Everything You Need to Know About Pay For Delete Letter
Have you ever come across a negative item on your credit report, and you don’t know how to go about the situation. This is a common problem for many Americans and if you’re in this situation, it’s about time you consider a pay for delete letter to try and expel this negative item from your credit report.
However, before you dive into the letter, there are a few things you need to consider. First off, you need to know what this letter is, how and whether it works, if it is ethical and whether there are other ways you can restore your credit.
What is a “Pay For Delete” Letter?
Having a good credit is beneficial to you, especially when you need to take out a loan. Just when you thought you had built your credit to the top and then all of a sudden you realize there’s a bad entry that has damaged your score.
Take it easy, such entries are common in the world of credit reporting. It’s not a terminal problem as you can fix it. The best way to go about this is to ask the collection agency to eliminate the negative entry. In return, you can offer to pay off the debt amount in full or a certain agreed amount.
This is what is referred to as “Pay for Delete” and it’s one of the most effective ways to settle such disputes.
On average, collection agencies will buy your debt amount for pennies on a dollar, which comes to about 10 cents for the recent debts. Therefore, if they make anything above 10 cents, they’re in business.
The Steps to Take When Using Pay for Delete
If you decide to use pay for deletion method to have the negative records expelled from your credit report, you’ll have to follow these three steps:
- Which collection agency owns the debt. Sometimes you won’t have to search for them since they’ll have made several attempts at reaching you. If they don’t reach you in any way, you can find the name of the agency on your report courtesy of the credit bureau. Otherwise, you’ll have to contact the lender that offered you the loan in the first place.
- Draft your letter to the collection agency. While writing the letter, you need to think of this transaction as a business engagement. Since it’s a pay for deletion situation, you’ll be trying to convince the agency to eliminate all negative entries if you pay off an agreed amount. This is exactly what you’ll express in writing. If you have no idea where to start, you can find some sample letters in the article.
- If the credit company replies to your letter in writing, make sure to keep it in a file for future reference.
Sometimes this method doesn’t work and the negative item remains in the new credit report. If this is the case, contact the agency and remind them of your initial offer. If this doesn’t work out, you should switch gears and get a credit repair agency or a lawyer to fix the problem.
How Pay for Delete Works
First off, before going any further, it’s vital to understand that even though you’ve decided to settle the debt, it doesn’t mean you owe the collection agency the amount they claim.
A pay for delete letter informs the collector of your intention to settle the debt they claim you owe them. In return, you are asking them to sign a contract showing that they agree to eliminate all damaging negative items from your credit report.
However, keep in mind the collection agency isn’t obligated by law to accept your terms. This means they can turn you down. In fact, many of them will tell you it’s an impossible task simply because they don’t want to go through the whole process of updating the report to the credit bureaus.
Also, you need to know that as you go through the pay for deletion process, you’ll encounter some legal deadlines. For example, there are the 30 days for debt validation.
The templates in this article can help you craft a pay for delete letter, but you’ll need to change the details to fit your situation. If you feel the process is too overwhelming for you, you can contact a credit repair company to help you.
Sample Letter 1
The account number: …………………..
The original Lender: (Lender’s name)
The amount as it appears on the credit report: $$$$.$$
To Whom it May Concern
I am writing this letter with reference to the above-listed account with the intention of settling the said amount on mutual agreement. Furthermore, I do not assume any liability whatsoever for the alleged debt and therefore, I maintain the right to request a complete and full debt validation and verification from your company.
Nevertheless, I am willing to clear a certain amount of the account as a sign of goodwill, but under the following terms:
- our company will eliminate the negative items from my credit report with the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian).
- Your company will not list this debt as a “settled account.”
- You will not disclose this agreement to any other party.
- You will accept this payment as a full debt settlement.
- You will not attempt to transfer, sell or move this debt to any other creditor.
If you agree to these conditions, I will:
Pay an amount $$$.$$ through a certified cashier’s check or a money order. (Make sure you pay between 40% and 50% of the total debt if you have a new account and 30% to 40% if you have an old account.
Also, this is not a promise nor is it a renewed promise to pay. It remains as a restricted settlement offer and you have to agree to the terms mentioned above to receive the payment. In addition, should you agree to this settlement, write to me using a company letterhead and this agreement should be entered by an authorized company representative.
This offer will expire in 30 days. I look forward to a favorable reply.
(Your name – type it)
Is It Ethical to Write Pay for Delete Letters?
For quite a while, pay or deletion has been termed as unethical and there’s a good reason for that. What you’re asking the collection agency to do is misrepresent the information about your credit to the reporting agencies. This leads to a violation of the service agreement the collector signed with the reporting agencies.
This can lead to a breakdown of the credit reporting system. For example, if someone fails to pay off their debt and their account is transferred to collections, should they pay the debt later on after the account is deleted, it misrepresents the information on their credit report.
When they apply for a loan, the lender will go through their credit history and they will be satisfied with their creditworthiness. Instead, the borrower is irresponsible.
As much as pay for delete letters might be unethical, they aren’t illegal. However, it’s only fair that you pay any debts owed without skirting around the system.
What Happens When Your Letter is Rejected?
First off, as mentioned in this article, collectors aren’t obligated to respond to your letter and they can even turn down the offer. Therefore, you must be ready for such a scenario.
If your letter gets rejected, you can still choose other avenues to resolve the situation, including exercising your rights as laid out under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Remember in the letter, you threatened to ask for a validation and verification of the alleged debt? Well, it’s about time you made good your threat. If they cannot prove the debt, then they are obliged to remove it from your credit report.
A verification letter is a fantastic step since chances are, they don’t have the necessary information to validate the debt. In addition, it’s a great idea to reference the letter as a step after sending a pay for delete letter.
What Other Options Do You Have?
Since pay for delete letters don’t guarantee you results, it’s important for you to consider other options. One is through a goodwill letter. This letter shows the lender you acknowledge the debt and you’re asking for leniency.
This letter is recommended if you made a late payment or if there was a genuine mistake and you’re trying to resolve it.
Again, if the collector turns your letter down, chances are they will settle for a portion of the amount owed. However, the negative item will remain on your credit report for seven years and it will be shown as “settled” or “paid in full” as per the agreement.
Building a stellar credit takes years of hard work and a single negative item reported on your credit report can bring it down. While pay for delete letters can work out a solution, it’s not a guarantee that it’ll work all the time. It’s more like a game of poker.
In addition, you cannot always take shortcuts to a good credit report, especially if the debt owed is legitimate. If you owe the debt, pay it off without question.