New here, with a collections question!

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by sassinsc, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. sassinsc

    sassinsc New Member

    Hi all, this is my very first post here and I really need help, please! My husband and I are trying to buy a home but cannot get pre-approved for a loan. Among several reasons is a debt of $1608.00 that I owe to an apartment complex that I lived in seven years ago. Here's the catch - I should NOT owe them ANY MONEY. I lived in the complex with my (now ex) fiance for about a year, and we signed a lease there together. When we broke up, I signed a roommate release and moved out, and he stayed on the lease and continued to live there. Until I signed the paper our rental history was current.
    I just got my credit report back today and it was listed on there. I actually went to the apartment complex and they told me that they had just shredded all files prior to 2005 back in February (I signed the release in 2003). So nobody has a copy of my roommate release. Now I have to dispute the claim.
    Here are my questions:
    1. How do I find out what collection agency I need to contact?
    2. What type of evidence do I need to successfully dispute the claim?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    Take a closer look at your credit report to see who is reporting the collection. Also, you'll want to find out if the apt. complex sold the debt to the CA, or if it was just assigned. By the way, the collection should age off your reports after 7 years, so it really could drop off anytime now.

    Now, if you don't have a copy of the signed roommate release, it may be really difficult to get anyone to believe you were released from liability for the original lease. You could start out disputing it through the CRAs first, but keep trying to find a copy of that release to send along with any other documentation you might have. Perhaps there's an electronic copy somewhere?

    Also, have you received any communication from the CA about this debt during the past 7 years? Or, are you just finding out about this for the first time? Has it never shown up on your reports in the past?
  3. newbie79

    newbie79 Active Member


    This is what I would do, I would defenatley dispute with the CRA's first. I would write a very short intro paragraph saying something like the following.
    Hi, this is <so and so>, I have noticed an account on my report that I have no recollection of, my file seems to have gotten mixed up with someone else's information. Please investigate the following account and inform me of your findings. Also, Please send me an updated copy of my credit report with the changes made.

    I have attached the following,
    Copy of my DL
    Copy of my SS
    Copy of a utility bill verifing my address
    Copy of the credit report line item

    Something like that you know. Also, don't contact the collection agency by phone or whoever the third party people are that are on your report, and don't pay anything.

    You will need your DL, SS, proof of residence (like a utility bill or something) make sure the address on your DL is actually the address that you live at. And then a copy of the credit report page that list the item ( highlight this item on the copy ). That's pretty much all you need to put in the package. You don't have to sign the letter or anything.

    Remember though, it may take a couple of months to get it removed. So don't think after you send the 1st letter, (and i say 1st cause the CRA's don't like to remove things) they will actually investigate it and care about you getting a house and the accuracy of your credit file. DON"T GET DISCOURAGED.

    JoshuaHeckathorn made a point in his reply too that you may want to look into. His comment was this
    Also, have you received any communication from the CA about this debt during the past 7 years? Or, are you just finding out about this for the first time? Has it never shown up on your reports in the past?

    If you've never received any communication from the collection agency then they may be in violation of 809 of the FDCPA. But, be careful, you cant just say "hey i never received anything when you actually remember that you did received something that you ignored".

    To wrap up, good luck
  4. newbie79

    newbie79 Active Member

    oh yeah, and when you send the letter make sure you tell the post office you need to send it " certified with return receipt request " . You have to do this. Reason is , you have to have proof that you sent them your dispute. They have 30 days for their investigation from the date the stamped the green card. Meaning, if you mailed it out on the 4th and they received it on the 7th (and stamped it on the 7th) they have 30 days starting on the 7th to do their investigation.

    You should get a reply either within the 30 days or around 35 to 45 days.
    Send the dispute package to any credit reporting agencies that have this entry on your file.
  5. liljon01

    liljon01 New Member

    New here with a collection/pay question:

    I have been with a debt management company for almost a year. They were doing a fine job on paying my creditors each month. I called them today to find out some information because my wife said they had taken the money out of our checking account for last month.

    I just found out that last month the company filed for bankruptcy. What should I do now with five creditors hanging in the wind?

    Thank you for any assistance possible in this situation.


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