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Recently a collections debt that I have been repaying monthly has dropped from my credit report. Just last month the collections agency contacted me by phone stating they wanted a payment by a certain date (which was within 5 days of the call) or my file would be sent for referral to an attorney. There was no way I could make what they were asking for in that short amount of time.

Do I keep paying monthly like I have been(I am in Maryland)? Should I wait and try to negotiate a settlement (wouldn't negotiate with me when urgent call was made)?

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My knowledge on this subject is expanding as I am finally taking steps to restore my credit. I have learned that after a collections sent drops off of your credit report, it is then written off by the original company you had the debt with and no longer exists between you and the original company.
- It is then supposedly up for grabs for all of these “debt collection agencies” and “debt recovery” companies claiming to be hired to represent the original company to collect the debt.

- In reality, you are not indebted to them and the debt no longer exists, so these are alternative parties buying lists of this info, attempting to make money based on a debt that no longer exists to any of the 3 reporting agencies. Many people pay them or settle, without taking the time to see if this debt to this company still exists on their FICA credit report.

Experian Boost App is extremely helpful with this kind of information; additionally, you are entitled to 1 free full credit report every calendar year from TransUnion - I would get a copy that is up to date and see if that debt is still listed.

Also, if you signed any contracts to pay off the debt prior to it dropping, you should go over that info carefully to ensure it doesn’t super-cede what the law states or have any provisions in it for this type of situation. Hope that helps!

@No Worries posted:

Also check your state's statute of limitations regarding legal action on debts as they may not even be able to take any type of legal action.

That's good advice. I had a few old debts that weren't even valid anymore and I still continued getting calls from collection agencies. There are actually quite a few consumer protections available so it's good to do some research before you start forking over money.

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