Credit Repair: Sample Letter And Tips For Writing A Collector

If collectors are contacting you about a debt, writing to them is a much better way to communicate than calling. Here are some tips on how to write a letter to repair your credit.

If collectors are contacting you by phone or mail, and you need to state your version of the situation and negotiate payments, writing to a collector is a much better way to communicate than calling.When you write a letter, you have a record of the communication.With a phone call, even with notes, it can become your word against the collector's about what was said or what payment arrangements were made.

Here are some tips for writing to collectors:

1. Be polite and businesslike.Abusive or angry language will put them on the defensive and will make them less likely to negotiate with you.

2. Be factual.Do not exaggerate any problem you may have had, but state it as truthfully as possible.For example, stating that a family member was in a bad accident when they were not is easy to check and will backfire on you during negotiations with the collector.

3. Offer a solution.Offering a payment plan, even if they do not accept it, may lead to negotiation of the amount you owe or to another payment plan satisfactory to you both.Your solution may include offering to pay less than you owe overall, if you truly cannot pay the whole bill.Some collectors will agree to this, if it is a choice between collecting something or nothing at all.

4. Be prepared to negotiate if the collector does not accept your original solution.If they offer another payment plan, think it over and see if it is workable.If the collector insists on full payment immediately, reiterate the reasons why you can't pay in full and your willingness to pay something on the bill.Send them what you can - even a small payment will prove that you are negotiating in good faith and trying to meet your obligations.This may be especially important if you end up in court over the debt.

5. Keep copies of all correspondence you send to the collector and keep copies of all correspondence they send to you.If they call instead of writing, make careful notes of all phone calls, including dates, times, and the names of the persons you speak to.Include these facts in the next letter you send to the collector, so they are documented for you both.

6. If a collector becomes abusive in tone, or tries to call you at inappropriate times or places, such as late at night or at work, send a letter outlining their ill behavior and asking them to stop, as these practices are illegal.Reiterate your desire to negotiate and ask them to contact you only in writing.

Here is a sample letter to use when writing to a collector:

123 Your Street

Your Town, Your State 12345

January 29, 2005

ABC Collection Agency

456 Main Street

Anytown, Anystate 99999

Dear Mr. Jones,

I am writing to you in reference to my account # 123456 with the Acme Supply Company.In your phone call of January 28th, 2005, you stated that my balance with them was $1,256.92, that I was three months behind on my payments, that they had turned the bill over to your company for collection, and that you wanted payment of the full balance immediately.

I acknowledge that I do owe the Acme Supply Company $1,256.92.I do plan to pay them, but I cannot pay the whole balance right now.I have been in the hospital for the last two months due to an automobile accident.I did not have enough sick leave to cover all the time I was off from work, so I could not pay all my bills.I will be returning to work next week, and plan to catch up on all my debts as soon as possible.However, this will take some time.

I am proposing that my regular payment of $100.00 per month to Acme be reduced to $35.00 per month for the next six months, until I can get my finances organized again.After six months, I will resume paying the regular payment amount of $100.00.I enclose a check for $35.00 to be applied against my balance.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


Sally Smith

Following these tips will help ensure a businesslike and more pleasant experience when you must deal with a collector, and can help you on your way back to financial stability.

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