The dirty little secret of debt collecting is that most of them are not working directly for the original company you ran up the debt with. They’re an outside third party and they bought your debt for pennies on the dollar. The debt collector’s goal is to get the most money out of you for the least amount of effort. This means all you have to do to make this calculus work to your advantage is settle with the debt collector for around the same price he paid to buy your debt. So start low.
David paid his credit card one day late, one time, and Chase immediately jacked his interest rate from 12.24% to the default rate of 29.99%. He called customer service and was told he need to pay on-time for 6 months before he could get it reduced. 6 months later he calls back and now they tell him it’s 12 to 24 months. A supervisor confirmed this. Say what? That’s what he said, and so he wrote Chase a letter, and it got some serious results: