First off, do not pay a debt collector. Your contract is with the person with whom you borrowed from or owe. If anyone puts a debt collector on to you, Deal Only with the ones you owe. Call them and negotiate. Most people only want something even if it's only $5 paid towards the debt. Best if you make arrangements before it gets that far. Don't let it go to a debt collector if at all possible. But remember, you owe nothing to a debt collector, ever.
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