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Question By
mmguy

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Collections question
This question isn't so much financial opposed to advice on what to do. I just logged on to my Credit Karma account and discovered I have a small bill in collections that I was not aware of until now (it was posted to credit bureaus 2 months ago). This was most likely the last bill of a company cell phone (AT&T) that I was paying until I switched carriers. I assumed that my account was paid off after moving on to the new carrier because I received absolutely no notification (mail, email, phone) of a late bill, otherwise, it's such a small amount, it would have been paid. As a matter of fact, the collection agency hasn't even contacted me.

My question is should I go ahead and pay the outstanding bill in full _and then_ dispute the error on my credit report or not pay it as it could give the allusion I'm guilty and start the dispute steps?

Thank you for any advice you can offer.

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Top Contributor
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When in doubt (especially since you haven't heard anything from the company before now) file a dispute with the credit bureau reporting the collection.  You might give serious thought to going to annualcreditreport.com and getting copies of all three credit reports, then you will have contact information and more to help you see the details on this debt.

Top Contributor
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You need to do some reading on "pay for delete agreements". A "pay for delete agreement" is when you contact either AT&T or the collection company and get them to agree to remove the account in exchange for you paying the account. This negotiation needs to take place BEFORE you pay the bill. If it were me, I would contact AT&T first and ask them to pull the account back from collections so it will no longer appear on your reports in exchange for your payment. Be ready to pay at once and in full if you get them to agree to this. You may want to record the phone call so you have proof of the agreement if it is only a verbal agreement as they may not want to put anything in writing. Remember, simply paying a collection only gets it marked as paid and a paid collection is just as damaging as an unpaid one when it comes to scoring. Do some reading on "pay for delete agreements".

Reply by
mmguy

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Many thanks!

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