Can a Collection Company Refuse Payment? – Dawna


Dear Steve,

I signed up for a Care Credit card with Synchrony Bank to cover my pets. I was given a card with a $500 limit – which I used for a pet emergency. Then I lost my job and was unable to pay the card – so interest raised it to $600 before they closed the account and sent it to collections.

Last week I called Synchrony and was given a telephone number to the collection agency. I called and offered to make a settlement. I was told they could not help me because my account has not been processed into their system and they could not tell me how long it would take for this to happen. They said it could be a day, a week or a month.

Does this sound plausible? I’ve never heard of anyone offering to pay being turned down. I spoke with a manager who asked me if I knew the amount of the loan and suggested it would be much higher than $600. However, she could not help me either – told me to wait until they call me.



Dear Dawna,

It does not sound that out of the ordinary. These days with so many potential liabilities faced by collection companies I can see some logic in not accepting any arrangement or payment while the account has not fully populated their system yet.

What you are caught in the middle of is an administrative process. That is not uncommon.

If you wanted to get the maximum protection from surprises I would suggest that you remain proactive on this and call the collection once a week to confirm when this is in their system.

Keep in mind, the collection company may not be able to negotiate a wonderful settlement with you. It really all depends on the agreement they have in place with the underlying creditor.

Another question to clarify is if Synchrony Bank sent your account out for third-party collections or actually sold your bad debt and someone else now owns it. That can cause a delay while that is being dealt with but it can also create new opportunities if you wanted to fight the debt.

See also  TJX Rewards Card Synchrony Bank - Consumer Complaint - December 20, 2016

Bottom line, more information and/or patience is needed at the moment.


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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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