COLLECTION AGENCY SAYS I OWE A LOT MORE THAN WHAT THEIR WEBSITE SAYS I OWE, SO I PAID IT ONLINE, BUT NOW THEY WANT THE REST....

Asked over 5 years ago - Sacramento, CA

I AM TRYING TO BUY A HOUSE. CHECKED MY CREDIT AND I HAVE A MARK ON MY CREDIT THAT WILL PREVENT THE PURCHASE OF THE HOUSE. I CALLED THE COLLECTIONS AGENCY AND THEY SAID I OWE $6000 AND CAN SETTLE FOR $3600. I CALLED AGAIN THE WEEK AFTER AND WAS TOLD THAT THE OFFER HAD EXPIRED AND NOW IT WAS GOING TO BE $4800. I AM SAVING FOR A DOWN PAYMENT AND THIS WILL PUT A HUGE DENT IN MY DOWN PAYMENT. I CHECKED ONLINE AND THEIR WEBSITE SAYS I OWE ABOUT $4000 AND CAN SETTLE FOR $2500. SO I PAID IT ONLINE BUT I DIDN'T RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION # OR PAYMENT RECEIPT. I CALLED THE AGENCY AND THEY SAID ITS NOT VALID AND CAN'T TALK TO ANYBODY SO I CANCELLED MY PAYMENT UNTIL I CAN TALK TO SOMEONE. ANY ADVICE? HELP!!

Additional information

THIS ISN'T MONEY THAT I OWE THEM, EVEN THOUGH I MAY KNOW WHO DID AND WHEN, THERE'S NO WAY OF CONTACTING THIS PERSON. THE CREDIT REPORT SAYS THE BALANCE IS ABOUT $4000 SO I'M ASSUMING THE OTHER $2000 IS INTEREST OR WHATEVER THE COLLECTION WANTS TO ADD ON. THE WEBSITE SAID THAT WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF $2500 IT WOULD CONSIDER IT "PAID IN FULL" WHICH IS WHY I WENT THAT ROUTE. SO I PAID IT ONLINE BUT IT JUST SAID "THANKS FOR YOUR PAYMENT" WITH NO CONFIRMATION NUMBER, OR RECEIPT THAT IT WOULD UPDATE MY CREDIT WITH THE "PAID IN FULL" OR ANYTHING, WHICH IS WHY I CALLED THE COLLECTION AGENCY AND THEY TOLD ME THAT IT WAS INCORRECT. SO I THEN CALLED MY BANK AND CANCELLED THE PAYMENT. THE PROBLEM IS THAT I AM SUPPOSED TO CLOSE ON THE HOUSE THAT I WANT TO PURCHASE IN TWO WEEKS, SO EVEN THOUGH I CAN DISPUTE THEM ABOUT IT, I WANT TO GET RID OF THE COLLECTION ASAP IN ORDER TO STILL GET THE HOUSE, SO I FIGURED THAT BY JUST PAYING IT OFF, I CAN CONTINUE ON WITH MY HOUSE PLANS. IF I HAD MORE TIME, I WOULD PURSUE THE DISPUTE.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. David C. Garner

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . It would be helpful to have a lot more facts, but my first question would be whether or not you actually owe this money and for what. If you actually owe it ($6K or so) they are not required to accept less and are within their rights to ding your credit. Depending on what it was for and under what circumstances you might have certain defenses, but you sound as if you acknowledge the underlying obligation.

    If you do find a way to pay less (their website for instance) they can still report the matte as "settled" which isn't a great thing to have on your credit report either.

    If you decide to pay it on line, make sure you get a confirmation number. I'm assuming that would mean you are paying by credit card, so be sure to save the bill that such a charge comes on.

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