Disputing collections on credit reports is becoming increasingly popular. Collection agencies buy all sorts of debt information from the credit reporting bureaus, including account activity and payment history. In most cases, the bureaus make it very difficult to challenge their reports directly. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) makes it extremely difficult to challenge or contest the accuracy of a debt. However, recently the powers that be at the credit bureaus have started loosening the restrictions on disputing collections. As a consequence, more consumers are beginning to use this process to gain access to the full account history.
How do you go about disputing collections? There are three main rules that must be followed when disputing collections: the statute of limitations, the fair debt collection practices act, and fair debt collection practices. If any of these rules are violated, a letter of refusal can be sent to the agency within sixty days to notify them that you would like to pursue the dispute. Once a determination is made, the agency has thirty days to open a court case to try to recover the funds. If they lose, they have to pay you.
There are many different ways that you can go about disputing collections on your credit score accounts. You may have inadvertently bumped into an account listed in a collection agency’s file without even knowing it. Some collection agencies list duplicate items on multiple accounts to confuse people. To determine if an account is in collections, log onto the agency’s website to see if the account is listed.
If the site says it is in collections, but it is not, or you were not given the option to dispute, send them a letter via certified mail with a copy of the signed contract to remove collections. Include a copy of the contract to provide to the agency you are disputing as proof. This makes a good point for anyone who is confused by what they read on the website and want to know the difference between a contract dispute letter and a disputing collections letter.
The next step is to write a letter to the collection agency denying they have the right to place the item in collections. You should include all of the pertinent documentation to back up your claims. Also include a copy of your state divorce decree to give proof you are divorced. Some collection agencies will attempt to use legal intimidation to get you to pay the money or agree not to dispute the items. Never sign any type of agreement until you are absolutely certain that it will be in your best interests to do so.
If you still have not received all of your items, you may need to request the courts to temporarily remove the collections. First, send a letter to the collection agency stating the date that they became current and that you need them to remove the accounts within the 180 days past due date. Also, request that they inform you that they will file a petition in the courts to have you repay the debts within the time period stated in the letter. If the letter does not work, you should request a court date to set a court date. You can attend court and argue your case with the court.
The credit bureaus will attempt to contact you through any contact information that they have. They will either contact you through the phone or via mail. If you do not respond to the collections within the time frame specified in the letter from the credit bureaus, they will consider you in default. In this case, the collection agencies will begin collection efforts to obtain the money you owe.
Disputing medical collections can be done in a couple ways. First, you can send a letter to each credit reporting agency that shows the medical collections on your credit report. Second, you can visit the Medical Payment Reference Service web site and enter your medical payment information. This site will list all of the payment reports that are not responsible for a payment being rejected by your health plan’s creditors.