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Can a Collection Company Charge Us For a Letter Saying We Paid? – Meyam

“Dear Steve,

My husband and I are saddled with credit card debts including unpaid utilities from 3 foreclosed properties. We are looking to rent in an income restricted community which is the only one we can afford. However, to qualify, we were told to pay off our utilities as the first step to clear our credit.

We called one of the utility companies, and they said our account is now handled by a collection agency. We called the collection agency to try and settle the account ($414.00 plus interest totalling around $440). My husband asked them to send us a bill or anything in writing before we send our check payment. However, the credit rep said they can’t do that. They want us to pay by phone or by credit card right on the spot. We refused because it didn’t seem right to pay upfront without any written agreement or billing statement.

We also requested that they report to the 3 credit bureaus, but they said it would 4 months for it to show up in our credit report. Finally, the rep said she would fax the letter. However, our fax machine could not receive the fax. The rep said we should just go to their office to make the payment. When we asked if they could just mail out the letter, she said that we have to pay them $10.00 for them to give us something in writing that we indeed paid in full. This is the first time I’ve heard of this. Is this legal?

Are the credit collection agencies allowed to charge extra for a letter indicating that we fully paid the account? Should we go to their office to pay?

Meyam”

Dear Meyam,

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

I’d not heard that before. Interesting.

It seems this could be easily taken care of if it is relatively easy to visit their office, make your payment and get your receipt.

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Armed with a receipt that says the account is paid in full and it has the account number on it that should be sufficient to show to anyone to see the account has been satisfied.

It is true that it might not show up on the credit report quickly. It really depends on how frequently they dump information to the credit bureaus. They might only do it quarterly.

Please update me on your progress by

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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