Can a collection agency accept payment and then change its mind?

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Can a collection agency accept payment and then change its mind?

It refused the second payment and told me that I was under legal review and possible wage garnishment.

Asked on June 19, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If there was an agreement between you and the collection agency (or between you and the creditor which hired the collection agency) that you would pay according to a certain schedule, then as long as you honored your terms of the agreement, they have to honor the agreement, too, and accept the payments.

On the other hand, if you were in default (i.e. had missed payments, paid late, etc.) on the original debt and then did not have an actual agreement with the collection agency, the agency is free to reject an offered paymen from you and consider suing you. Without an agreement, once you are in default, the creditor or its representative(s) may go to legal action and don't have to accept offered payments.


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