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Can I Chose Between Original Creditor and Collection Agent?

Daniel Cohen
UpdatedApr 19, 2024

My account is with a collection agency, can I negotiate with my original creditor instead?

I'm being sued on an account charged off in 2007. I dont trust the collection agency because of the many negative reviews, and complaints against it. Will I be able to contact the original creditor and pay them instead?

A collection agent has a right to collect a debt regardless of its reputation.

In your case, it is impossible to say whether you will have success with contacting the original creditor and settling the debt directly. It's possible that the collection agent could be working on behalf of the original creditor to collect the debt on their behalf. If so, then you may be able to negotiate with the original creditor directly (but keep in mind this does not mean you will be successful).

On the other hand, if the collection agent bought the rights to collect on the debt from the original creditor, then it is now the creditor of record. In this case, there is no option of negotiating with the original creditor.

I suggest you read some tips about negotiating a settlement.

If you are being sued, whether you negotiate with the original creditor or the credit agent, you need to respond the summons. To read more about what can happen in the collection process I encourage you to read Collections Agencies, Collections Laws and Your State's Statute of Limitations.

I hope this information helps you Find, Save, and Learn.



Struggling with debt?

If you are struggling with debt, you are not alone. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Quarter Q4 2023 was $17.503 trillion. Student loan debt was $1.601 trillion and credit card debt was $1.129 trillion.

According to data gathered by from a sample of credit reports, about 26% of people in the US have some kind of debt in collections. The median debt in collections is $1,739. Student loans and auto loans are common types of debt. Of people holding student debt, approximately 10% had student loans in collections. The national Auto/Retail debt delinquency rate was 4%.

The amount of debt and debt in collections vary by state. For example, in Alaska, 17% have any kind of debt in collections and the median debt in collections is $1868. Medical debt is common and 4% have that in collections. The median medical debt in collections is $456.

Avoiding collections isn’t always possible. A sudden loss of employment, death in the family, or sickness can lead to financial hardship. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with debt including an aggressive payment plan, debt consolidation loan, or a negotiated settlement.



CChuck, Dec, 2011
I have 3 bad debt credit cards for about a year and a 1/2 and one has a judgment against me. All 3 have been through collection agencies. When i look at my credit report, it doesn't show any collections, just the oc charge offs. I want to bump my score up in like 2 weeks time and was looking at paying what I can in a lump sum and have the negative information removed. Do i deal with the oc or the collections agencies? Thanks, Chuck.
BBill, Jan, 2012
If you have not received any letters from collection agencies and none show, then you have to start by contacting your original lenders. If they have sold off the debt, then they should be able to inform you who is holding on to it.

Another suggestion is to get free credit report from and see who is listed as the most recent holder of the debt.

You say that you want to improve your credit in two weeks. I believe that it will take longer than that.