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- Posts: 34
- Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:57 pm
- Location: placetown
First of all, I would urge you not to be afraid of collections companies. As of recent, consumers have a lot of rights and credit laws in our favor. Do a search on the internet for disputing
Collections companies are required to do things such as "validate the debt," which is where they send you legitimate proof that they now own your debt instead of the original creditor, such as credit card or cable company. Typically, collection companies send you a letter, to which you must respond within 30 days and ask them to validate the debt- which basically means "Prove that I owe money, and that I owe you the money". If you do not respond, legally, they can proceed as if you acknowledge the debt is yours. If this is already past 30 days of collections calls and letters, there are other things you can do...
Something similar happens when you dispute information via a credit bureau (Experian, Transunion, Equifax are the 3 credit bureaus). The credit bureau will investigate what you claim to be the "incorrect information." When you dispute information on your report, the credit bureau has 30 days to report back to you with the outcome of the investigation, otherwise, they are legally required to remove the information. This means, if a) the collection company cannot prove they own your debt, OR b)if the they do not respond to the investigation, OR c) the credit company doesn't report the outcome to you within 30 days, this incorrect or negative information can be removed from your credit report!
Here are some more fun facts:
-Collections sometimes get passed from 1 company to another over the course of several years... I believe this is technically illegal. I had a debt that was passed thru 2-3 companies (over the course of 3-5 years). I disputed the collection and within that 30 day period, it was deleted from my credit report, and the collection calls/letters stopped.
-Collections drop off your credit report after 7 years. If you debt is from 7+ years ago, it's DONE. dispute it for the win!
-if collection companies continue to harass you, you can write them a letter threatening to sue THEM! I think up to $1000! (There are several steps to this one, but it's a law that is in place.)
That being said...
First thing to do is get a copy of your credit report (free or otherwise) and see if the collection is still showing up on your credit report.
I signed up for Experian's credit report, and got access to use their online dispute center, which is VERY user friendly, and if there is any incorrect information on there, you can dispute it online easily, and they will let you know the results within 30 days.
Then, if you have in fact legitimately settled this debt, DISPUTE IT! I just had some major luck disputing things on my report via Experian's online dispute center. Got 3 things removed and bumped my score up around 100 points!
Also do some research! credit info center (.com) had 95% of the information I needed. Do it. GO NOW. Good luck!
Note: 30 days for investigation via Experian, Equifax and Transunion. If you obtain and dispute information via annualcreditreport . com, they have 45 days to report results of investigation.
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