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I recently noticed that my FICO score decreased, so, I got my credit report which showed an account in collection for $30 from 2014.
I have some recollection about the original creditor and paying off the bill, but this was a while ago and I just don't remember the details.  I find it very hard to believe that I would pay the bill for $180, but not for the remaining $30 (the original balance on the credit report is showing as $210).  I really have no idea what happened, there was no notice in writing or anything that would indicate that I even had any debt to the original creditor or the collection agency. So, the account has been in collection for almost 2 years, which I didn't know until this week.  I contacted the original creditor, and they said that since the account in collection, I need to work with the collection agency. 
At this point I just want the whole thing to go away and clear my credit report.  Any advice from someone who has been through this on what to do would be greatly appreciated.  I don't care if I have to pay, I just want to clear my credit history and not have any negative activity.

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Update: Two down, one more to go. Experian deleted the collection account after their investigation.

Rubl (Sep. 15, 2016 @ 9:00a) |

Update: That's it. The third one, Equifax, deleted the collection account too.

The last step is to submit the complain... (more)

Rubl (Sep. 23, 2016 @ 9:14p) |

Congrats on getting that settled and removed from your reports.  

Not sure what good the letters will do, they will just ... (more)

Mickie3 (Sep. 24, 2016 @ 7:58a) |

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try creditboards.com

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Since you know that this is your debt then the only way to remove it from the credit report is to get it in writing that the collection agency will remove it from your report if you pay it in full but since the amount is so small, they might not be interested in it because it means a lot of work for them for $30. 

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Only pay if they will remove the negative reference.

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Follow the advice on creditboards. They have the correct letter templates to send to the agencies and reporting bureaus to get it removed.

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ach1199 said:   Since you know that this is your debt then the only way to remove it from the credit report is to get it in writing that the collection agency will remove it from your report if you pay it in full but since the amount is so small, they might not be interested in it because it means a lot of work for them for $30. 
  I had no knowledge of this debt.

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Just call the original creditor and ask them what happened.
If they try to get you to admit or agree to anything about it, tell them you thought it was paid in full and you'll have to research it before saying or doing anything about it.

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why not have them validate the debt first!

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jojosung said:   why not have them validate the debt first!
 

  
Why communicate with a collector at all if you can avoid it, so you can go to court and attempt to collect $1000? If you want a FDCPA suit, set up the hoops and see if the collector successfully jumps through all of them.

If you want to clean up your credit reports, talk to the creditor.
If you can get the creditor to recall the account from collections, then the collector loses all rights to report the account.

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Rubl said:   ach1199 said:   Since you know that this is your debt then the only way to remove it from the credit report is to get it in writing that the collection agency will remove it from your report if you pay it in full but since the amount is so small, they might not be interested in it because it means a lot of work for them for $30. 
  I had no knowledge of this debt.


Is this a medical related debt? If so goto creditboards and follow whychat's process of removing that from your bureau.

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Thank you everyone. I found what I need to do on the creditboards, and hopefully it will work.

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okay glad you got the info you are looking for! Could you answer ach1199's question if it's a medical debt and also post a generic sequence of steps that was recommended on credit boards............this will help us FWF folks....

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It is a medical debt. 
<Rant start> Let me emphasize again that I was not aware of this debt at all.  For crying out loud, it's $30!!! I would have paid it at any time had I known that I had to pay it. My credit report never had any negative activity before. This just underscores what a shady business collection agencies and credit report agencies run.  < Rant end>
Per creditboards, the steps are listed here: http://www.whychat.5u.com/GUIDE%20HIPAA%20PROGRAM.html 
I'm following them A to Z. My goal is to delete this collection account from my credit history, so simply paying at this point will no longer work.
As of now I did the following:
1. Do not contact the collection agency for any reason.
2. Contacted the original creditor (medical imaging place) - for the latest bill and the latest payment.  It's on the way. I'm trying to locate my payment receipt, but it probably won't be found. The bill was paid online via CC. CC # has changed since that.  I requested CC statements for that period from Citi, but they came back empty.
3. Wrote dispute letters per creditboards template to all three credit report agencies and mailed via priority mail with delivery confirmation.  The handwritten letters are both a dispute and a request for additional info about the debt.

The next steps would be verify the last bill from the original creditor.  If it's really mine, then pay it off with a cashier's check to the original creditor.  Then, follow up with the HIPAA letters. And finish off with letters of complaints to state and federal authorities.
 

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Rubl said:   It is a medical debt. 
<Rant start> Let me emphasize again that I was not aware of this debt at all.  For crying out loud, it's $30!!! I would have paid it at any time had I known that I had to pay it. My credit report never had any negative activity before. This just underscores what a shady business collection agencies and credit report agencies run.  < Rant end>
Per creditboards, the steps are listed here: http://www.whychat.5u.com/GUIDE%20HIPAA%20PROGRAM.html 
I'm following them A to Z. My goal is to delete this collection account from my credit history, so simply paying at this point will no longer work.
As of now I did the following:
1. Do not contact the collection agency for any reason.
2. Contacted the original creditor (medical imaging place) - for the latest bill and the latest payment.  It's on the way. I'm trying to locate my payment receipt, but it probably won't be found. The bill was paid online via CC. CC # has changed since that.  I requested CC statements for that period from Citi, but they came back empty.
3. Wrote dispute letters per creditboards template to all three credit report agencies and mailed via priority mail with delivery confirmation.  The handwritten letters are both a dispute and a request for additional info about the debt.

The next steps would be verify the last bill from the original creditor.  If it's really mine, then pay it off with a cashier's check to the original creditor.  Then, follow up with the HIPAA letters. And finish off with letters of complaints to state and federal authorities.

  Super informative! Thank You OP!

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Is this $30 debt actually impacting your score? I thought the new fico models basically ignored collections under $200.

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TravelerMSY said:   Is this $30 debt actually impacting your score? I thought the new fico models basically ignored collections under $200.
  I believe so.  My score went from 780 to 680.  There is nothing else negative on any of the credit reports. There has been no additional debt, no new open accounts nor closed accounts.  Just that 1 item in collections for almost 2 years.

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If it's been there for 2 years why is your score affected now?

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forbin4040 said:   If it's been there for 2 years why is your score affected now?
  It was probably affected earlier, but I just noticed now. 

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Update: One credit agency down, two to go. Transunion sent a letter that after investigating the dispute, they deleted the disputed item from my record.

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Rubl said:   Update: One credit agency down, two to go. Transunion sent a letter that after investigating the dispute, they deleted the disputed item from my record.
  

Keep in mind that the creditor can still come after you for what is owed, up to and including suing you for it.  Doubt they will, but like a credit card dispute, just because its been removed at this point doesn't mean you are totally in the clear.

 

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Mickie3 said:   
Rubl said:   Update: One credit agency down, two to go. Transunion sent a letter that after investigating the dispute, they deleted the disputed item from my record.
  

Keep in mind that the creditor can still come after you for what is owed, up to and including suing you for it.  Doubt they will, but like a credit card dispute, just because its been removed at this point doesn't mean you are totally in the clear.

 

  I doubt they will have any ground to sue me anymore.  The original creditor was paid the outstanding balance of $30 with a cashier's check.

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Rubl said:   
Mickie3 said:   
Rubl said:   Update: One credit agency down, two to go. Transunion sent a letter that after investigating the dispute, they deleted the disputed item from my record.
  

Keep in mind that the creditor can still come after you for what is owed, up to and including suing you for it.  Doubt they will, but like a credit card dispute, just because its been removed at this point doesn't mean you are totally in the clear.

 

  I doubt they will have any ground to sue me anymore.  The original creditor was paid the outstanding balance of $30 with a cashier's check.

  

Did you recently pay that amount or find a receipt where you had previously paid it?  IIRC, you still owed the $30, but had forgotten about it.

 

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Recently paid. I didn't forget - I never knew that I owed $30.

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Rubl said:   Recently paid. I didn't forget - I never knew that I owed $30.
  

Then there is no way that they are going to sue you. 

Good luck on  getting the demerits removed by the CRAs and thanks for staying with thread and providing info as needed as well as the conclusion to the mess!

 

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Update: Two down, one more to go. Experian deleted the collection account after their investigation.

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Update: That's it. The third one, Equifax, deleted the collection account too.

The last step is to submit the complaint letters to state and federal authorities about the original creditor and the collection agencies.

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Rubl said:   Update: That's it. The third one, Equifax, deleted the collection account too.

The last step is to submit the complaint letters to state and federal authorities about the original creditor and the collection agencies.

  

Congrats on getting that settled and removed from your reports.  

Not sure what good the letters will do, they will just say you owed the money as evidenced by your paying off the balance.  Kind of a catch-22, but at least its over for you.

 

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