of people putting such a statement on a check or money order where the payee has to endorse the check. If you pay, they deposit the check with those restrictions set out, and then don't delete, it gives you just a little more to work with. Let the board know what you decide to do and how it works out for you. Good luck!
OP has a 50/50 chance of it going either way.
Restrictive endorsements may or may not be allowable in the state OP is in. If it isn't, they would just cash the check and/or money order and call it a day.
IMO, without at least an email, I would not give them any money.
That is just me, others may feel differently.
I agree with guines56 above... At least get an email conversation started and then you can print that. That will be as close as you can get to a letter before paying the account. I did this with one collector and paid. They didn't remove, but I sent all emails to CRA's and TL was removed immediately. I wouldn't be so quick to pay the debt until you have written documentation. My 2 cents...
Thanks guys, I REALLY appreciate this help. Escallate has called me about 6 more times since they extended the offer. I will try to get at least an email from them that dictates the agreement wev'e reached. In addition, (and I don't know how legal this is) but i downloaded an APP to my HTC EVO that automatically records all incoming calls. The next time they call and extend that offer I'll have a permanent record.
I hope that doesn't sound too nutty.
If by "nutty" you mean "super convenient", then sure
I just went through a very similar circumstance resulting from a previous 2006 Hospital bill in Denver. My account was purchased by Aargon Agency out of Las Vegas for aorund 1400.00....the original call taker absolutely refused to do any kind of PTD. I asked to speak to the Manager on duty. He stated that he would do it IF I agreed to pay it right there over the phone with a CC. You're joking right ?? I compromised and told him that if he e-mailed me an agreement for a PTD, I would go right to the Post Office and "overnight" a postal money order. I received the email ...stuck to my word...and he ACTUALLY stuck to his..... Was reporting on all 3 ....not reporting on any now...good luck