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Frequent Contributor
money_talks
Posts: 257
Registered: ‎07-02-2013
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Possible sticky situation on a PFD offer.

Sorry for opening a new thread. Here's the background.

 

I sent a PFD letter on a CO cc to the OC. The OC is the owner of the debt and reporting the balance on my CR.

 

Today I confirmed that the OC received and scanned my PFD letter into their system. The exact wording of the PFD comment is this.

 

"In the spirit of compromise, I am willing to pay $400 (50% of the balance) in full-settlement the account if you agree to the deletion of the account from any and all major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion)."

 

Today I got an email from the OC to call them. I call them back and the CSR (on a recorded line) says "management agreed to the offer but you must pay by this date". No further details were stated by the CSR as part of the offer. In the spur of the moment I decided to ask if this meant they also agreed to delete the TL per my letter. CSR said "no, it would only report as settled". 

 

Once I pay the $400 and they do not delete the TL and only report as settled, do I have some leverage in arguing they agreed to my letter once they accepted my $400? Isn't a verbal agreement binding? Would telling the OC I am going to file a complaint with the BBB for poor business practices help at some point? What if the OC listens to the tape? They will come back and say the CSR clearly said "no" when asked about deleting the TL.

 

Here's the twist. What if the CSR was mistaken? Yes, the CSR clearly said "no" when asked if they would remove the TL. But the CSR also clearly stated the CSR did not agree to the offer, it was the CSR's management. So one could argue management did agree to remove the TL?

 

I appreciate any help. I will be making the payment in a couple of days. They told me they report monthly to the CRAs so next update would be mid-month in October.

 

Valued Contributor
ezdriver
Posts: 1,672
Registered: ‎08-24-2013
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Re: Possible sticky situation on a PFD offer.

The PFD is a gamble ... no guarantees and you have little to no leverage. Your only leverage is their desire to be paid all or some of their money.  Unfortunately, you cannot force them to delete. You can wait a while and try them again with a slightly softer request. 

 

My version would be something like:

 

"I have had a rough time paying my bills and I wish that circumstances allowed me to pay the full amount that I owe to you. Unfortunately, all that I can afford to pay you is $400 if you would agree to delete this account from my files at all three credit reporting agencies. Please advise in writing if you agree to this pay and delete arrangement. Thank you for your consideration."



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Scores on 10/9/13: EFX 652, XPN 669, TUC 662
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Frequent Contributor
money_talks
Posts: 257
Registered: ‎07-02-2013
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Re: Possible sticky situation on a PFD offer.

ezdriver: I apologize if my post was not clear. I have already sent them the PFD letter and I got a verbal agreement from them on the offer. I made the mistake of asking on the phone on the same phone call whether this meant they also would delete the TL as stated in my offer letter, to which the CSR said "no". But I don't know if the CSR's answer was based off on his general experience or whether management simply did not flow down to the CSR that they would be making a one time exception in my situation and indeed delete the TL. So it may be a matter of the CSR being misinformed of what management's agreement on the offer was.

 

Hope this helps!

Valued Contributor
ezdriver
Posts: 1,672
Registered: ‎08-24-2013
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Re: Possible sticky situation on a PFD offer.


money_talks wrote:

ezdriver: I apologize if my post was not clear. I have already sent them the PFD letter and I got a verbal agreement from them on the offer. I made the mistake of asking on the phone on the same phone call whether this meant they also would delete the TL as stated in my offer letter, to which the CSR said "no". But I don't know if the CSR's answer was based off on his general experience or whether management simply did not flow down to the CSR that they would be making a one time exception in my situation and indeed delete the TL. So it may be a matter of the CSR being misinformed of what management's agreement on the offer was.

 

Hope this helps!


 

I would call again and ask to speak to a supervisor so you can clarify that the CSR's response was accurately representing the company's position.



Starting Score: 618
Scores on 10/9/13: EFX 652, XPN 669, TUC 662
Scores on 3/17/14: EFX 649, XPN 677, TUC 681
Goal Score: 720 ALL


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Hopelives2
Posts: 199
Registered: ‎04-30-2011
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Re: Possible sticky situation on a PFD offer.

or resend letter CRRR and ask for a written response.

 

Personally, I would not do anything until you have something in writing.

 

Send the CRRR letter.  Wait.  Don't get the response you want, and you can wait, wait another 2 months and resend CRRR.  Rinse/repeat.

 

Just don't give up

Frequent Contributor
money_talks
Posts: 257
Registered: ‎07-02-2013
0

Re: Possible sticky situation on a PFD offer.

ezdriver: You are right. I will give them a call tomorrow and ask to speak to whoever agreed to the offer. Unless Hopelives2 has a really good answer for my question below!

 

Hopelives2: If the offer is verbal, isn't it binding? Why do you need it in writing if you have it recorded? When calling the collections department they always say (at least this OC) "you are on a recorded line". I can also record the conversation on my end. I totally understand if the conversation is not recorded, then it is one person's word against the other.

 

Thanks!

Contributor
Miscellamy
Posts: 124
Registered: ‎09-04-2013
0

Re: Possible sticky situation on a PFD offer.

I personally wouldn't hang my hat on an argument that there was a verbal agreement, recorded or not. A verbal agreement can be binding, but first you have to prove there was agreement. And bear in mind that they didn't offer anything: you did. I guess you can argue that what the rep said constituted acceptance, but . . . well, then you start to get into the weeds of contracts law, and honestly: why? Unless you sincerely feel that they were trying to mislead you, to make you think that they were going to delete the line when they had no intention of doing so, then I would take a different tack. 

 

I guess here's my thinking: you're asking them to do something (delete the tradeline after payment) above and beyond what's required. It's certainly nothing extraordinary or unreasonable, but it's more than they have to do. When the other party has a stronger bargaining position, it's usually not a good idea to come to the table swinging a bat.  

 

 



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Mega Contributor
RobertEG
Posts: 17,456
Registered: ‎03-19-2007
0

Re: Possible sticky situation on a PFD offer.

You are in contract negotiations.

Their response is contradictory in that your offer was deletion of their reporting, and their counter-offer was first, yes, then, no as to account deletion.

There is thus no clear meeting of the minds, and I dont see that one side is free to consider one or the other of contradictory statements as your contract.

They can change their mind or alter their position until they receive $$, which then becomes a binding contract.

 

I would get a clear statement of their counter-offer before holding them to a legal contract.  I would not want to assert breach of contract with such a contradictory statement on their part of what they consider the terms.

Frequent Contributor
money_talks
Posts: 257
Registered: ‎07-02-2013
0

Re: Possible sticky situation on a PFD offer.

Thanks for the replies.

 

Update

 

I spoke today again with the same CSR. I asked him to clarify with the manager to what they meant by agreeing. CSR came back and said they would not delete the TL on 50% offer. I then said if CSR could ask the manager if they would do it at 75%. CSR immediately said no, and that the only way to delete the TL was to pay in full. CSR went one more time to manager and came back saying it would only show settled in full, not deleted.

 

I then went back and forth with the CSR about how they were not in violation of the FCRA if they deleted the TL. Nothing. I then asked to speak to the manager, but is unavailable today. I will call the manager tomorrow.

 

So here is what could essentially happen I guess:

 

1) I convince manager over the phone to delete the TL if I PIF.

 

2) Manager is not convinced and won't delete TL.

 

3)  I can PIF and then GW to death.

 

4) I can take the 50% settlement offer.

 

Now, here are my arguments tomorrow for the manager. Let me know if this is something I should say or not.

 

-Bank is not in violation of FCRA if they delete the TL. FCRA requires that all information that is reported to be accurate, not that all information is reported.

 

-If they won't delete the TL, I will say I won't pay the debt as paying off a CO doesn't help my credit score if the derogatory item still remains on file. (I know in this case it helps UTIL as it is a revolving account, but won't point that out)

 

 

Established Member
gregcurryesq
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎08-26-2013
0

Re: Possible sticky situation on a PFD offer.

This is interesting in terms of the bigger picture, down the line, if the OC agreed to a PFD, but then it got reported as settled. Sue for breach of contract? You could only sue the OC as the party to the contract. But the OC can say "this was really a settlement, which we reported as a settlement; our duties as a furnisher are defined by the FCRA; no private contract can trump our duties under the FCRA; and the FCRA is the consumer's sole remedy in this situation, not breach of contract." Which would be my GUESS how courts would look at this situation.

 

In any event, your facts appear to be too messy for you to prevail on a theory that there is a binding contract based on your initial offer. It's not clear that the manager actually agreed to a PFD since you specifically asked about it, and the answer came back no. 

 

 

Long Island, NY. **The views expressed by me on this site are my opinions only, are not intended to constitute legal advice, should not be relied on as legal advice, and are not intended to create any attorney-client relationship.**

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