News & Resources

Agencies not required to accept partial payments

Jun 28, 2011 Mike Garretson

People facing large amounts of debt may only be able to provide partial payment to debt collection agencies. However, debt collectors are under no obligation to accept anything but full payment, according to Deborah McNaughton, president of Professional Credit Counselors, tells the news source that creditors can still take legal action even if they are receiving compensation each month. If an amount is not met that had previously been agreed upon, then the defaulter is still at risk. "Sure, [sending minimum payments] looks better," McNaughton explains. "But if [the collection agency] didn't have an agreement, they're going to come back and say, 'We didn't have an agreement.'" McNaughton points out that proposing an agreement with the creditor is more effective than attempting to "call and fish," hoping to talk them down from the total amount paid. If, for example, a person owes $2,000, calling the agency and suggesting that they accept $1,000 in the next 72 hours may work better. There are some exceptions to the partial payment rule, according to the Cleveland Daily Banner. The Bradley County Trustee's office recently stated that will accept less than full compensation from residents for delinquent property taxes. Only those with default property from 2010 or later are eligible for the program.