My advance apologies. I didn’t mean for this post to be so long but I want to tell my story in detail so that it can help others if they are in similar situation.
While pulling my credit reports from the various bureaus to check my score, I saw two items I did not recognize in collections. The two items were for the exact same amount yet under different companies. When I googled the companies, I found out that they were collection agencies.
I started to look at online forums to determine my next steps. I learned that I could send a certified letter (to prove receipt) and request information to determine authenticity (of the debt itself and also that the said agency owns the debt) to be sent in 30 days. The burden is on the collection agencies to prove authenticity.
I found a template letter asking for additional information, altered it to my liking, then sent it off to the two collection agencies. Within 2 weeks I received a letter back from one collection agency stating that they will send a request to remove the collections from all three bureaus. Within days that item was removed.
However all I received was radio silence from the second collection agency. After 45 days, I decided to dispute it with the bureau (Experian), hoping they can help expedite the situation. I detailed the dispute using their online dispute form and then used the separately provided link to upload the copy of the letter I sent as well as the signed receipt form.
In two weeks I received an email stating that there was a decision on my dispute. When I logged on I saw that one dispute was ruled in the collection agency’s favor and there was another dispute with the decision pending. Out of confusion I called Experian and was told that when they received the dispute on their website, they contacted the collection agency who said that the collection was still active, hence the decision in the collection agency’s favor. They opened a second dispute when they received my uploaded information (there appears to be a significant delay with uploaded documents).
I asked the person on the phone how it was they ruled in the collection agency’s favor when I still have yet to be provided with supporting documents. I was told that all that Experian does is contact the collection agency and ask if the account is active and nothing further. They will not assist you to receive more information. I was flabbergasted. What was the point of filing a dispute with the collection agency then?