I recently sent out three PFD letters to three different CAs.
Here is the letter I had sent.
Re: Account Number XXXX
Dear Collection Manager:
This letter is in response to your credit report entry on 2/22/2012 related to the debt referenced above. I wish to save us both some time and effort by settling this debt.
Please be aware that this is not an acknowledgment or acceptance of the debt, as I have not received any verification of the debt. Nor is this a promise to pay and is not a payment agreement unless you provide a response as detailed below.
I am willing to pay $XXX.00 as settlement for this debt in return for your agreement to remove all information regarding this debt from the credit reporting agencies within ten calendar days of payment.
If you agree to the terms, I will send certified payment in the amount of $XXX.00 payable to IC Systems in exchange to have all information related to this debt removed from all of my credit files.
If you accept this offer, you also agree not to discuss the offer with any third-party, excluding the original creditor. If you accept the offer, please prepare a letter on your company letterhead agreeing to the terms. This letter should be signed by an authorized agent of IC Systems. The letter will be treated as a contract and subject to the laws of my state.
Please forward your agreement to the address listed above.
I received responses back from two of the three stating that the original creditor had declined the offer and that the full amount is now due.
Both letters also contain the original account numbers. I called one of the CAs to request verification of the debt and was told they don't own the debt and the original creditor does.
So my question is:
Should I send PFD requests to the original creditors and see what happens?
Your first consideration should be to improve your offer by sending a new PFD to the debt collector, but with offering to pay the full amount of the debt.
As for sending a PFD to the original creditor, they cannnot agree to deletion of reporting they did not make, so they cannot accept a PFD that involves deletion of the collection. A PFD to the creditor would only be appropriate if you seek deletion of credit reporting that was made by the creditor, such as monthly delinquencies or a charge-off that occured on their account.
An alternate, but more convoluted, approach could be attempted if the creditor still owns the debt, which is apparently the case.
If you contact the creditor and get their agreement to accept payment directly from you AND to terminate their assignment of collection authority to the debt collector before accepting your payment, you can then rely upon CRA reporting policy to pursue deletion of the collection.
Under CRA policy, a debt collector is instructed to report deletion of their collection if their collection authority is teminated and the debt remains unpaid. You can thus pursue compliance with that policy if you can pursuade the creditor to terminate their assignment of collection authority prior to your payment to them. It, however, can become a contentious pursuit if the debt collector delays of refuses to comply. It is best to get a direct PFD from the debt collector if possible.
I would thus counter will a pay in full PFD offer to the debt collector.
Thank you Robert. I will offer the full amount in exchange for deletion.
New PFD letters offering full payment in exchange for deletion were sent out to the CA today. I will update with their response.
"they don't own the debt and the original creditor does"
Then why are they reporting on your credit reports?