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New debt collection letter- wanting advice

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Established Member

New debt collection letter- wanting advice

I received a collection letter notice and am trying to decide how best to approach it.

 

I am thinking a settlement with non-CRA reporting as a stipulation, paid over time (I don't have the lump sum available and I'm already paying another CA).

 

It's medical, and comes out to $610. 6 items in total. The reason this low amount wasn't already paid is that I've been having some health issues and discovered that I have a genetic disease some time around last February/March, and the bills just racked up so much so fast it got overwhelming. The minimum payment they wanted each month came out to about 1/3 of my monthly income. I'm going to be talking to them (my clinic) about assistance for the rest of the balance, and paying what I can afford, but I'm not going to ruin my good payment history with my car and the (low/almost paid off) balance on my CCs to come up with money that I simply don't have. That would be a really stupid sacrifice anyway lol.

 

So in the meantime, I need some advice on dealing with these guys. It's "Professional Service Bureau", in WI. The letter I got shows the account numbers, original creditor, principal and total amounts. I've had cursery look over them and know they are mine and genuine (which clearly I will not say to the CA), and I recall this specific amount falling off my medical account a few months ago. I think a DV letter would be silly at this point, and that a settlement with "do not report to CRAs" stipulation would be better.

 

Their letter also says that there is financial assistance available "for those who qualify", and part of me wonders if I'd qualify, and part of me wonders if the PFD letter might sour them since they already offer financial assistance. I need to get in contact with them soon and want to send a letter as soon as I can because I have until the 24th before they automatically declare it "valid".

 

What I've read online suggests offering 40%-50% settlement on fresh debt, but I really don't want to screw this up since I'm getting so much closer to cleaning my credit reports and getting ahead in improving my life and finances. I could only realistically offer $50 a month- my other CA is getting $75 a month, and I'll be contacting them soon for a letter of remaining balance. This other creditor that I'm paying successfully sued me years ago and got a judgement, but neither the judgement nor the collection account are on my credit report, thankfully. Maybe they felt sorry for me?

 

Advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Starting Feb 8, 2019 || EX- 605 | TU- 613 | EQ- 613
Fingerhut $600 || Kohl's $300 || Victoria's Secret $250 || Discover It $500 || Cap1 Platinum $375
Total Credit $2025 || Target Utilization sub-30%
Message 1 of 7
6 REPLIES 6
Frequent Contributor

Re: New debt collection letter- wanting advice

I would contact them right away and see if they will do the 50 a month that you feel you can afford from what I know by the time it gets to that point they typically don't do payments anymore as they have already slashed down the amount for you BUT some still will so if you can do that.

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Message 2 of 7
New Member

Re: New debt collection letter- wanting advice

Request validation- they must provide you with actual signed contract between you and original creditor.
Message 3 of 7
New Contributor

Re: New debt collection letter- wanting advice

Debt Collectors SUCK. I have worked on many indiviudals, and fought so many collectors when I was helping others fix their credit.

 

IMO I would ask them to write you a PAID IN FULL Settlement offer, and tell them to US MAIL you this offer. If you PAY IN FULL you could get this down to 350$, and put it on a credit card ( if you have one).

 

Get this removed before they put this on a credit report. It takes time to get it off, and ask them to settle this ASAP.

 

Call them, and be stern on what you want.

 

 

Message 4 of 7
Regular Contributor

Re: New debt collection letter- wanting advice


@eLe28chick wrote:
Request validation- they must provide you with actual signed contract between you and original creditor.

No, they do not have to provide a signed contract in order to validate.

Message 5 of 7
Established Member

Re: New debt collection letter- wanting advice


@Iceywarm wrote:

Debt Collectors SUCK. I have worked on many indiviudals, and fought so many collectors when I was helping others fix their credit.

 

IMO I would ask them to write you a PAID IN FULL Settlement offer, and tell them to US MAIL you this offer. If you PAY IN FULL you could get this down to 350$, and put it on a credit card ( if you have one).

 

Get this removed before they put this on a credit report. It takes time to get it off, and ask them to settle this ASAP.

 

Call them, and be stern on what you want.

 

 


This sounds like it could be doable. I am actually waiting for a new CC to arrive. Is it actually better to call them, or write to them? I can get easily flustered and defensive on the phone and I don't want to screw up my chance at getting this taken care of in a way most beneficial to me. It might be easier for me to write them something along the lines of "upon written and signed acceptance of this settlement offer of $$$.$$ paid in full, and with agreement to refrain from reporting this alleged debt, speaking to anyone about this alledged debt, etc etc", I could make sure my terms are spelled out clearly.

 

Or I could write up a "script" for myself before speaking to them. I generally follow the guideline of never speaking to a debt collector over the phone, too easy to get backed into a corner or slip up and say something that leaves you liable, but a script might mitigate that. What do you think?

Starting Feb 8, 2019 || EX- 605 | TU- 613 | EQ- 613
Fingerhut $600 || Kohl's $300 || Victoria's Secret $250 || Discover It $500 || Cap1 Platinum $375
Total Credit $2025 || Target Utilization sub-30%
Message 6 of 7
Established Member

Re: New debt collection letter- wanting advice

I gave them a call and told them I would like to recieve a financial assistance application. I was planning on, if they asked me about the debt or tried to get me to say it was mine, to just say "I don't wish to discuss this over the phone." The lady I talked to never said anything like that, just confirmation of my name and birthdate, update my phone number, and get the app mailed out.

 

She said that the request would put a hold on the account for 30 days, I don't know if that refers to collection attempts or reporting, but I didn't want to ask because I'd probably end up getting flustered and tongue-tied and then say something I shouldn't. So I'm just gonna play it by ear for the next month here, and hope I can get financial assistance with it. I genuinely do not have more than about $100 a week left after bills (it varies depending on volume at work, so sometimes I might get 28 hours, and then sometimes I might get 36 hours, etc), and that $100 has to all go to food, gas, necessities, pet food, and any other non-recurring things I might need that week.

 

My fingers are crossed that this goes in my favor, and stays off my credit report.

Starting Feb 8, 2019 || EX- 605 | TU- 613 | EQ- 613
Fingerhut $600 || Kohl's $300 || Victoria's Secret $250 || Discover It $500 || Cap1 Platinum $375
Total Credit $2025 || Target Utilization sub-30%
Message 7 of 7