i was in a bad position a few years back and could not pay my credit card debt..credit cards sold them over to collection agencies for pennies on the dollar..collection agencies are pricks and threatened me so i said ok, if you don't want to settle(they would'nt),then go screw. finally after 3 years i was sued. i filled out all the paper work at the court house and contested it so i would not get a default judgement. i filled out the interogatories(carefully) and had my day in court. before court starts,the judge sends you in a room witha lawyer from collection agency and a mediator to work out a deal so it does'nt need to go to trial. i was nice and i expressed they had no "original copies of contract" for credit card application but said i had no money but was willing to offer something. i owed 7k and said i can pay one lump sum of 2500..they said it had to be a bit more but i said its impossible and and understand they could garnish pay and thats fine;i was not working anyway..if they are willing to take 2500,i would send the check in a week. they accepted of course. did this twice. 7k and 6500. both for 2500. everyone is happy. i pay a bit(i understand) and they make a huge fuckin profit. DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH COLLECTION AGGENCIES. LET THEM TAKE YOU TO COURT. THIS WAY YOU CAN NEGOTIATE AND THEY CANNOT PULL ANY FAST ONES LIKE SAYING THERE WAS FINE PRINT AND ALL THAT BS.