I graduated college 4 months ago and I've been luck enough to land a great job but now that I'm in the "real world" I am having to deal with some mistakes I made while in school. One of these, like many other students, was racking up credit card debt. I was able to keep one in good standing, which I'm currently paying off, but I have another one that was sold to a third party that I would like to settle. (Full disclosure, the debt has actually been sold 4 or 5 different times)
Considering that the debt has been sold many times I'm expect that the company currently holding it has paid maybe 5 to 10 cents on the dollar and for that reason would be open to settling it for very little.
The company called me and I told them that I'm interested in settling the debt but I would first need to see proof that they own the debt. That was earlier today and they said they would send the right documentation in the mail.
My First question is, how can I be sure that what they send me is legit? Is there something I should look for to ensure I am actually working with the company who owns the debt?
As long as they are the real company that owns the debt I am going to offer to pay about 30% of the total amount. They are trying to say the debt is $3900 but that is after everyones BS fees, the actual debt is $3200. So, I will be offering to pay $1000. I should say that they sent me some generic piece of mail saying they would settle for 70%. There is obviously a large cap between 30% and 70% but I'm ready to play hard ball. I have no interest in getting a house, car, etc any time soon so I really don't need a good credit score. I plan to let them know this so they will understand that too me it really doesn't matter and they can take the $1000 or sell the debt to another company.
My second question is, what do you think about this approach? I'm aware it's not a great attitude but honestly I don't make that much and just scraping together the grand won't be easy, plus I'm going to need to start paying off my ridiculous student loan total so it is what it is.
My third question is, how can ensure that the settlement agreement is legally binding? I've read that others have settled with these types of companies and if they're shady they will turn right around and say "oops well that wasn't a legal document and we're requesting the full amount now". Do I need to pay a lawyer to draft up a settlement agreement?
My last question is, how can I get this account settled with the credit agencies? Once the debt is settled I would like my credit report to show the account as settled rather than open or whatever. Like I said it doesn't really matter but I'm sure it's better to fix my credit report sooner than later. That way, down the road, when I am ready for a house, I don't have to deal with it then.
Thank you for any help! This is such a great resource!