A Settled in Full letter (referred to as a ‘SIF’ in this article) is a letter that the creditor can send you after all settlement payments have cleared and posted to your account. The SIF letter outlines that your account is settled in full and that you have no further obligations to this debt. The SIF letter helps provide additional protection because it proves that your account has been resolved and that you no longer owe any money on this account. Keep this letter with your original Settlement Letter and copies of the cashed checks for the next 7 years. Examples of common SIF letters at the bottom of this article. For more guidance on resolving your debt for less, visit www.ugotiate.com.
When to call the Creditor:
Typically, creditors will not send a SIF letter until all of the settlement payments have cleared and most won’t send the letter for at least 30 days after the last payment clears. So, it is recommended to call the creditor about 30 days after your last payment posts. You can certainly call earlier, but it is likely the creditor will tell you to call back later on.
Who to call:
It is best to call the creditor at the phone number listed on your settlement letter. Since that is your last contact on this account, it is likely this person or department can help you with a SIF or can direct you to who can help you. If there is no specific contact on your Settlement Letter, you can call the general customer support number, usually shown on the top the Settlement Letter or Collection Letter.
What to say to the Creditor:
Whenever calling a creditor, it is best to keep your conversation light, polite and to the point. Simply tell the representative that you recently settled your account with them and that you would like a letter sent to you indicating that this account is now Settled in Full and that you are no longer responsible for this debt. Most creditors know what a Settled in Full Letter is so you can even request it by name.
Note: Creditors are not required to provide a SIF letter, but most will as a courtesy. If a creditor tells you that they cannot send you this letter, you may want to ask to speak with a manager. If they won’t send you the letter, don’t panic – it’s okay. As long as you have your original settlement letter and the cashed checks that is sufficient. The SIF is just an added level of protection.