Question

I have several credit cards in varying stages of delinquency. How far behind does one typically have to  fall, before a creditor is ready to accept a reduced settlement? And when do creditors typically give up and send the account to a collection agency?

Response

In my experience, credit card companies usually do not accept a settlement before the account has been handed over to a collection agency. This is particularly true for credit card companies. However, with that said, it’s not a bad idea to ask them if they’d be willing to work something out. Your number one goal ought to be to keep these accounts out of collections. Dealing with collection agencies is not a pleasant experience. Plus, you run the real risk of adding yet another bad entry on your credit report. Basically, creditors can send the account to collections whenever they see fit. I would, however, expect to see the account go to collections after it has been between 120 days and 150 days late.