Thursday, May 9, 2013

Credit Bureau Changed Removal Date For Collections After Dispute


I have an account on all 3 cb. All 3 were set to be removed March 2014. I didn't remember this account so I disputed them. They all came back as verified but experian changed the removal date as November 2019. I have called them multiply times sent in the original credit report showing the original removal date but the won't help. They say there's nothing they can do because that's the information they are getting from the creditor. What can I do? Is it legal for experian not to help me even when I have the original report showing the dates were changed. This is the one thing stopping us from buying a house. Thank you


The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the credit bureaus to thoroughly investigate disputes before making a ruling. Unfortunately, this rarely occurs and sending documentation of an error doesn't seem to help many consumers. The credit bureaus mark disputes with a code and verify electronically. They don't sit and peruse your evidence.

In order to fight this properly, you'll need some sort of documentation of what the debt is. If you don't recognize it, contact the collection agency (by mail – NEVER by phone) and ask for the name and address of the original creditor. They have to provide you with this information. If you still don't remember the debt or can't put your hands on the paperwork, call the original creditor and try to get your hands on evidence of when the account fell into default. Make copies of your proof. 

Write a letter to the collection agency informing it that it has illegally re-aged your account and you have proof that the account is scheduled to fall off your report in March of 2014 – not November 2019. Use a marker to black out any personal information and send copies of your documentation and your previous credit report along with your letter. Demand that the collection agency adhere to federal law and report the correct information to the credit bureaus lest you file a lawsuit for violating the FCRA. Make a copy of the letter for your records and send the information by certified mail, return receipt requested. This way the collection agency can't claim the information was never received. 

Don't contact the credit bureaus during this time. Just wait and see what the collection agency will do. If they do nothing, its time to pull out the big guns. 

Hire an attorney to draft a letter to the collection agency threatening to sue for FCRA violations if these errors are not immediately corrected. A threat on an attorney's letterhead generally gets their attention a lot better than letters you send yourself. If they still do nothing, sue. Your documentation will go a long way in court, but I strongly doubt it would ever get that far. It's much easier for the collection agency to just correct its mistake than to fight a lawsuit. Of course, this is up to you. If you want to follow through with the lawsuit, the collection agency can't stop you. You can request that it pay your legal fees in addition to the standard FCRA damages--making this whole nightmare time-consuming but free. 

Having the name of the collection agency might help. Knowing which illegal/or unethical debt collection methods  the major collection agencies use sometimes helps me help others. Best of luck to you. 



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