How debts in collections affect your credit

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How debts in collections affect your credit

If you have neglected paying your bills, or a creditor's records mistakenly indicate that you have, you may have accounts in collections. It is important to know how this affects your credit and what you can do about it, since having an account in collections can be devastating to your score.

While it is best to avoid them, if you already have collections reported on your credit report, there are a few things you should know.

What is a collection?

A collection can result from a debt that has not been paid on time. If you become significantly delinquent on a debt, such as a medical bill or credit card bill, the original company owed will often write off this debt as a loss and sell it to a collection agency. The collection agency will then attempt to recover the money owed.

While different creditors and lenders have different policies, many credit card accounts are sent to a collection agency after 180 days of non-payment. Either the original creditor or the collection agency may report the account in collections to a credit bureau, resulting in the account being marked on your report with a "collection" status. You will not necessarily be notified by the original creditor that your account is being sent to collections.

If an account in collections is reported on your TransUnion or Equifax credit report, you can access your full report or the collections page to view details about any reported accounts. (You'll only see the collections page if open or closed collections accounts have recently been included on your report.)

What does it mean for my credit?

If you have an account reported as in collections, your credit score may drop by a substantial amount. The degree to which a collection hurts your credit score is generally correlated with how high your credit score is when the collection agency reports the debt. The higher your score, the more points you can lose.

In addition, the amount of damage to your credit score may be affected by the collection amount, or how much you owe. For example, if the original debt you owed was less than $100, the resulting account in collections may show up on your credit report but it may not significantly hurt your credit score or even hurt it at all. Some credit scoring models may also differentiate between types of debt, such as medical versus non-medical, or disregard accounts in collections that have been paid.

The resulting credit score drop from having an account in collections can impact your future financial plans. It may cause you to be denied for credit cards and loans, especially if the collection is recent or remains unpaid (or both).

Tips on what to do with collections accounts

There are many different ways to respond to debt collectors. What's most appropriate for you will depend on your circumstances. If you believe the information about the account in collections is accurate, you could attempt to negotiate and settle with the collection company. We recommend you check out resources from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on how to reply to a debt collector and what the best ways are to negotiate a settlement.

While you are determining what to do with your account in collections, make sure to keep your other debts and accounts up-to-date.

As time passes, the account in collections may have a less significant impact on your credit. In addition, paying all your other bills on time could help your credit score recuperate from a debt collection.

How to dispute an erroneous collections account

As with other types of credit report errors, you may file a dispute with the credit bureau if you believe the account in collections reported is false or outdated. For example, if it is not your debt or if it has been seven years from the original delinquency of the debt, you could request to have the collections information removed from your report.

Learn about how to dispute wrong information on your credit report.

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All Comments

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2 Contributions
1913 People Helped

Helpful to 1908 out of 1953 people

I am doing this on my own, getting items removed from my credit report after paying them. I haven't had any letters sent to the collections company, I call and ask if they will do this, if they say yes, I pay it. If it is not removed in the next 30 days, I submit complaint to BBB, and guess what, it is taken off within 2-3 days. I have had 5 items deleted from my credit report in the last 2-3 months! You don't need to hire anyone to help you, this can be done on your own/by yourself.

Reply by
cmdriscoll

2 Contributions
225 People Helped
Helpful to 204 out of 266 people

Can you share what your doing, b/c I have paid off a lot and they are still there as unpaid,  open dispute for 'paid in ful' and they are still there. Even sent copies of the receipts to the 3 Major Credti bereaus and they are still there. Whats your secret msjade205

Reply by
Tiger2132

1 Contribution
192 People Helped
Helpful to 192 out of 249 people

what if you settled a situation through a collection agency years ago but it still shows up on your report even though you have a letter stating it was paid how do you get that deleted?

Reply by
ibjson

1 Contribution
20 People Helped
Helpful to 20 out of 21 people

hey i just have a question so you just called all the companies that you owed and said if you were to pay they could take it off your report in 30 days and most of them did 

Reply by
KenPC

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

So you call and the Negative impact on your credit score goes away in 2-3 days (from your situation)?

Reply by
TheLadyMae

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

I just paid skybluecredit.com to fix all my problems, now I worry they wont do what they say they will.  How did you find out who you owe, how much and how to get them deleted off your account??

Reply by
Jmama012

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

whats is bbb and thier number?

Reply by
ericap798

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I am trying to do this myself also, but have no idea where to start...how did you get the deragatory marks off your credit report?  Can you give me any tips or advice?

Reply by
rdb0421

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

What did you say in thecomplaint?  I have a bill I paid six mouths ago and it shows a zero balance but is still on my report.  I also just had a bill from Comcast that is rough six years old just pop on and when I called they refused to remove it.  Any help would be appreciated. 

Reply by
shanta87k

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

what is BBB?

Reply by
CreditGirlyOne

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I have a few things to clear up, but I have a problem with one bill that the company made a mistake on and refuses to correct the issue. Do you have any advice for me? If so, my email is ambershan143@gmail.com I'd love to get some advice about this.

Reply by
amojha

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

who is bbb? how do i go about it?

Reply by
qpayne

1 Contribution
0 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

A medcial hospital her in chattanooga has turned $400 over on my credit report again and it has brought my credit score down by 10 point that I just gain a month ago. I do not understand how they can keep turning over the same amount. It has not even been a year. Also, at the time of this bill I had insurance, and my ER copay was $200 not $400. That is why they have not been paid. I am going tomcall them again first thing Monday morning, but who is BBB? I am going ton get this paid off, but if they don't agree to take it off of my credit report, I just need to know the next person I need to contact.

Reply by
Michaelalston

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

So when you have an account that is showing delinquent (sp?) on your report, you contact the agency and tell them you will pay if theyll take it off and if they dont you report to BBB and they take it off?

Reply by
bananame3

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

My question is did it increase your score dramtically? and if you dont mind me asking how much debit were you in , i just dont know if i should file for bankruptcy or try and pay them off one by one?

Reply by
dbrowngifted

1 Contribution
26 People Helped
Helpful to 26 out of 36 people

i have paid some of the itema on my credit score but they have not been removed and i have letters from the company I paid off what do I do next to get it off.

Reply by
quinej2001

1 Contribution
0 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

Sorry but, what is the BBB

Reply by
ericariley0405

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

how do you find out the company info to do this? credit karma isnt showing the info for the companies claiming i have collections

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

How many points does it boost your credit score by eliminating an item in collections

Reply by
Kuuip0

1 Contribution
9 People Helped
Helpful to 9 out of 13 people

have you also seen an increase in your credit score?

Reply by
Nnl

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I paid my debt and still showing on my account. What can I do?

Reply by
Phoenix42

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

Thank you for that imsight. Iknew it was possible and you have convenienced me of such. 

I just called somewher ea few people have raved about and they want $99.95 per month, cancel anytime. when they did it, it was $60/mth.

It does take patience, perserverence, and knowledge so you do need t oedcuate yourself and research as uch as possible, Talk to those who are willing to share knowledge and experiences, tips and tools of fthe trade that know and understand the journey. 

Thank you! 

Reply by
Mizani1

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

good morning, exactly what did you have to do to ge these items removed?

Reply by
rayboy001

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Thanks for the information, This will help me alot. 

Greatly apprecieate your comment.

Reply by
Rileycoin

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Thank you. Very helpful

Reply by
carolrusty25

1 Contribution
0 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

I wouild like to know what you are dioing also. I have one and it is paid and has been paid

but thecompany  refuses remove it. Let me know what I can do

Carol

Reply by
ACOLAKOV

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

This is excellent! Are the items you had removed already in collections with a third party? I have one item from Direct TV in collections. So all I have to do is call them and ask if they will have it removed from my credit report? How do I prove that this was promised, just get the representative's name and date of promise? Please let me know because this one report is affecting my credit report in an extremely negative way! Thank you for your help! 

Reply by
Jdana70

2 Contributions
135 People Helped

I've been doing the same thing. You have to be patient and persistent. You don't need to hire anyone. You just need to do the work.

Reply by
sweepmaster

1 Contribution
3 People Helped
Helpful to 3 out of 4 people

Look into credit section 609  its the. LAW

Reply by
Tweetie88

2 Contributions
29 People Helped
Helpful to 2 out of 3 people

I agree with you 100% I am taking care of my credit and my debt on my own. Those companies that say they can fix your credit is a rip off and will have your credit looking worst than it was in the beginning

Reply by
Radconnie

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

How long did it take for your score to recover? 

Reply by
KBernard52

2 Contributions
0 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

Thanks so much, Ms Jade 205!  That's good to hear.  

Reply by
Collins37

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

The BBB is the The Better Bussness Bureau.  I hope that helps?

Reply by
JohndSM

1 Contribution
0 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

They  will  be able to  delete the collection account  from your credit  report  or updated to paid status .. but it will still show the original  creditor account ...that  account will stay  on your credit  for  7 years.. so the only good point  about  a collection been paid maybe its that  it  will show as paid and that helps when asking for credit ..

Reply by
abykarma

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Hello ,This is good information people, should pay attention .Iv paid money that i did not owned due to identity theft but the collection agency just collected my money but never reported to remove from my credit report .

Top Contributor

Reply by
Tojomar4

35 Contributions
54 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

Your full of it, That doesnt always work. Who do you think your kidding anyway!

Reply by
demyron14

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

how long before your credit score go back up? did it right away once the items were off or did it take time?

Reply by
Haileysdaddy08

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

There is truth behind this maddness. There were a couple of things on my credit that were in collections. I called the collection agency on this matter and there were 2 options. I could pay the debt in full and have it completely retracted from my credit or I could settle out for 180.00 less and it would still show up on my credit but as a settle out and the amount would be shown. A settle out with the amount shown actually hurts your credit more. So I paid the amount in full. I paid my credit card balances completely off. just paying the 2 items I had in collections and paying off my credit card balances, brought my credit score up from 588 to 713! It does make a difference. And you don't need anyone to do it for you.

The truth is, we have to pay our bills if we want our credit to be good. It's that simple. I have been there. I couldn't pay these bills if I wanted to in the past. But now that I can pay some of them, it's making a difference in my credit score.

Reply by
MadMike650

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

I have had several removed from my credit report by contacting the collecting agency. I tell them to email me a company letter head stating that 30 days after paid in full they would remove from my credit report. I make the letter state that they will not leave it on my report as paid but completly remove it. If it was in collections and they leave it on your credit report it will just state satified meaning you made a deal but not neccesarily paid in full. So the letter states that when paid in full it will be completly removed. If they email me this signed letter.... I pay. I only had 1 company argue they could not send a letter stating this but once paid it would be removed.... It is still on my report stating satisfied...Get a removal letter then pay them.

5 Contributions
2736 People Helped

Helpful to 568 out of 666 people

Listen up, folks...

*DO NOT PAY YOUR ACCOUNTS IN COLLECTION*

*YOU ARE ONLY THROWING AWAY YOUR MONEY*

Paying a collection company means you are giving your money away to a seedy collection company who strongarms and confuses people into paying these things all the time.  Your benefit?  Nothing.  *Nothing at all*

The original creditor has already sold the debt to the agency and your credit score is tarnished for 7 years.  End of story.  Welcome to America!

Take a swing back at the completely corrupt system that has put you in this situation and DO NOT PAY THE COLLECTION AGENCY EVER.

Here's why:

No matter what happened to lead you to having a derogatory mark -- whether it was actual deliberate negligence with a credit card, or completely uncontrollable medical debt -- the greedy lawyers and bank lobbyists who set up this idiotic system simply lump all of this debt together in one big "you didn't pay for this" category on our reports.

The end result is: you pay higher interest rates for EVERYTHING.  Which means *even more money* for the big banks.  Good luck getting our government to fix this, too!  It benefits those who have all the money, which incidentally are the people who run the government.

No matter how small the bill, no matter if it was an insurance company's clerical error / disorganization that led to the mark showing up on your report; It's there, it's severely impacting your credit score, and it's not going anywhere for seven years.  Period.

There seems to be a lot of faux information floating around that you can "pay-to-delete" accounts in collections from your report, but this is completely and totally unsupported by ANY facts.  I have *NEVER* seen a single *reliable* reference for how to handle this.  If pay-to-delete isn't analogous to the tooth-fairy, then CreditKarma should offer an integrated service (no 3rd party stuff which just seems like paid advertising) to help with this specific issue.  They don't.  Why?  Because you can't do this.  Because it's illegal.

At a minimum, CreditKarma should have an official "pay-to-delete" info page to dispell these rumors and set the facts straight.

Reply by
awafford1

2 Contributions
53 People Helped
Helpful to 53 out of 68 people

you are so right about that and they call and call even threaten you saying they are coming to serve you papers and crap like that

Reply by
Jdana70

2 Contributions
135 People Helped
Helpful to 135 out of 173 people

What your saying is crazy. You can pay off the bill and ask the collection agency to remove it and they will. It will not hurt you for 7 years because if they agree to delete it they will.

Reply by
Paul91016

2 Contributions
47 People Helped
Helpful to 47 out of 87 people

Hi

I am using LexingtonLaw.Com and they ahve done wonders for me my bankrupcy record has gone that is 3 years old. My credit score has gone up from 587  to 613 in 3 months. It only costs around $59.00 per month. People use them, not worth and time we spend in writing and mailing letters month after month to have recorded  deleted. It is time consuming doing on your own.

Be smart and use LexingtonLaw.com and stay free to do other productive work

Reply by
67fastback

1 Contribution
10 People Helped
Helpful to 10 out of 20 people

This is true! I have a friend who was a realtor and told me that it did your cred more harm by paying debts in collection.

Reply by
aviator13dan

1 Contribution
2 People Helped
Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Don't know where you got your info from but you are wrong.  My only advice is get it all in writing whatever you agree to.  Collection agency sends you a collection letter that means they purchased your debt.  The account belongs to them. You strike a deal they will honor it as long as you get it in writing.  Recently a collector called me I told them to send me proof they own the account and how much.  When I got the letter I sent them a counter offer to pay what they asked for in return to either update my account as to paid/never late or completely delete the account from my credit files.  Within 30 days my file was cleared of the bad account.

Reply by
broco

1 Contribution
7 People Helped
Helpful to 7 out of 9 people

you are right BUT two years ago I used Lexington law firm and I went from a 450 score to a 700score in 7 months. ...they really work.

Reply by
skmccall

1 Contribution
2 People Helped
Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

I myself have paid things in collections and was told by the company that once paid it would come off my report. I got it in writing and within a couple weeks it fell off my report. My score has been rising. If it is something I owed then I owe it. Can't ignore it.

Reply by
hsanders37

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

You don't know what you are talking about. Yes, you can pay to delete!. I have done it several times, and just done it about 2 weeks ago. Maybe you should write the credit bureaus and have yours deleted if you think its not true. do more research before you make BOLD statements on here!..Google it, duh!

Reply by
kellyr11

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

You are very wrong about that! Two weeks ago, I called a collection agency that I had 19 accounts with (that showed on my credit report) for past due medical bills. I asked them if I were to pay them off in full, would they consider deleting all of the accounts from my report. They agreed to do this so I paid the bills off. In return, they kept their word and deleted every single collections account from my file! All you have to do is call them and ask. Some collection agencies will not do this but some will. Hopefully you end up with one that is willing to work with you and will delete them. I am more than willing to help anyone do this! If you cannot figure out how to clean up your credit report, feel free to ask me for help!. It's really not that difficult, it just takes a little time & patience. :)

Reply by
gregmon

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

You can ask for a written statement that they will remove the debt on all 3 credit bureaus if you pay them off. And always negotiate how they will take to close the collection They pay pennies on the dollar to buy the debt. So if you owe $200, they paid between $2 and $20 to buy the debt.

Reply by
slcker76

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I have successfully used PFD for several accounts.  The first response to a PFD request  is always "we can't remove it  because its against the law".  At that point I usually have to educate them that the law states the information they provide must be accurate.  It doesn't say anywhere that they are required to provide the information at all.  The law states that IF they provide information pertaining to your account that it must be accurate.  The creditor put the account on your report and they can certainly delete it.  

Educate yourself, read the fdcpa and fcra.  Learn what creditors can and cannot say or do.  Don't conduct business on the phone, "send it to me in writing and please do not contact me again via telephone" is my response to ANYTHING they say to me when they call. Things said during a phone conversation can be denied and end up being more of a headache.  A letter cannot be. Once a letter arrives (if it arrives) start the dispute process.  Keep track of everything, and keep copies of everything they send you, and you send them.  

If they never send you anything in writing (which will happen a lot), check your credit report, if its not there wait until it is there or until they sell it to another jdb and they start calling you again before you worry about it.  

Once that happens, dispute the account in writing.  Anything you send the creditor do so using certified mail return receipt requested and make sure to get confirmation it was delivered and who signed for it.  Creditors like to use the old "we didn't receive your dv letter so we couldn't respond to what we didn't receive".  

If on the odd chance they can proof that you owe the debt and they are legally entitled to collect it, you'll have to negotiate terms for repayment or hope they don't use more stringent collection proceedures.  But.... If they have you dead to rights, MAKE THEM PROVE IT.  

If they can't prove it, (which most can't) and you don't want to go through the hassel of filing complaints and writing letter in triplicate and mailing proof and eventaullay having to go to the BBB and FTC to remove the account, a PFD negotiation will usually be successful. 

If they know that you know that they can't prove anything they will negotiate just about anything but you have to show them that you are not going to be strongarmed and the ball is in your court.

Don't rock the boat, if they aren't calling you and bothering you about it, and its not on your credit reports leave it alone, eventually it will just die (especially after the sol expires and they can longer pursue you in court).

Most JDB aren't going to sue you over a couple of hundred dollars.  Especially if they can't prove to you that you owe the debt, they certainly can't prove it to a judge.

I have used Lexington Law in the past and highly reccommend them.  After running the gaunlet of researching law, writing dispute letters, and paying for cmrrr mail to send the letters and then waiting for a response or lack thereof I find it cheaper and more conveniant to just allow them to handle it.

Judging by the OP's use of caps and apparent desire to emphasis his/her point it would appear that they have had limited or no success in repairing their credit.

The process is long and always ask yourself before you start, "is the juice worth the squeeze".  There are some boats you don't want to rock and it's up to you to know which one those are.  In other words, before you follow any advice or take any action involving your credit, make sure its not better to just let sleeping dogs lie.

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I wouldn't say don't pay collections EVER. There are situations where it just may be what needs to be done. I agree that the origional   creditor has sold/written off the debt, and that the collection agency "bought the debt" for pennies on the dollar and will try to collect in full which is of course VERY profitable for the collection agency. 

So I have called debtors and had late payment remarks removed. I have paid collections off, and one week later disputed the collection, and the credit report has been updated with the item removed every time. 

I think it's best to consider the age of the collection item and amount owed, versus what the collection item is preventing you from accomplishing in you financial goals.

Lastly, regarding medical bills: I had a bill for 5K that I could NOT pay off quickly.... never hit collections, because the day I was being sent home, I called the billing dept and explained my situation, and set up a payment plan. Don't laugh, but I agreed to pay 25 dollars per month until I could pay more. I paid that monthly payment for a few years and then increased my payments. It did go to collections suddenly after about a year, but I caught it within days of this appearing on my report. I called the hospital, the lady who had helped me origionally setup the payment plan said it has to be a mistake because I had kept up my agreed payments and she would look into it. The negative collection item was gone within a week or so. The point is, walking away just because you have a collection item may not be the best option, more often communication and negotiating and sticking to your payment plan can get you back on track sooner than later. And in many cases this may be with reduced interest rates and lower monthly payments. 

Reply by
iamrexsavage

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

old post but I will have to deny your claim. I have paid 4 small collections off with a pay for delete and they are no longer on your report. Its much easier than people act. All i did was call and say i wanted to do a pay for delete, they agreed, then i made them give me a letter with signature before i made payment. they were taken off my report within 1-2 months

Reply by
MadMike650

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

I have paid collection companies, I require them to email me on company letter head stating that 30 days after payment in full it will be removed from my credit report. The letter must state completly removed after 30 days. out of the 5 collection companies all but 1 would send this letter all 4 are gone from my report. The last one would not send letter but kept reasurring me it would be gone. It is still on my report with satisfied on the report.... Meaning we made a deal and they did not get all of thier money...looks bad to lenders. Get that signed letter head stating total removal and you will be fine.

Reply by
deb4jc54

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Enter Your Reply I agree. I paid this company 700.00 they were suppose to be paying myself debts. I found out they to old me that was what they were charging me for their services.

Reply by
jgmz825

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

****, AMEN!!!!!!

Reply by
itzmitrn

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Enter Your Reply I hav

e successfully removed collections accounts over the last two years from my credit report. I am confused as to why you say they are there seven years? If the account is paid most companies will remove them. You can also request the original debtor and pay the account for alot less than the collections accounts then dispute the debt that is in collections and the collections companies must remove them. I do have a judgment on my account that I have paid but will not be removed for three more years. My credit score is now in the 700's but it took alot of hard work.

1 Contribution
1096 People Helped

Helpful to 1096 out of 1176 people

The thing that the collections agencies do not want you to know is that the papers you sign at the doctors office/hospital prohibits hospitals from giving collection agencies access to your debt. It is against your right to privacy and in some states is against the law. I just found this out today and I will be looking into getting my medical bills taken off my report. 

Reply by
jonaialynn

2 Contributions
93 People Helped
Helpful to 92 out of 116 people

wow really? I have heard that hospital bills can't go against your credit. Where did you get this information from?

Reply by
denikids4

4 Contributions
279 People Helped
Helpful to 276 out of 312 people

believe hospital debts do go against your credit, but I've learned just to go back to the hospital first to pay the debt and frankly thats with any debt always go back to where it originated from its easier and cheaper.

Reply by
gregorynicholas

1 Contribution
9 People Helped
Helpful to 9 out of 9 people

if it's not legal, what action of recourse do you have available?

Reply by
Ebonyhazel

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Ashleymfrank, how and where did you find the information that you posted about the collection agencies? I live in TN, and I am wanting to find where I can find out if that applies to my state also. Your help would be deeply appreciated!

Reply by
dmouyiaris77

1 Contribution
5 People Helped
Helpful to 5 out of 7 people

Hey interesting post.....3 of my medical bills are on collections and i don't even know from where....so ****ed. how are you going to go about removing them from your report? any advice would help. can you please reply? thanks so much and have a great day! -demitra

Reply by
spike1only

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

Where did you go to find this out??

Reply by
stacyt0049

5 Contributions
161 People Helped
Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Ashley, pls update experience with that plan when u can pls.

Reply by
lillyhunter

2 Contributions
97 People Helped
Helpful to 4 out of 5 people

well get back to me on that one  that is very intersting and can be helpful to me

Reply by
ayersm1234

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

What state are you in?

Reply by
Ec928

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Would you keep me up to date on that my score is low do to my medical bills if you can email me at enriquecorona55@yahoo.com thank you

Reply by
gixxerkid843

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Please let me know if you are able to get this done. I have hospital bills on my credit report and its hurting me quite badly. IDK if u can contact me on here or not...so please feel free to email me.

Thanks!

tralaf@gmail.com

Reply by
antonio3b

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how do i go by doing this

Reply by
Mauikids

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I live in California.  Do you by chance know the statute/law that prohibis hospitals from giving collections agencies access to my debt?  Does this mean that it is illegal for any medical debt to be on my credit report?  Thank you...

Mark

Reply by
Mauikids

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I live in California.  Do you by chance know the statute/law that prohibis hospitals from giving collections agencies access to my debt?  Does this mean that it is illegal for any medical debt to be on my credit report?  Thank you...

Mark

Reply by
Jsng

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Do you now what's states?

Reply by
NavyCurls

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I have several bills in collections from hospitals.

Reply by
JoFash

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Thank you.  I have heard similar opinions to yours.  Can you cite the specific line in the law that refers to this?  I have a copy of 3 documents:

1. Fair Credit Reporting Act

2. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

3. Fair Credit Billing Act

Do you know where the statements to support your position can be found?

Thank you,

J

Reply by
MedicalDebt

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In my case, not only are these medical bills, they are extremely LOW DOLLAR medical bills.  It seems RIDICULOUS that something so small would have such a big impact on our credit scores.

I have two marks which exist from VERY low-dollar medical bills which I didn't even *realize* were in collections until I got a letter from the collections company.  By that point, it's too late!  The mark is on my report for 7 years. Period.  My credit is *severely impacted for 7 years* and there's *absolutely nothing I can do about it*.

Hospitals and Insurance Companies are known to be incredibly disorganized, and insurance companies regularly deny payments for operations/medicine in order to try and save themselves money, only to finally authorize payment after a long, drawn-out appeals process!  It's shameful that the result of all that mayhem is citizens' credit being ruined.  In my case, it's especially frustrating considering I've made 100% on-time payment history (280 out of 280) for all of the accounts on my report.

At this point, even if I decide to pay the collections company, the mark stays on the report and continues to impact my credit in the same manner FOR 7 YEARS.

Can someone please explain: what's the motivation for *anybody* to *ever* pay something once it goes to collections and shows up on your report?  Is there any way to actually be guaranteed that a mark will be removed once you've paid it?  I have such a sour taste in my mouth about this that I don't want to pay a penny to a collections company if they aren't going to actually guarantee to get this junk off my report and then also do it.

Sounds like that's basically a pipe dream, huh?

Reply by
mandylanderson

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How did this work for you & how might I go about doing this as well? I have a huge medical bill which was evidently not covered by my insurance, but since it took so long to process & get denied again they sent it off to collections and now have a huge debt for it.

If you could help me out a little by providing some information from your experiece with this that would be more than helpful.

This was great advice by the way, I would've never have thought about it, so thank you.

- Mandy 

Reply by
BellahDonnah

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3 People Helped

Thank you for the information.  

Reply by
slayer2469

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Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

It's true. The only negative marks on my credit are hospital bills.

Reply by
Skmarschke

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how can you get them taken off your credit report?

Reply by
amforbes04

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0 People Helped

Would mind sharing how this worked out for you? Were you able to get these debts deleted? If so please share what you did.  Thanks!

Reply by
nedgied

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Hi Ashley , Can you please email me that information and explain to me what actions you took to have your medical bills removed. My email address is nedgied@ yahoo.com

Reply by
Crystallee2011

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Is this true with michigan? 

Reply by
BallBags

3 Contributions
6 People Helped

Same here my debt is all Medical From Back Surgery and a Lung Collapse, Ashley your making my Headache Go away, Debt Collectors have No Business In Medical Paper Work, If Anyone Reccomends A Pro Bono Lawyer Let Me Know, Im In NH 

Reply by
zanzibar40

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Helpful to 8 out of 11 people

Please let me know what you found out because 95% of my negative credit items on my credit report are medical items and if this is a true statement I will be contacting a attorney to have all of these items removed and if they are not I will be sueing the doctors and the hospitals for breach of my personal information.

Reply by
kenbod

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is it true most all my collections are medical because i am disabled. what do i have too do to apply this information  i cant pay collections because my medicines account for 29% of my gross income which is only $1200 per month! any info may help get out of my dark place, thanks

Reply by
Karenrabbit

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HOW?  All of my debt is from the ER and I would love to get these off my credit.

Reply by
calipatient

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2 People Helped

I just came across your post and I would like to know what you found out.

This has given me something to check out pertaining to my own medical bills.

Thank you.

Reply by
YIP15

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Hi @ Ashelymfrank27's

I just found out i have a debt on collection from two years ago.. I had no idea about.. It was from the hospital (laboratories) and i asked, once i'm done paying would it be off my credit report, they tol dme no  it will only show as "paid" .. any advice?

Reply by
CarlasKarma

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how do you mean?

HEPA?

Reply by
Ohioalpacafarmer

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My kids pediatritian sent me to collections for $75.00 and it is showing up on my report.  Rediculous!

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Reply by
Pharkus

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Totally untrue.   Under HIPPA,  healthcare providers can share information to purpose of billing and collections.   Only a minimal amount of actual health information is necessary to collect debt.   However,  if your debt is to a specialists,  just the name of the doctor's group practice may be very revealing.   Example,  if you owe "xxx drug rehab program"  what have you revealed?   Cancer treatment doctor,  psychiatrist, sleep disorder clinic,  weight loss clinic,  etc.   Many times merely the name of the credior of medical account bill tells a great deal about your health. 

HIPPA is federal law so no state law can override. 

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69 Contributions
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Helpful to 20 out of 20 people

''LISTEN""   when you have an unpaid bill, the original company you had the bill/collection with writes it off, when they write it off they in all fair/honest/truthfulness get paid for it in by writing it off for losses on their taxes!  they sale it cheap to a collection agency and collect a little more again besides the write off..so in all fairness you owe the collection agency not a penny because by law you have no contract with the third party that purchased the dept..so i would dispute with a ''no contract'' dispute...new laws are coming down harder on collection companys unlawful practices such as this..im not promoting any of you not to pay your bills...but collection companys should and actually are illegally operating and have no legal contract with you....most times they dont even have the proper paperwork to back up their claims, then by law they have no grounds to stand on..they operate under the mindset of you wont dispute them and the odds you pay them in seven years, or they unlawfully change the reporting dates and prices and name of company information all on you or sale it to another collection company..

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The whole system needs a revamp its absurd that I have over $50,000 worth of paid off cars over the year alone without missing a payment. I get sick and have about 2k in debt and my credit tanks to Very poor because of missed payments and collections. Life happens for the people that say "Just pay your bills" get over your self.

Anyway you can pay 1000 things on time and get 30-40 points missed 4-5 and your done for, for years. Horrible system

Reply by
tinat919

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You r so rt.. This is true n unfair..

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Sometimes a collection can be wiped from your credit report if you send a Pay and Delete letter and the collection agency agrees in writing.  You will need to be prepared to offer a lump sum settlement in exchange for the account being deleted from your report.

Reply by
toritroup

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and sometimes instead of actually deleting it they sell it to another collection agency!

Reply by
stacyt0049

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What is pay and delete letter?  Never heard of this term.

Reply by
Tinaxkhaos

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What is a pay and delete letter?

Reply by
thefactsplease

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the payment for deletion process usually entails asking the collection agency to send you in writing (even email) that they will send a Universal Data Form (UDF) to the bureaus to have the negative listing removed in their next transmital. Most collections agents might not have a clue what you're asking for so a manager may be someone to speak with.

Reply by
NavyCurls

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I've done this exact thing. I owed this one company a little bit for awhile and I couldn't pay for it. So, years later, I sent them a certified letter, saying I had the money and would pay them the entire amount if they would take it off my credit history. They responded that they would, so I sent them a money order via certified mail. When I checked later on, it was gone. Good thing I had it all in writing.

Reply by
kuttnitup

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Helpful to 85 out of 93 people

if you are willing to take the time and effort you can fight it and get everything off of your creidt report. by law these collection agencies can NOT put any marks on your credit report since the contract is between you and who ever you owe the money to. You can write a letter letting rquesting they produce the ORIGINAL agreement between you and them and they CAN'T! it does not matter that they bought this debt. it's their problem. You can also contact the credit agencies and have them remove those bad credits from your report because, AGAIN, by law it can only be from the original party that's owed the money. I will have to look up the law code for this. My uncle and brother sent out the letters and disputed with the collection agencies and it worked. My brother had a couple of banruptcies and lots of deliquent bills. once he started doing this and demanding they remove the negative marks he credit score jumped from like a 232 to almost 800 and was able to get a loan to build a house.

Reply by
postalunit

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WHAT IS A PAY AND DELETE LETTER

Reply by
MedicalDebt

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Listen up, folks...

*DO NOT PAY YOUR ACCOUNTS IN COLLECTION*

*YOU ARE ONLY THROWING AWAY YOUR MONEY*

Paying a collection company means you are giving your money away to a seedy collection company who strongarms and confuses people into paying these things all the time.  Your benefit?  Nothing.  *Nothing at all*

The original creditor has already sold the debt to the agency and your credit score is tarnished for 7 years.  End of story.  Welcome to America!

Take a swing back at the completely corrupt system that has put you in this situation and DO NOT PAY THE COLLECTION AGENCY EVER.

Here's why:

No matter what happened to lead you to having a derogatory mark -- whether it was actual deliberate negligence with a credit card, or completely uncontrollable medical debt -- the greedy lawyers and bank lobbyists who set up this idiotic system simply lump all of this debt together in one big "you didn't pay for this" category on our reports.

The end result is: you pay higher interest rates for EVERYTHING.  Which means *even more money* for the big banks.  Good luck getting our government to fix this, too!  It benefits those who have all the money, which incidentally are the people who run the government.

No matter how small the bill, no matter if it was an insurance company's clerical error / disorganization that led to the mark showing up on your report; It's there, it's severely impacting your credit score, and it's not going anywhere for seven years.  Period.

There seems to be a lot of faux information floating around that you can "pay-to-delete" accounts in collections from your report, but this is completely and totally unsupported by ANY facts.  I have *NEVER* seen a single *reliable* reference for how to handle this.  If pay-to-delete isn't analogous to the tooth-fairy, then CreditKarma should offer an integrated service (no 3rd party stuff which just seems like paid advertising) to help with this specific issue.  They don't.  Why?  Because you can't do this.  Because it's illegal.

At a minimum, CreditKarma should have an official "pay-to-delete" info page to dispell these rumors and set the facts straight.

Reply by
MedicalDebt

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Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Listen up, folks...

*DO NOT PAY YOUR ACCOUNTS IN COLLECTION*

*YOU ARE ONLY THROWING AWAY YOUR MONEY*

Paying a collection company means you are giving your money away to a seedy collection company who strongarms and confuses people into paying these things all the time.  Your benefit?  Nothing.  *Nothing at all*

The original creditor has already sold the debt to the agency and your credit score is tarnished for 7 years.  End of story.  Welcome to America!

Take a swing back at the completely corrupt system that has put you in this situation and DO NOT PAY THE COLLECTION AGENCY EVER.

Here's why:

No matter what happened to lead you to having a derogatory mark -- whether it was actual deliberate negligence with a credit card, or completely uncontrollable medical debt -- the greedy lawyers and bank lobbyists who set up this idiotic system simply lump all of this debt together in one big "you didn't pay for this" category on our reports.

The end result is: you pay higher interest rates for EVERYTHING.  Which means *even more money* for the big banks.  Good luck getting our government to fix this, too!  It benefits those who have all the money, which incidentally are the people who run the government.

No matter how small the bill, no matter if it was an insurance company's clerical error / disorganization that led to the mark showing up on your report; It's there, it's severely impacting your credit score, and it's not going anywhere for seven years.  Period.

There seems to be a lot of faux information floating around that you can "pay-to-delete" accounts in collections from your report, but this is completely and totally unsupported by ANY facts.  I have *NEVER* seen a single *reliable* reference for how to handle this.  If pay-to-delete isn't analogous to the tooth-fairy, then CreditKarma should offer an integrated service (no 3rd party stuff which just seems like paid advertising) to help with this specific issue.  They don't.  Why?  Because you can't do this.  Because it's illegal.

At a minimum, CreditKarma should have an official "pay-to-delete" info page to dispell these rumors and set the facts straight.

Reply by
jcarrillo215

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do you know what i should do if i found out i was in collections by credit karma and have yet not been contacted by a collection agency?

Reply by
MrsLadyJJ

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Good luck with that.

Reply by
bluefish66

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Enter Your Reply Could you elaborate on the pay and delete letter? What is it exactly? And would you mind sharing the format (excluding personal info ofc).

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Helpful to 93 out of 110 people

In this econemy it is very hard to even have a good credit score If you loose your job and have loans you get screwed. Medical bills pile up. Even when you try your hardest to keep your bills out of collections some times you have other  emergencys that come up like me I went in to collections when my mom was passing away it was choose to let my bills go  and go to my moms bed side or pay bills and not see my mom before she died. Seriously some things can't be helped but they don't care all they see is $$$ signs and how to make us working folks hurt. I agree even if you pay off your debts that are owed it will never have a full garentee that it will take it off your credit. some times its better to just wait the 7 yrs it mostly does come off but you do come across those stuborn companys like capital one and other loan companys and credit collection agencys that just like to try and keep it draging out. The best solution for that is to dispute it. But in some ways my opinon is that credit can make or break you. But in reality it only means that those that can afford the luxurays of having the money to pay everything easy allways have the great credit and those that work hard and stuggel to keep up on bills and there familys suffer.

1 Contribution
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my debts in collections are medical bills. im gonna have medical bills and sometimes they come in much faster than a person with fixed income can pay and some are disputed by insurance company and it takes an act of congress to fix these. i dont think medical bills should account so much on your credit report

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Reply by
krisangelou1274

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i wouldnt worry bout medical every1 gets sick it medical it will write off in 7 yrs dnt contyact the creditors leave it alone wait 7yrs

Reply by
YANKEEBORNGAL

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JOIN THE CROWD THAT'S WHAT MINE R AND THEY CAN GO POUND SALT BECAUSE AFTER MY Car accident they stopped all my heart medicine and when u get a bill from WAYNE MEMORIAL IN GOLDSBORO,NC IT HAS TO BE PAID THAT NEXT DAY OR THEY WILL TURN U IN I HAD TO GO TO ANOTHER HOSPITAL DUE TOO I WAS HEALED AND THE DR RELEASE ME SO WHAT MY PRIVATE INSURANCE PAID THA'T ALL THEY R GETTING.

Reply by
cpolk2012

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I agree that's the only thing on my credit score and its poor this sucks

Reply by
dom138

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it's a bill just like a car payment.

Reply by
Beredis

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Helpful to 12 out of 15 people

Medical Bills are not allowed to be put on your credit, however, they have found a loophole through collection agencies. If they "Sell" your medical debt then it's no longer considered "Medical". Very dumb.

Reply by
midnite113

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Enter Your Reply  I agree. I had a medical bill that I didn't even know I had. I never got a written bill for it because they sent it to the wrong person. So how could I pay it ? It was all co-pay amounts due. Not like the doctor never got paid anything anyway. I think it's wrong to be sent into collections for co-pay amounts. The doctors and hospitals get paid enough. The insurance companies are ridiculous what they leave you to pay after they pay what they want to pay. Besides that...it's true. That most of these medical bills have been charged to you even if you've only been 1 day late on making a payment and you don't usually even know about it. When you've been hospitalized and under Anesthesia. Then you come out and you suddenly see you have a bill and don't know what it's for. So while your waiting to find out with your head messed up from the Anesthesia still, they just shove you into collections. Just isn't right to do this to people who mean well. Then if you pay the collection agency, it stays on your record anyway and the doctor has been paid somewhere anyhow. Even if you try to pay the doctor later, it's too late. Your already in collections. So who gets that money ? The collection agency ? If the debt stays on your records, how do you get rid of it ?  So why even try to pay the bill when it's too late anyway. I saw a collection on my account for $3.. Isn't that crazy ? If I send in $3., will that collection come off, and my name removed from it ?

Reply by
asmiling57

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I have one medical bill that is on my report three times, we have a hospital that was a non profit one when they sold out for profit now they don't even bother to send you a bill. They just wait for 3 months well Medicare doesn't pay them in 3 months. Then they send it to a collections agency. I went back to my urologist for a follow up. Asked when I was there if I owed anything from last visit they said no. The next day i get a call from a collections agency for a bill from them. I said that's my Dr I just seen him yesterday he said I don't have a balance with him? It just sucks that some hospitals don't even bother anymore. Oh then I see on my credit report three bills for $74 for an appointment I did pay for listed twice with one bureau and once with the other. So it's on my report 3 times I already paid for it. I called the collection agency back they said oh it takes a few months for it to come off your report, I said well it is lowering my Credit score, and why is it showing there 3 times. she says how am I supposed to know I have it listed here once and you paid it last month. They for sure need to fix that crap. I applied for a loan to get a car, was turned down applied for another, my credit score dropped from 675 to 649 from two hard reports.

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It is a lie when they say a creditor will  only stay on your credit report is a lie. Some company's renew it right before the 7  years are up so it can continue to stay on your credit report.

Reply by
mrhowddy

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check your state law the credit b must remove it after seven year WITH NO ACTION FROM YOU

Reply by
kimbaslair

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Capital One has been doing that with me - I am just paying off debts little by little every month - I too have hospital & radiology bills that went on my credit report so they can do that. When I get to a zero balance owed, (another few thousand dollars) I'm jsut going to sign up w/Experian for a few months & have them clean up my record. I had talked w/them a few yrs ago & they can do a lot but it's $19.95 (?) a month. Right now, it's now feasible but it will be when I finally see the black again! I wouldn't bother w/a Credit Repair Company, yeah some are ok, but I'd rather deal straight w/the one of the Credit Agencies & I did like what Experian did for me a few yrs ago, it's worth the $20 -  They do what they say they'll do. 

Reply by
Ftgfloors

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This is very true,  although if you take no action and do not contact the collection agency for any reason it is supposed to fall off your report after 7 years.  I have had companies renew the collection date against me by selling it to another agency.  Although this may be fought (not sure - maybe I'm just screwed), who can you actually call that cares?  You call the collection agency and you'll get nowhere, you call the credit bureus and they can't do a thing either, even if you have proof of the date that your account initially went "past due" with the original creditor.  The fact of the matter is these companies can do what they want and get away with it.  If you didn't have the extra cash to pay the bill to begin with, you probably don't have the cash to hire an attorney to fight a most likely losing battle against these huge companies and they know that.  I've already gotten used to the fact that I'm going to be screwed by these people for years to come and I can forget about having good credit again for a while.

Reply by
AlexDavis74

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This is 100% true. this happenned to me. I had an old amount unpaid on my credit score from the year 2000. I stop using my credit (due to incarceration) until 2007. I received a collection letter and call saying that they will put it on my credit report if i didnt pay or make arrangement to have it paid. I was like "what"? But truly enough, they renewed it on my report.

Reply by
sandymae820

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That is so true or they sell it to their sister company and you are still screwed!!... 

Reply by
selliott30

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The only way that happens is if you validate a call from the collection agency. If you get a call from a bill collector never validate it(meaning if they ask to speak to you,dont) bc if you just made your 6 year and lets say 9 month mark, you just started that collection over for another 7 years.

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

this is definitely true, i have had that happen to me. they will keep renewing it so they can keep it on your report longer. it's really messed up how they manipulate the loop holes.

Reply by
juanita2002

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True and false! you must request via certified mail that you want it removed from each credit bureau and never within the seven years attempt to contact or acknowledge any attempts to collect the debt. if you do contact or accept communication the collection agency can renew account starting the years over. If you answer the phone never admit to the debt never say anything about old accounts. I am not encouraging irresponsible spending behavior but sometimes people have hard times....

Reply by
ebby48

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Yes, has happen to me. What can you do when this happens?? Any suggestions??

Reply by
debozuna

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You only need to report back to the credit report agency that the original date of debt is ____.  This will stop the new claim.  Thy will remove it, once they know it is a duplicate.

Reply by
DavvynJaykub

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you can have it removed if they renew it and you haven't tried to interact with them. It has to be listed from the time the account first became delinquent. Open an investigation and it will be removed from your credit. I have had 3 or 4 items removed in the last month or so because of this. It's illegal, but only enforced when caught by you.

Reply by
Apopstoots

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Enter Your ReplyThat is absolutely right! Mine have been on there forever! When it is almost 7 years they sell it to another collection agency and the count restarts

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Reply by
eastcoastman73

69 Contributions
199 People Helped

then heres what to do, may take a little time...but print out next time you dispute it when credit bureau sends back the reply within 30 days saying what they done with the collection..they either delete it or allow it to stay on your report..keep redisouting it and eventually the collection company will get tired of you disputing it costing them time and money.if their a third party when you dispute it pick in dispute ''no contract''   because they have to prove this to credit bureau all the paper work and original dates and all in 30 days or its deleted by new laws!!!

1 Contribution
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Helpful to 67 out of 80 people

You dont need Lexington law to do this I'm doing it on my own

Reply by
Shellyandbrett

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are there any tips on how to do this on my own?????

Reply by
gatorbait81

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Can u give me info on how to go about handling this myself? I would greatly appreciate it!! thanks

Reply by
juanita2002

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Helpful to 10 out of 19 people

Here is one of my favorite sites I recommend to most of my clients and friends, if they are having problems with creditors. It has sample letters and a do it yourself info tab.

http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com/letters/debt-validation.html

Reply by
shirleymarchant

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How are you doing it on your own? I have things on my credit and I don't even know what they are , I paid my sears account off and it's still on my credit there I also had a fingerhut account that I never even used and it has reported as bad debt . I don't understand how when I never used it . 

Reply by
bernfew

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Give me some tips

Reply by
Paul91016

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very time consuming. Use LexingtonLaw.com they charge me around $59.00 per month. The know how to to approach each problems. I am very pleased with them.

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Reply by
Tojomar4

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54 People Helped

AMEN!!! 

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