I have a collections debt and want to settle but the company seems like a scam, what should I do?

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Well I owe this debt from an apartment lease broken back in 2005. It’s just now caught up with me so I called the company that owns the debt to settle and they agreed. Just being cautious and making sure that the company doesn’t sell the remainder debt to another company, I demanded a settlement letter stating my judgment, damages and attorney fees are settled with that apartment complex, the rep got an attitude and said he wouldn’t deal with me and could not do that. He had his manager call me back who rudely said I must pay by the deadline or the amount will go up then promptly hung up. I’ve called the court, the apartment complex and neither of them know who this collection agency is BUT the collections agency the apartment deals with did claim they sold the debt to this business that I’m dealing with. So anyway, I went to the apartment complex today and they sat with me as I called the collections agency. The same jerk answered and after I told him who I was and that I’m ready to make the payment at the apartment office and would like a faxed settlement letter, they immediately hung up. I called back and they hung up again. The third time I called back I got their after hours voice mail. I am at a loss at what to do. I want to rectify this situation but can’t seem to because the people I’m dealing with seems like a scam. BUT the apartment complex and court both state I need to pay the collections people because the account was sold. I do not trust them. What should I do?????????????????????

3 Comments
  1. Reply
    YA! 4ever
    July 21, 2011 at 4:04 am

    To be honest with you, you have 2 choices, one, you can pay the collection agency and hopefully they will send you a satisfactory letter and all is well. Or you can not pay them at all and never call them again. Whats your credit score? If its in the mid 600’s or higher, forget about them.

  2. Reply
    CatDad
    July 21, 2011 at 4:05 am

    Once an account is sold to a collection agency it’s the collection agency that is entitled to any money that you pay….You can’t go back to the original party unless they buy the account back…

    What happened to you is exactly why I try to warn people about the dangers of contacting debt collectors out the blue for old debt…often it’s best to just sit tight and let the debt fall off naturally by itself in 7 years. Keep your fingers crossed and hope that have have not triggered aggressive collection activity against yourself.

    Keep all further communication in writing…….If they refuse to give you a written settlement agreement PRIOR to paying then don’t pay them.
    ——————–
    – NEVER give out your checking account/bank routing numbers to debt collectors for making electronic debit payments. This is like giving the keys to your front door to a burglar. Once they have this info they can attempt to withdraw any amount from your checking account at any time. Pay only via USPS money orders.

  3. Reply
    Tony
    July 21, 2011 at 4:59 am

    You’re right in requesting a settlement letter first, otherwise you can wind up merely making a payment towards the full balance instead of settling the account as you intend. I suggest the next time they contact you that you request them to validate the debt. This is something that they may have to do as outlined in the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. The FDCPA requires that all collections activity cease until this request is accommodated so long as the request is made in the appropriate timeframe.

    Also, you should work towards getting complete command of all of your finances. Read this free e-book Great Credit for a LIFETIME at:

    http://debtfree.com/downloads/eBook.pdf

    If they do provide you with a settlement letter, be sure that it contains all the information necessary such as the account number (or reference number), the terms of the settlement (i.e. amount, payment terms, etc.). If they provide you with an appropriate settlement letter, be sure that you send each check in a traceable fashion and that they’re signed for. Then keep the delivery confirmation information, cancelled check or checks, and the settlement letter together as they’ll allow you to prove you held up your end of the deal.

    The appendix of Great Credit for a LIFETIME includes sample letters you can use to ensure that your credit report reflects your compliance with the settlement. It also contains a copy of the FDCPA that you should try to get familiar with to be sure you’re on an even playing field with the collections agency

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