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Negotiating directly with a debt collector

Although Texas residents dealing with serious debt problems might seek relief through bankruptcy, there are additional methods that could be explored to settle their financial obligations. In some cases, individuals seek settlements directly with collectors, offering less than the full amount owed to conclude the matter. However, some collection agencies may be less willing to negotiate than others.

One important consideration in approaching direct negotiations to eliminate debt is the type of debt that needs to be resolved. For example, a reduction in the amount owed may not be possible with medical bills. Insurance contracts could play a role in these situations, eliminating the possibility of discounts. Credit card accounts could be flagged for certain types of activity, including balance transfers or cash advances. In these cases, settlement might not be achievable. Similarly, credit card accounts with balances that are comparable in value to recent purchases might be difficult to settle.

If a debt collector is seeking full payment and refuses a settlement offer, time may be an asset in achieving a more favorable outcome. In some cases, collectors may have the authority to accept a lesser amount, but they may not be willing to do so initially. Debt collection agencies are also known for selling debts to other agencies, a practice that has created a huge market. A collector that acquires an account in this manner might be more willing to work out an affordable deal. If most debts have been negotiated and resolved, it may be worthwhile to simply pay off an amount owed to a difficult creditor if possible.

A consumer who is unsure about how to begin dealing with negotiations might seek guidance from debt relief lawyers. These professionals may review all debts in question to determine which ones are more likely to be resolved advantageously.

Source:, "How Do I Get a Debt Collector to Negotiate With Me?", Michael Bovee, Feb. 9, 2015

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