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Question By
MichaelintheLBC

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Should I contact the original creditor by phone or in-person for a charge-off?
My Chase Freedom credit card was charged off by Chase and sold to a collections agency, which has continually passed from one agency to another. I assume contacting Chase first will be my best bet in attempting to remove the charge-off from my credit report by offering to pay the original debt. If this is the case, how will this affect the "in-collections" line from the collections agency on my credit report? And, should I contact Chase in-person, since I also bank with them, or is it better to contact by some other non- in-person method, such as by phone or mail?

Also, if I am successful in managing some sort of deal, can I negotiate opening a new account as part of the deal to repay?

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You can try Chase, but since they've sold the debt to a collection agency they probably won't be willing to work a deal.  Contact the collection agency that currently holds the debt by mail and offer a settlement amount.  Be aware that they can still legally report this account, even once paid, unless you get a deal from the collectors in writing that they will delete the account once it is paid.  You don't say how old this debt is, so please be aware that the account will fall off your report 7 & 1/2 years from the date it went delinquent, so if it is really old it will fall off on its own.  To learn more, visit www.credit.about.com.  Best of luck!

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Reply by
MichaelintheLBC

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Thank you for your response.  The account is relatively old (due to drop off my credit report in one year).  However, I'm in a pinch to clean up my credit, as timely as possible as I'm trying to move before then and cannot afford an increase in my monthly expenditures beyond what it currently is - I have six months.

I will definitely try the original creditor (Chase).  However, is it best I contact through mail, or by phone, or good ol' fashion in-person?

And, I do understand that they are still within their legal right to maintain accurate reporting.  I do, however, appreciate your help - thank you!

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