Utility Dispute

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by MikeB, Aug 1, 2001.

  1. MikeB

    MikeB Banned

    I wrote a letter through PlanetFeedback to TXU Electric regarding a charged off utility bill from three years ago. Here is their reply:

    "After investigating your claim, I discovered the debt came from a final electric service bill at XXX. The final bill was mailed to XXX (my forwarded address);however, the Post Office returned it to us a week later."

    "I am not sure why EXP would list an off service account as an installment loan with a 10 month term. You may want to contact them and have them explain why this is coded as such. TXU only submits dollar amounts to the credit bureaus."

    "Proof of debt, as defined by the Public Utility Commision of Texas, states contractual obligation begins when the consumer contacts the utility company to apply for service and furnishes the utility proper identification."

    Blah Blah

    "Please call our Collections Dept for further questions or to make payment arrangements on this debt."

    Hmm, do I have them on this? Am I obligated to pay a utility bill that I never received, and they admit was returned to them undelivered? DUH.

    I will send a copy of this letter to Experian and demand deletion. I asked TXU to verify that Experian contacted them for dispute verification, but they conveniently left that out of the response.
    Anyone have an opinion?

    Does EXP have a fax number to fax this letter?

  2. tom65432

    tom65432 Well-Known Member

    I should probably keep my mouth shut, but here goes.

    You moved out. Did you know that you had a utility bill owing? If so, you should have checked with them when it did not come. Things get lost in the mail all the time. I think you have some responsibility here.
  3. sl1029

    sl1029 Well-Known Member

    Uh, yes you still owe it...unless the debt is so old (probably min of 5 yrs - depending on your state) that its past the SOL. It's possible that you may convince the utility to give you a break on late fees/interest, but I doubt they will agree with you that the Post Office failing to do its job = release of your obligation to pay this debt.
  4. MikeB

    MikeB Banned

    Hmm, funny I get responses regarding responsiblity where many of the people are trying to find ways of deleting bankruptcies with several thousands of dollars in debt, and I guess I am so bad about trying to have a small utility bill deleted for which I never received the bill.
    Regarding responsibility, the Electric utility should have sent another bill. I never had any problems from other creditor's bills not forwarded to the new address. They should have also sent another letter stating they were charging off the account. Yes, I could have called when I never received the bill, but I had alot on my mind when moving to a different city, and I think it is the burden of the creditor to make sure the bill gets to you. They knew the bill was returned, so they should have sent another.
    I don't question the debt. I would pay it tomorrow, but they will not remove the chargeoff. No dice. Maybe I am wrong, but I don't think a court would say I am responsible for a debt that I never received a bill for when I did leave a correct forwarding address.

    To make a long story short, don't question my integrity when a large number of the people here are looking for ways of cleaning their credit records that may not be 100% ethical. I am playing by the rules set forth by FCRA. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
  5. MikeB

    MikeB Banned

    After rereading my original post, I guess I worded a sentence poorly. I should have said "responsible for a bill that I never received" instead of "obligated to pay the bill". I admit I owe it, but they should have done a better job getting a bill to me before jumping the gun and writing it off.

    One last point. Let me reiterate that I am not trying to avoid paying a debt. I am trying to remove information that is incorrect. A utility bill was chargedoff as a 10 month installment account on my credit report three years ago. This is wrong, and TXU admits it. I have disputed this with EXP at least 3 times, and each time it is verified.

    Something to keep in mind regarding a chargeoff. The creditor writes off the debt on their taxes and usually takes very little loss on a small debt. If I pay them the debt, they have then received the tax benefit from the chargeoff as well as the debt that I would have paid to them. This is completely legal. Is it fair?

    If they change their minds and remove the 3 yr old chargeoff in exchange for payment, then great, they can have over 1.5 times the original debt (including the tax benefit) for their trouble. Otherwise, no.
  6. john

    john Well-Known Member

    Hi Mike,

    I too have a ten month installment loan that was charged off being reported because of the way that TXU reports people who don't pay their last bill.

    I also was in the process of moving to a new state and it got "lost" in the process. But I should have followed up with TXU and made sure the bill was paid. I didn't, and they screwed me for it. It was for $50.00 dollars and I gladly would have paid it..if I knew I owed it, but I didn't follow up to see if there was any balance due. It is your (was my) responsibilty and just because they didn't send you a bill is not a good arguement not to pay the bill.


    Do you know how many "FICO" points this costs? Well, by my estimation it is around 50 points. I had it in dispute and my score went up 50 points as a result. That is right...50 big ones. DO you realize what 50 points means when your score is around 620-640. It means the world when it comes to getting a prime credit card, a good mortgage, a good rate for that new car, etc.

    TXU is being very vindictive when they won't remove these inaccurate items from your report. They pass the buck to the CRA saying they are reporting the item incorrectly, when they are the ones responsible for reporting accurate information to the CRA, not the other way around. It was not a 10 month installment loan. It wasn't even a credit account. It was for a service that you requested and agreed to pay, and ahould be reported as such. It should be reported as a collection if you don't pay. Not sure if this helps FICO point wise, but there are many more reasons why someone might have some collections on their credit report. For them to indicate that you failed to pay an installment loan as agreed is prepostorous(sp?) and I supspect damages your credit score much more than just having a $50.00 collection.

    Heck, you offered to pay it, right? It shows me that they really don't want your money. They just want to damage your credit reputation for years becuase you didn't pay them 50 bucks. People make mistakes all the time, things get overlooked, people get busy. These are not excuses, but if someone in this situation is willing to pay a debt that they owe as a result, then TXU should be willing to remove this negative and inaccurate information.

    My recommendation to you is not to pay this unless they agree to remove it. Paying a chargeoff does NOTHING to improve your score. I paid my TXU chargeoff and my score didn't budge. Screw them if they want to be jerks about it. If they really wanted the money they would remove it.

    If you come up with anything please report it back to the board. I have disputed with TU and Equifax many times with no success. Good luck.

    GEORGE Well-Known Member


  8. lbrown59

    lbrown59 Well-Known Member

    txu could be reporting it to the cra one way but the cra could be recording it differen than what txu is reporting .
    in this case it would be the fault of the cra.
    ===== ========== ==========
  9. sl1029

    sl1029 Well-Known Member

    BUT....the question of whether you are obligated or responsible for something(no difference) is different from asking for advice on how to get an item removed from your report. I think pretty much the people on this board have a live and let live policy regarding what people are trying to do w/ their own credit reports - but are also pretty good at speaking their minds.
  10. MikeB

    MikeB Banned

    Well, I am not trying to cheat someone out of money. Wouldn't you be upset if a creditor charged off an account on your credit report for which you did not receive a bill? Yes, my most important goal is to get that chargeoff off my record. I am about to apply for a mortgage soon. If TXU would accept full payment for removing the chargeoff, great, I will send a check. Otherwise, I will fight it by any means as allowed under FCRA, especially the 100% accuracy clause. The system is not working if the creditor "verifies" the dispute as 100% accurate when in fact it is not. Someone is lying and violating FCRA. I faxed a letter to Experian today to that effect. If they don't budge, I will make one last attempt negotiate with the creditor for payment in exchange for deletion. Otherwise, I can wait 4 more years or take both EXP and the creditor to court to see who is in violation.
  11. MikeB

    MikeB Banned

    Well, sl, the best policy is if you don't have something constructive to say, or more importantly if you don't know what the hell you're talking about, it is better to keep your judgements to yourself and just keep quiet and read, not post. It works for me. Let those without sin cast the first stone.....
  12. MikeB

    MikeB Banned

    lbrown, I suspect you are right. TXU says they only send the CRA dollar amounts. They should not be allowed to just do that to begin with, but.....

    I have disputed the record several times in several ways. I told them this was a utility bill not a 10 month term installment loan as reported and to fix the record as such, but it came back "verified". Oh well, I tried.
    Experian is known to lie.
  13. ninety9

    ninety9 Member

    Its been so long someone posted in this thread.

    MikeB, I am going through identical situation as you did. The only difference is 3 years later than you did.

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