How do I negotiate with a collection agency?
March 10, 2008 11:15 AM Subscribe
How do I negotiate with a collection agency and make them notify the original creditor right away?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
A few weeks ago I got a call from a creditor claiming I had a debt to my university from five years ago. I told them to send me more information. I received a letter which claimed that I owed $299 plus approximately $100 in "collection fees." I then sent the agency a letter asking for further validation, including the breakdown of specific charges. It was a standard validation letter text that I found online, minus some of the threats of legal action. I have not heard back from the collection agency since.
However, I have decided that I want to go back to school and thus need my university transcripts before mid-April. I called the university and found out that the original $299 was a valid debt to them, but since they have sold it to a collection agency they will not accept my payment directly.
I need to know how to negotiate with the collection agency -- a thirty three percent markup on the original debt seems out of line, not to mention the fact that they probably paid ten percent for the debt in the first place -- but I want them to notify the university immediately, so I can get my transcripts.
Any tips on how to do this? I've seen some instructions online but nothing detailing this type of situation, where letting them know that I need them to notify the original creditor vs. the credit bureau might tip their hand and make the deal I could get less desirable.
Thank you for any help you can provide.