Is There A Maximum Percentage Debt Collector’s Will Accept As A Settlement?

I’m trying to take care of a couple collections, one is $1,287 and the other is $998. The one that is $1,287 they are saying they can offer a settlement of $760 and the $998 said a settlement of $734, but then changed their story 2 days later to $600, then when I told them I only had $400 they said $499 is the lowest they can go. Can anyone tell me the REAL story here? What IS the lowest they can go, I am very broke and I heard they BUY these off other companies for PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR so why can’t they just take my $400? Obviously, just like everything else in life, I want to pay as little as I have to. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Anthony Nitz has been in the real estate business for over 20 years and has always put priority on the success of his clients. Contact Anthony for your real estate needs at 714-900-2710


  1. echo says:

    Much depends on how old the accounts are and if you are out of the collecting SOL or near it.
    If you are out of the collecting SOL, the only way they can make a dime off of the account is if you agree to pay. So you can pretty much tell them how much YOU want to pay.
    If they are old accounts, but still within the collecting SOL, chances are you are dealing with a junk debt buyer who had indeed purchased the accounts for pennies. Stand your ground and tell them that $400 is all you can afford.
    If they are fairly new accounts, they are probably with a collection agency who had either been assigned the debts or purchased them. If that’s the case, then as a previous poster stated 50% is a pretty good deal.
    Always make sure you do “everything” in writing !!
    Send everything certified mail return receipt.
    Your letters should demand that they accept a portion of the account as payment in full. (if you don’t they will probably continue to try to collect or sell it to another collector)
    You should also demand that they delete anything they have placed on your credit reports after receiving payment.
    (be very careful and make sure that they agree, in writing, that the account is considered paid in full with a partial payment.
    Some states allow the collection SOL to be re-set up an agreement to pay. If you live in one of those states and you are out of the collection SOL and make a payment – the collecting SOL would restart and they could sue for the remainder – protect yourself and get the agreement of payment in full upon partial payment in writing)
    If you are out of the collecting SOL, you have a legal right to not pay and to send them a SOL letter.
    Whether you want to pay or not, you should check the collecting SOL in your state to know where you stand.
    You can click on my profile and check the link I have listed to find the collecting SOL for your state.

  2. Insomnia says:

    It’s true, they do buy the bad debt for VERY little so they can go lower than that if they want to. It sounds like they want to make a profit (of course what company wouldn’t). Be firm, stick with what you can pay.

  3. SPIFIMAN says:

    Normally around 50% is the lowest that they will accept. So if you have a offer of $499.00 on a debt of $998.00 that is exactly 50%.

  4. Anah B says:

    scrape together the extra hundred, get the settlement in writing and KEEP IT FOREVER!!!! generally, I would expect to pay about 50%. They may go lower, but 50% is fair and easy.