Question: Is it possible to contact the original creditor on a debt to pay them directly (and them have the subsequent Portfolio collections account deleted), or is it too late to deal with the original creditor once the account has been sold?
Answer: If the account has been sold to a junk debt buyer such as Portfolio it is not likely the original creditor will pull back the account.
In some cases the original creditor retains ownership of the account and assigns the account to a collection agency to attempt debt collection. If this is the case, it may be possible for an original creditor to pull back an account.
If you do not know whether the account has been sold or assigned you must contact the original creditor. More than likely if the account has been sold to Portfolio; the original creditor will not be able to pull back the account because they no longer own the account.
But you never know until you ask, there may be some circumstances in which an original creditor pulls an account back from a collection agency.
In the event you are able to deal with the original creditor and make payment arrangements or pay the account in full, the collection agency listing would no longer appear on your credit report.
The only suggestion I can offer in dealing with the original creditor is to put your request in writing. Find out the name of a vice president or someone who has decision making authority at the corporate offices of the original creditor.
You want to negotiate with someone with the authority to remove the charge-off from your credit report in exchange for payments. Often times, representatives at a call center and even supervisors do not have the authority to make decisions to pull back charge-offs.
It is a good idea to have a convincing reason as to why the account went into charge-off status such as a temporary loss of income, illness or some other financial hardship. Be as precise as possible, request a deletion of the charge-off in exchange for payment; and, send your letter certified, return receipt mail.
If you have any cash on hand to pay off the debt your negotiating power is increased. Request a deletion for an immediate payment in full; it may help you get what you want. Other notations such as Paid/Closed or Settled are not as desirable as a full deletion but are substantially more favorable than a charge-off notation. Good luck to you.