Question

I have read on a couple of websites that asking a collection agency to delete an account once your willing to pay it in full does not mean that it will happen. How do you work around that once you’ve paid it off and they do not remove it. Is it also true that paying on an account that is old refreshes the date it is reported as bad?

Response

Good questions. While it’s true that collection agencies are under no legal obligation to remove the account once you’ve paid it, generally the collection agencies are only concerned with one thing: getting paid. They do not care about your credit score. In most cases, if you state in writing that you will pay the account in full if they agree (in writing) to remove the collection entry from your credit report, they will comply.

The key is to get everything in writing. Collection agencies do not want to go to court anymore than you do (regardless of what they say). Therefore, if a written agreement is established (i.e., pay in full for removal), its very unlikely they will fail to remove the entry. If you don’t have everything in writing, all bets are off and they won’t take the time to remove the entry.

Regarding your last question: Although rare, resuming payment on an old account can refresh the date. However, this is no reason to put off paying on an old account –if the date is reset, in most cases it’s very easy to get this removed by simply disputing it as inaccurate.