Pay for delete letters should be fairly crisp, directly to the point, and they should include rights you are entitled to (the collection agencies know about them, but think you do not) under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). By and large, the stories you hear about collection agencies being awful to deal with are stories from folks who may not have known their legal rights. By making it sound like you've done your homework, and you're not willing to play the games they like to play, the collection agency may comply with your offer with little to no hesitation.
Below is a Pay for Delete letter example. You'll need to fill in sections within this letter with your relevant information. This information, for example, is the collection agency's name, the account number for the collection account, the amount owed, the amount you're willing to pay if they delete the account and other basic info. Please feel free to copy and paste this letter, fill in your relevant information and send it on its way.
Example of a Pay for Delete Letter
Collection Agency Name
Collection Agency Address
Collection Agency City, State Zip
Account #: xxxxxx (your account number)
Amount: $___________ (amount you owe)
To Collection Manager:
This letter is to inform you that the validity of this debt is disputed. I am unaware of this account and have no verification this debt is mine. I only know of this account based on it being reported in my credit report(s). As we both know, I have the right to dispute this account, request for verification, and/or request for validation of this debt. However, in order to quickly resolve this account, I am willing to pay $________, if you agree to delete this account from any and all credit reporting agencies. Please do not quote to me that you are unable to do this, I am aware of both your rights as well as my own. We both know you are the source reporting this account and have the absolute right to report it, not report it, or delete it from all reporting agencies. The purpose of this settlement is merely to have this item removed from all reporting agencies. We are both aware that paying this unverified debt is no benefit to me unless we can agree on the terms. I am sure you are aware that paying a collection account does not bode well on a credit report and that merely having a collection on a credit report will have a negative impact whether paid or unpaid.
Please Note: This is not an acknowledgment of liability for this debt in any way or form. If there is any confusion about my position on this alleged debt, please refer back to the first paragraph of this letter in which I state: "I am unaware of this account..." That being said, let me be clear, this is NOT: a promise to pay, a renewal, an admittance to this debt, or in any way me agreeing this debt is mine. This is a restricted offer only.
If you agree to the terms and accept this agreement, I will send you certified funds immediately after I receive this signed agreement. The funds will be sent only if in exchange for it, you are agreeing to the terms set forth in this agreement and will be deleting this account from all reporting agencies. This debt will be considered satisfied, there will be nothing more owed, nothing further to collect, and you will consider this a closed, satisfied account. Again, ALL references regarding this account must be deleted from ALL reporting agencies. Since certified funds will be used for payment, ALL information about this account WILL be removed from all reporting agencies within 15 calendar days of receiving the funds.
(Collection Agency Name) agrees to delete ALL information regarding this account from ALL credit reporting agencies WITHIN FIFTEEN (15) CALENDAR DAYS following receipt of payment as specified above and will not discuss the terms of this settlement with anyone, for any reason, excluding your client on this account. If contacted by any third party, including credit reporting agencies, (Collection Agency Name) will not acknowledge that any settlement offer was made, accepted, offered, or executed and will deny knowledge of any such account.
If you agree to the above terms, please sign (by an authorized representative of (Collection Agency Name) this agreement below, print (clearly) the name of that signature, and provide the position held by the one signing this agreement. It will be implied that this letter shall constitute a legally binding contract, enforceable under federal, state, and local laws. Please also include with this signed agreement a company letterhead stating you received and agree to this restricted offer and the terms set forth within it.Your response must be postmarked no later then 15 Days from your receipt of this settlement/agreement offer OR this offer will be withdrawn and I will request full validation of this alleged debt, as allowed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If you decide to decline this offer, and begin calling about this alledged debt, expect the next letter from me to be a Cease and Desist letter, attached with it, a request for Full Validation. Thank you for your time.
Print Name of the above signature
Title or Position held
Please send this agreement, your company letterhead agreement and all other correspondence regarding this account to:
NOTE: If your collection happens to be a medical collection, right after "This is a restricted offer only." You should include a message stating if they decline this offer to please be aware another offer will not be made, as you may wait for H.R.3421 - Medical Debt Relief Act of 2009 to pass and become law. The Medical Debt Relief Act, in a nutshell, would force collection agencies to delete medical collection accounts from all credit reporting agencies once it was paid in full or settled for less than owed.
Also: In the Pay for delete letter above, there's mention of a Cease and Desist letter and Validation Letter, to view examples of them visit:
If you're wondering how much you should offer, a good first offer is around 50% of what's owed. The collection agency will usually either accept the offer or they could counter-offer with a figure somewhere between 50% of what's owed and the full amount. If you really want to get this deleted for as little as possible, read through our Credit Repair Step 3 page. There you'll find a few options and ideas to get the collection agency to accept an offer as low as possible. One quick example is by looking up how much they paid for the debt (you can do this if they are a publicly traded company). For more details visit Credit Repair Step 3