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I Didn't Even Marry The Guy!
I met my ex when I was 16...he was 23! I was with him for 4 years and we got engaged to be married when I was 19. My dad cosigned with me and got a David's bridal credit card in my name to charge my dress which was $527. To make a long story short...I broke things off with my ex and now I'm stuck with this dress. The problem is that David's bridal was sending my dad the payments and he kept paying them with no problem until one day they just stopped. He paid it no mind until he had problem with his house loan and I couldn't qualify for anything. What happened was [DAVID'S BRIDAL STARTED SENDING THE BILL TO THE WRONG ADDRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] Now my credit is "Poor" and I believe that's the only reason why!!!! Where do I start to get this taken care of?!?!?!?!?! Please help!!!!!
Start by getting a copy of your credit reports so you can see exactly what's on them. You can go to www.annualcreditreport.com and get a free copy of each of them (assuming you haven't gotten your free copy within the last year). After you get that, post back here and let us know what you're dealing with. You might just have the David's Bridal account on there, or they may have sold the account to a collection agency and you'll have the David's Bridal account plus the collection agency's account.
The advice you'll get from people will depend on knowing exactly what your dealing with.
Thanks! I have my experian one now. I'm not really sure how to read this thing though...or how to tell whats important. I have 9 open accounts. 3 is from my school loans (can I have those taken off, I just graduated this may), 1 is a credit card I got for my mom but she always pays it on time, 1 is that Davids Bridal card, 2 are from the "Tulsa Adjustment Burea" (whatever that means), 1 is my JC penny's card. I don't know why all that is bad other than it appearing that we were "90" days late paying the David's Bridal bill cause it was sent to the wrong address!!!! I'm confused!
Everybody listed there should have contact info. I'd contact any that you're not sure about and ask them to send you validation of the account. I'd also write to the credit bureau disputing any items you're not sure about.
As far as the David's Bridal account goes, personally speaking, it sounds like a screw-up on their part. I'd take whatever documentation you've got and head over there to discuss it with them. As long as you were current with your payments until THEY changed the address for whatever reason, there's more risk for them in being stubborn than in working with you.
Whatever happens, I would never work with any CA in this (or most other) cases. I'd tell them to fix their records, correct their CRA reports, and resume proper billing. I can't see why they wouldn't be willing to do that.
1st, the credit report is just reporting what the credit card companies and banks are telling them. They are required to report accurately but, if they don't know something is wrong, it's hard for them to correct it.
2nd. 90-days late is a very bad entry and I'm guessing that the Tulsa Adjustment Bureau is a collection agency (http://www.tab-services.com/) that has been hired to handle the 90-day late accounts.
3rd. I agree with desertrat that, in this case, the problem seems to have started with the OC's billing error and so you should start there. DO NOT contact the CA until you've worked with the OC.
The only exception to this advice, however, would be if you wanted to take a more aggressive stance and start working things so you could take the CA to court. (A quick google search of "Tulsa Adjustment Bureau" shows they have no problem taking debtors to court and you might want to check to see if you are on the docket without you knowing it). A call to the OC should let you know if they'll work to straighten things up for you or not.
If the OC says "too late, it's been sent to collections and there's nothing they can do about it." Then I'd suggest taking a more aggressive stance against the CA:
1) dispute these entries through the CRA(s)
2) send a request for validation and a "communication by mail" letter
3) if they don't validate and don't remove the entry from your credit report then file suit against them for FDCPA violations.
This might sound like a big deal (and it is, to some extent) but if you can't get the OC to work with you, you can bet the CA will be ready to file suit against you hoping that you won't show up to court and then get a default judgement against you that will add yet another bad entry into your credit report. Ignoring this won't make it go away (well, not for at least 7 years, anyway).
Sorry, but this is just totally wrong advice. Here is why.
Originally Posted by ccbob
Debt collectors have no obligation under FDCPA to respond to a demand for validation at any time. They don't have to. The only requirement under FDCPA
is that they may not continue collection activity until they have validated the debt.
They don't have to remove anything previously put there but if you dispute the debt with the credit bureau after having received your demand for validation then they have violated. So, in order to induce the violation you would have to demand validation and wait for the green card to come back then dispute with the credit bureaus.
If they do verify with the credit bureaus you would then have a violation you would then have a cause of action for which you could file suit in federal court.
Sorry, guys, I strongly disagree with y'all.
Consider the business. It's a "feel good" kind of business. Negative PR can be extremelyl painful for them.
Also, it's either a franchise or a company-owned store. Find out which, then call your local Atty General's office and ask them for some advice. They may or may not be very helpful, but it's worth a shot. I'd also file something with the local BBB.
THEN go down there with all of the bills and paperwork and talk with the store manager. Show him that you paid each and every bill you received from them on-time. Until you stopped receiving bills, the reason for which is unknown.
They may tell you that the bill is just a convenience and it's still your responsibility to make timely payments anyway. (All this tells me is that they don't care about the quality of their work.) Just agree and say it's not like you have your own bookkeeper to handle bills from vendors who rarely even invoice you on time, but you've learned your lesson anyway. ;-)
I'm also wondering ... is this a store-branded credit card, like what HSBC offers? Maybe something happened where the OC sold off a batch of accounts and yours got messed up in the process. It could be the store knows nothing about it. Regardless, they should be willing to help because they've actually got the most to lose if you play your cards right.
I'd also call the store's Corporate Offices (or franchise office) and see what they suggest.
Finally, I'd try to contact someone at the local newspaper or a TV station, or "underground rag" (in Phoenix it's the "New Times", part of a franchise; in KC here it's "The Pitch") who does "consumer advocate" stories and ask them to do consider doing a piece about how a clerical error on the part of the wedding dress store turned into an absolute nightmare for you and your father, adding insult to injury from the aborted wedding. At the very least, just having someone call or show up to start sniffing around might be sufficient to get them to own up and take responsibility for the error, or at least be more willing to help fix it.
If you play your cards right, they'll not only straighten things out for you, but they'll absorb any remaining balance owing on the account. But, no matter what, get a letter from them stating it's their error and that they're responsible for fixing it.
(This is all assuming that is indeed the case!)
There is absolutely no reason for any of this other CA-related stuff to ever come into play, IMHO. Save it for a more sinister situation where you've got less leverage.
(I've been through this two or three times in the past, many years ago. Remember there are lots of different agendas at play, and you wound up in this situation because someone at the company or the OC dropped the ball. Getting some of the higher-ups involved will usually be sufficient to weed out the problem. Also, going after a CA has zero impact on the company. Bad PR due to a screw-up on their part can cost them dearly. That's your leverage. Use it.)