Let's say you have a credit line account with a department store. You owe a balance on the credit card and it was sent to collections. In order to pay this off, is it possible to still send regular payments to the department store account in hopes of it being forwarded to the collections agency? The collections agency is not working with my pockets and I need a way around them.

  • The country may be relevant here, as collections tend to be bounded by law. If the US, you might mention the state as well.
    – Brythan
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 23:26
  • 1
    Generally, once the debt has been sold the store has written you off. They sold the loan at a discount to the collection agency, took their partial payment, and it is no longer their problem. You need to work this out with the collections agency.
    – keshlam
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 23:44
  • Also you should try to negotiate for a MUCH smaller balance than what they're quoting you. Often they add fees on top of fees and interest on top of all of that. I would start with some number less than the principal balance and see how low they can go.
    – D Stanley
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 2:25
  • still needs country
    – Xalorous
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 1:20

2 Answers 2


Once a debt has gone to a debt collector, you have to work with the debt collector to settle your debt. Essentially, the department store sold your debt to the debt collector so they don't have to deal with it anymore. You have rights when contacted by debt collectors. You can negotiate a deal so that the amount you actually pay is lower than what you owe. It is illegal for them to quote you for a higher amount than what you actually owe! Also, they can't threaten you or pretend to be a credit bureau. Your best bet is to work with them and negotiate a better payment. Don't give up. Collectors often times purchase the debt for a very low amount, so even if you pay less than what you actually owe, the collector will still make a profit.


  • Another excellent resource with more of a community feel is the wiki put together by the /r/personalfinance folks on reddit. Collections wiki from pf subreddit. It differs because it does not want to sell anything other than views for the page ads. Credit.com is selling credit cards and consolidation loans.
    – Xalorous
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 1:25

I had a debt collector call on a bill that was sent to collections because of a clerical error.

Instead of negotiating with the debt collector, I called the company that originally owned the debt. They allowed me to pay my bill without any late fees 6 months later, and they gave me a receipt to furnish to the debt collectors. I'm sure the debt collectors got a refund for the purchase of my debt.

If your desire is to pay the debt, then you could still call the owner of the debt and see it they wish to work with you to get the debt paid.

Any contact with the original creditor will affect your legal rights with respect to collection and statutes of limitation, so you should be sure you want to pay the debt back in full before you take such a step.

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