How I can get a collection agency to settle for even half of what I owe ifthey aren’t willing to come down?

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How I can get a collection agency to settle for even half of what I owe ifthey aren’t willing to come down?

Is there some magical word that I can use to get them to come down to half of what I owe, which is all that I can afford to pay?

Asked on August 17, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there are no magical words to do this. Settling a debt for less than is owed is completely voluntary on the part of creditors or thieir collection agencies--they simply are not required to accept anything less than payment in full on time. If you have done the logical things--shown them you income, assets, and obligations, so they can see what you can afford--and they still refuse to settle, you may need to consider bankruptcy as an option. You should discuss your situation with a bankruptcy attorney, who can tell you whether--and  which type of--bankruptcy is right for you. If it is, you might then, in full truth and good conscience, tell the collection agency that you will declare bankruptcy if you cannot settle debt for an amount you can afford. If that doesn't motivate them to settle, likely nothing will.


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