Next, when you talk to Wakefield collections, try to give them as little information as possible and gain as much knowledge as possible by asking questions.
Last, request a letter of debt validation from Wakefield and Associates debt collector. Getting the letter is non-negotiable. If they try to talk you out of it, stand firm until they agree.
They have to agree because the law requires that they provide the amount of debt along with dates, the original creditor, and any other pertinent information.
Once you have the letter, your credit reports, and your records, compare all three and determine if the debt belongs to you.
Sometimes debt erroneously gets pinned on the wrong person through error or outright fraud, and the responsibility to clean up the problem gets passed to you.
At the same time, there may be no mistake, and it is your debt. Either way, you need the paper trail.
Furthermore, if Wakefield and Associates cannot provide the letter, they must cancel the collection and get your credit report fixed. So, they may be hoping you never ask.
Requesting a 609 Dispute Letter
This process is more straightforward than the one above and exists for slightly different purposes.
Sometimes people review their credit report and find something unexpected. If this happens, a person can send a 609 letter to a credit reporting agency. Under the FDCPA, the agency has to initiate an investigation by contacting the creditor for validation.
The hope with this method is that the creditor cannot provide the information that proves who owns the debt, such as documents with signatures.
Dealing with Wakefield and Associates and a credit agency may prove too much to handle.
We recommend you try a debt verification letter first, as that forces Wakefield and Associates to do the work and send the letter to you.
There is no set procedure for drafting a 609 letter, but examples exist online that show how to do it.
How to Proceed if the Debt Belongs to You
If the debt is yours, the best thing to do is work with Wakefield and Associates payment department and try to negotiate a settlement called Pay-for-Delete.
This option means you pay your debt, and, in exchange, Wakefield and Associates Payment Solutions gets the debt deleted from your credit report.
Wakefield and Associates Pay for Delete is also an opportunity to press for paying less than you owe. We recommend starting very low, about 15-20%, as this will cause pushback, and their counteroffer will be a higher amount.
Depending on how desperately Wakefield and Associates want to clear the account, they may accept a lower payment.
Do not send money until you have everything in writing that you negotiated. Always maintain a paper trail that allows you to prove what happened.
Monitor your credit report after the first payment and see if Wakefield and Associates have held up their end of the bargain after about thirty days.
When to Seek Professional Help
In some cases, Wakefield and Associates will refuse to negotiate a settlement and demand full payment while making legal threats.