This method is somewhat like writing letters to the Credit Bureaus, however, the difference is that the dispute letters are sent directly to the creditor. One thing to remember is that the department stores, banks, etc. have the power to take anything off a credit report that they have placed on a credit report.
A number of things must be included in the creditor le 212n135c tter. Please give the store your account number. State exactly what the problem on your credit report is, and why it should be removed. Ask the creditor to verify the amounts. Demand that they correct or remove the incorrect item.
Unlike the dispute letter method, this type of letter can be typed out rather than written.
If you feel that you are correct and cannot seem to get anywhere, ask to talk to a higher supervisor. The higher the supervisor, the more in tune they are to profits; stores want to keep your account, and you as a customer.
At some point it may be beneficial for you to have your attorney write a letter to the creditor. Many times just the threat of a lawsuit will get the creditor to change the credit rating.
Remember, that if the creditor placed it on the credit report, they can take it off. Having an attorney write a letter may cost you somewhere between $75 and $100.
Many times stores will not keep records past 24 months and cannot find the information. Therefore there is a good chance it will be removed.
One more option when dealing with creditors is if you have not paid a bill in full with them. The fact that you owe them money can work to your advantage. Most, if not all, creditors would rather get some money instead of none at all. This is true from banks to oil companies. Be willing to negotiate with your creditor.
Approach the creditor with the idea that you would like to settle your account difference. Probably you do not have enough money to pay him in full or you would already have. For example, let's say you owe a department store $100. The department store may have already charged it off and reported it to the credit bureau. Offer to pay the store $50 to settle the account with the understanding that they will also remove the negative mark on your credit report.
The store can either say yes or no to this proposition. If they want a little more than $50, you will have to decide how high you can go and still stay within your payment schedule.
Subscribers have the ability to change your credit rating with the credit bureau. Many will tell you they cannot change the rating, but that is just not correct.
We are not suggesting this method to discount bills that you already owe. We feel each and everyone should pay their bills on time and in full. However, there are times when you just cannot pay 100% of every bill. Another reason for settling could be you where dissatisfied with the merchandise or service.
If you were dissatisfied with the merchandise, credit card companies have been known to take the bill off your account and charge it back to the store. However, you must notify your credit card company within one month of the purchase date.
If you feel uncomfortable about approaching the creditor yourself, you should hire an accountant, financial consultant, or possibly an attorney to act as your representative. Please check with the professional on how much this will cost you.
If you are handling your own case, at some point you will probably reach a settlement. Percentages vary, however. I had a large chemical client that settled for 20 cents on the dollar. Don't expect to get that low in your negotiations. Settlements vary from 30 to 70 percent, with the majority being around 60 percent.
If you feel you can afford 60 percent, don't start out at 60 percent. If you do you will probably end up at 70 or 80 percent. You must start at around 40 percent if you expect to end up at 60. Remember that the collection department will start high to end up somewhere in the middle.
When you reach a verbal agreement with the collection department have them prepare a SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT and mail it or fax it to you for your review. DO NOT pay your bill prior to receiving this settlement agreement. Arrangements have been known to change from the time of initial phone contact to the receipt of the written settlement agreement. It would also be a good idea to have an attorney review the document for you.
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