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When a credit collection agency becomes involved in debts that you owe, the original creditor is not legally obligated to negotiate the debt that you owe. Essentially the original creditor has sold that right to the debt collection agency. The original creditor writes this off as a loss which they can then use when doing their taxes. However, you the consumer, can still talk with the original creditor, and try to negotiate payment with them but if they accept, then they will lose the tax write off, and so you may not be able to clear the debt in that way.
Also, since the collection agency has purchased the debt, they are most unlikely to let the original creditor accept negotiation since they bought the debt and are now out the money. The original creditor is not legally obligated to negotiate the debt with you since the debtor/creditor relationship no longer exists between you and the original creditor.
Where does that leave you the consumer? Your best bet is to try to negotiate the debt directly with the debt collector, making sure that you get all the information to verify the debt and the negotiation terms in writing. You must also be sure to have them remove any negative information concerning the debt from your credit report in exchange for payment.
If you are having problems with the collection agency you are working with- you can contact Francis and Mailman to assist.