Post # 1
I was absolutely horrified to discover a collections account on my credit report today. I’m hoping someone here has had success getting one of these accounts off their report.
Will keep this as short as possible.
Back in 2016, I received a utility bill that I was told was simply a clerical error – I was moving out of state and paid my final bill, but still received a bill for the month after I moved out. I dealt with it over the phone and was told everything was fine, it was a mistake, account was squared away. That’s the last I heard ot it – until today! This account just popped up out of the blue on my report – I haven’t received ANY notices, letters, or calls in the past 3 years. According to what I’ve read online the collections agency legally has to send me something in writing, correct?
I looked up the agency online, and the reviews don’t fill me with confidence that removing the account is even possible. Since it’s from 2016, I doubt I can contact the utility company directly? Unfortunately it never even dawned on me to get anything in writing when they admitted it was a mistake. I thought this was long ago resolved. What’s the best course of action / what have you had luck with? Should I send a certified letter to the collections company asking for proof, or do I call the utility company directly and ask if they can provide me with acknowledgment of the error in writing (would they even still have this record)? It doesn’t seem to be worth disputing online since I have received absolutely nothing in writing. I tried calling the collections company but they demand to know personal info before speaking with you and hang up when you refuse. Any tips would be very helpful!
Post # 2
The debt has been.legally sold to collection. So that is who you deal with. Contact them do not ever acknowledge the debt as legitimate, inform them.it is in dispute, and ask for all copies of their documents to support their claim sent to you. Best way to ask is via registered mail.
Unfortunately if you do not have any evidence if error, you’ll have to pay it. There is no way to remove it from the bureau short of winning in court, if you don’t have evidence.
(Former Credit Officer , collections nanager)
Post # 3
bctoquebec : Thanks for the reply. In the event that they do not send me anything in writing within 30 days, I could dispute through the bureaus and have it removed though? It’s a very small bill but now I’m wondering if it’s worth paying in full – won’t that keep it on the report for an additional 6 years, whereas if I don’t pay it, it should fall off in 3 to 4? From the reviews I’m reading, this agency is adamant about not doing Pay for Delete. My hope was that if I could get something in writing from the utility company regarding the mistake, I could just include that in a dispute to the bureaus and avoid the collection agency altogether.
Post # 4
abbeykissintoads : Depends on your countries laws etc etc but I just finished cleaning up my disaster of a credit report, with legimitate and illegitimate debts.
You cannot speak to the utility company about payment at this point. But you can ask for copies of your records. I would call the utility company and ask them to send you your final 12 months of bills if you don’t have them. Ask them for dates that your account was closed etc. If you had an online login, see if you can still use that login to access the information yourself.
Also contact the collections agency. As PP said, do not aknowledge the debt at all. Say you have no idea what it is and want to dispute it, and ask them to send you all the information they have, including the original bill and attempts at contacting you.
Once you have all the information you can get from both parties, speak to a financial counsellor or debt counsellor. The amount may not be much, but if you pay it now it may still affect your credit record for years as a cleared default. A financial counsellor will be able to assist with what will cause the least amount of damage to your credit rating.
Did you inform the utility company in writing of the date you were moving? If you did, and the dates for the bill are after that period, you should be good.