Im not sure if I'm posting this in the correct spot so forgive me if im not....
Im hoping someone can give me some insight on this. I just received a letter from a collection agency dated 12/27/12 for $900 from a technical school I attended in 09. I have never received any bills whatsoever from them in years and I didnt know I had a balance. These people are ridiculously shady, but nonetheless, im now getting this letter instead of an actual bill from the school.
My question is....Has this already been reported to the credit bureaus and shown as a negative hit?? Or is this something I can resolve with this collection agency in order to make sure it is NOT reported and put onto my reports. I have been working so hard to get my scores up and have a clean record except for one collection from 2 years ago. The last thing I need is this hitting my report.
Do i speak with them when they call and set up a payment plan with them, or make some sort of agreement to make sure they don't report it, or is it too late???
You are going to need to respond to them with a Debt Validation (DV) request. The purpose is to find out if they have legitimate authority to collect on this debt. If you are sure that the debt itself is valid and you do not want it to report then you may want to contact the collection agency and see if you can make a payment / settlement agreement with them to avoid reporting. The information on what resources / responses you have available is stickied in the Rebuilding Your Credit forum.
If you go there and search the posts by the name of the collection agency you may find other members experiences to determine how easy or difficult they are to deal with.
I would exercise a bit of caution prior to just sending a DV.
Sendng a timely DV will invoke a cease collection bar on the debt collector until such time as they have provided the requested validation. That will provide a temporary respit from reporting of the collection. However, they can send validation and then immediately report to the CRA.
In the interim, the cease collection bar imposed by your DV will preclude them from conducting any negotiations on payment that might include an agreement not to report the collection. That is a collection activity on the debt.
If your primary goal is to avoid reporting, I would first make a pay for not reporting offer by phone prior to expiration of your 30-day DV period.
If no agreement is reached, then you can send off a timely DV.
You wont know until you offer.
While it is always preferable to get any agreement in writing, they may decline to do so, particularly in view of the fact that you are not paying the entire amount, but asking for a payment plan..
A conditional agreement to not report in exchange for a conditional promise to pay leaves a lot of unsatisifed conditions... a possible legal nightmare that they may wish to avoid.
Playing hardball on prior written promise not to report may kill the deal. Make the offer, and see how they respond.
I would add if you're unable to get a payment plan worked out to maybe look at getting a personal loan to make payments on it. *couple minor grammatical corrections made .. just getting over sinus infection and waking up again..lol