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Trying to negotiate a PFD settlement with PRA
Hi! I'm working on fixing my credit & the one thing really holding me back is a single, 1 year old, $438 collections debt owed to Portfolio Recovery Associates. I would like to negotiate a pay for delete with them, preferably with a settlement for a percentage of what is owed so I can just pay them all at once & be done with it so I can look into getting a car loan, up my credit card limit, etc.
In my googling I've seen advice to call and just ask, advice to write a letter, and a bunch of other stuff contradicting everything else I've seen, so I'm really at a loss. Anyone with any sort of experience have some advice or insight on how to go about this?
Thank you so much! :)
- Molly

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I settled with PRA

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Most PFDs are with smaller collection outfits.  I've actuallly never had any luck with them besides a medical bill that was with a small collection company, and it was based on paying the account in full, not a lesser amount.  With regards to PRA, they can afford to drag the process out.  I had a $12k account that was bought by them from HSBC, and after four years they finally agreed to settle for 50%, but would not delete the account.  With your amount being much less, I would only aim for a lump-sum settlement, not payments.  With it only being a year old, I wouldn't count on them being anxious to offer you much of a discount, but I would just get it over and done with so your credit can start its upswing.

As a side note, I wouldn't agree to payments because PRA is notoriously bad at updating their records.  Giving them access to your bank account for automated check payments seems like a risk not worth taking.  I refused a payment plan offer each time I spoke with them periodically over 4 years.  After I paid it, it took me 2 certified letters (one from an attorney) to get them to report it correctly to the credit bureaus.

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Best thing to do is to write letters. Negotiating is a series of offers and counter offers until an agreement is reached, then payment is made.  Keeping copies of the communications is important in case either party fails to keep their endm of the deal.  If you were to do this by phone, there is no concrete proof of what either party said and, generally, the party you speak to on a phone call does not have the authority to do any negotiating.  This is one of the many credit items covered in the articles on this site, which I recommend reading.

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