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Question By
zettto

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CA: should I pay to avoid being reported or should I ask for validation first?
Here's the background:
I have got a letter from Viking Client Service, a collection agency on Jan. 19, 2016, for a bill of less than $150 from AVIS on rental car repair cost I initially received one mail from AVIS on May 22, 2015. I intended to use VISA as insurance company to cover it but I didn't keep the initial rental agreement so I asked AVIS to provide a copy. AVIS was able to provide a few other items directly to VISA but failed to provide a copy of initial rental agreement to me or VISA. I had several calls to AVIS urging the copy but they said it took time to request the copy. The initial agreement has the proof that I declined insurance plan from AVIS.
I called AVIS and they said they won't and haven't reported anything to CRA. They told me that even if the incident has passed over 365 days, the account with VISA is still open so they can go through VISA. And they were able to transfer my call to Viking Client Service.
Then I talked with Viking, they said they are non-reporting agency. And they told me they could try to get the initial agreement and go through VISA. I let them say they haven't and won't report this to CRA. I ackowledged the call was recorded. I also mentioned I reserve the right to write a letter within 30 day limit asking for debt validation.


My questions:
1. What's the best strategy for me right now to keep my credit report clean? I am aware that I may be able to:
(1) ask a statement from Vikings stating they have not and will not report it to CRA and will not sell the account to any others to exchange my full payment,
(2) or I may ask for debt validation in written mail like all the online samples. I can mention in the mail that if they are able to provide the initial rental agreement, it can be given to VISA. If VISA refused to pay for any reason and I still owe the money, I am willing to settle it with full payment if they promise with writing that they will not report it to any CRA. This may be risky for me as they may report to CRA anyway and I think this may make the annoying thing last for a few other months.
Should I pick (1) or (2) or should I plan to do something else?
I believe that the worst case scenario is AVIS being able to provide initial rental agreement finally which validate the bill to be valid. And VISA already outlined in earlier mail that they won't cover anything that's 365-day older so the debt is on me. And then as soon as the debt is validated, Vikings will report it to CRA and I get bad credit. Is this route possible?
2. AVIS & Vikings both said they will NOT report the account to CRA, which I found difficult to believe. Is this real?

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As long as you keep the conversation going until you get the right documentation they will not report. I would suggestion doing option #2.

Reply by
zettto

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If they were able to provide the initial rental agreement somehow and it passed the deadline that VISA is able to cover it, will they report it then? 

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