How to negotiate debts - If you have even a little money you have major leverage.
In my last article I started discussing how to negotiate debts. In this article I'll cover the remainder of what you can and cannot do when addressing old debt.
Old debt doesn't go away unless you pay it off. It's that simple. The original creditor might have charged it off. It might be very close to the Statute of Limitations. When you have this knowledge, and some money to pay your old debt, you are in a position to negotiate terms. Remember in the last article when I stated to not talk to collectors on the telephone? That person most probably does NOT have any authority regarding your account. You have every right under the law to seek PROOF OF THE DEBT.
You might want to offer a "settlement offer". That means that in consideration for the creditor/collector accepting agreed upon funds, they have to agree to accept your offer as "paid in full". There have been a great number of letters written regarding paying off "charged off accounts". Present FICO scoring methodology works in this fashion. If an account is reported as "paid charged off account", this action LOWERS your credit score. Today many creditors/collectors are being more and more aware of this failure in the system and have agreed to report the account as "Paid As Agreed" or have "DELETED" the paying history entirely.
There are many pros and cons regarding this type of reporting. However, we cannot agree with the FICO manner in which credit scores are lowered when one tries to pay off old accounts. I have read both sides of the argument and one fact stands out. When you have the money, you have the power. Feel free to exercise your leverage in negotiating your payment terms.
Look at this from the perspective of the creditor/collection agency. Imagine youíre a businessman and you have 100 accounts owing you 00 each and haven't heard anything for 4 years and suddenly all these past due accounts offered you 0 as payment in full for your updating the credit files. Would you take the money? That's a no-brainer. The most important part of this strategy is that no one has to resort to litigation, which is costly. The original creditor is happy and you might even get a new calendar at Christmas.
If you negotiate under this scenario and you do not have enough money to pay the debt all at once, then by all means negotiate monthly payments. DO NOT agree to make a payment by a certain date. Simply agree to pay so much per month. That way if you are a day or two late, you are not in violation of any agreement.
Now letís say you agreed to pay the account off over a period of 12 months. Well at the end of a six-month period you can show your lender that you are indeed serious about addressing your back debt. You have virtually turned bad credit into good credit. You have gotten the original creditor to discount your bill by 50% and he has agreed to finance you. You didn't borrow a dime to pay him back. Is that smart? You bet it is!
That pretty much sums up how to negotiate your debt when you have money as leverage. Later I'll go over doing the same if you have no money. In my next article I'll cover how the Statute of Limitations works.
About the Author: Chuck Lunsford is the owner and developer of EasyFloridaHomeLoans.com. He offers advice on how to get your credit in order and working for you. Visit his website and learn more about buying a home with bad credit .