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TamThib

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How do I go about clearing off debt to collections

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I am assuming you are trying to remove collection items from your report. First, if the date of delinquency (when you first stopped paying the bill and it was reported late) was 7 years ago, you can dispute it as a staledated item. Accounts shouldn't be reported more than 7 years and 30 days from the last payment except some tax, student loan and government debts. Collection companies regularly buy and sell account keeping accounts that are well past this age on credit reports.

If the account is yours, less than 7 years old and you have the ability to repay them, contact the creditor to discuss payment. Be sure to receive something in writing stating they will cease collection attempts and report the account as "paid as agreed" after you pay. Do NOT pay until you have received something in writing and keep proof of payment with the letter.

A note of caution, contacting creditors for collections accounts "reactivates" the debt, essentially resetting the collection window clock.

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