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Need advise about paying off billls in collectios!
I talked to Lexington Law regarding what would happen if I began to make small payments to try to pay off these bad credit ratings and they advised me that it really isn't going to help a lot because the bad reports will stay on my record for 7 years. I wish there was a way to put an explanation in my report as to why my credit is in the shape it is in because it wasn't my fault. I became very ill and was on Hospice dying from COPD and I ended up in a nursing home for almost two years. My roommate had my bank cards and my disability checks went direct deposit into my account. She had two months of checks and was supposed to pay off the outstanding bills. Instead, she took all my money, all of my possessions and disappeared. I came out with nothing but these bills that are held over my head that I didn't even know about until I miraculously got better and got out of the nursing home nearly a year ago now. Then the threatening letters and phone calls started coming in. I was shocked. I needed everything to set myself up in my apartment so have had no extra money to pay off the reasonably small bills I owe. I don't know what to do. I'm thinking that in a couple of months I would be able to start slowly paying off what I owe but if it's going to still be on my record for 7 years I will probably be dead before I benefit. I am hoping someone can advise me.

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Very sorry to hear about your troubles.  When your roommate stole your stuff, did you file a police report or anything at all that can back up your claims?  If so, then send that info (along with proof of who you are, 2 forms such as Driver's license or ID, SS card, utility bill) to the credit bureaus and tell them which accounts are not yours and need to be deleted.  

Lexington is right - if you pay them now, then they'll stay on your report for 7 & 1/2 years from the date you paid them.  You need to find out the date of last activity on these debts.  That sets the 7 &1/2 year clock.

For the accounts that are yours, if they are very old (i.e. near the 7 & 1/2 year mark), you may be better off letting them "fall off" and save your money.  Especially if you are not planning on applying for any credit in the near future.  One thing to keep in mind, though.  If the amounts are large enough, they may try to sue you.  Go online and Google "statute of limitations" and find them for the state you live in.  If the statute of limitations has expired on the debt, then ignore it, all they can do is report on your credit.  If they can still file suit, then you'll have to decide if you want to pay them or wait and see if they file a lawsuit.

Hope this helps and best of luck!

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