How to get deletions when you have multiple collection accounts
Recently, I spoke with someone who had multiple relatively small collection accounts on their credit reports, and they needed to get rid of these accounts.
Here are my suggestions for how to remove these accounts from your report.
Pay for delete
My first suggestion is to do a pay for delete.
Call the company and tell them you dispute this debt, but that you want to get it settled.
Let them know you’ve got more debt than you have cash.
Then negotiate with them.
Let’s say it’s a $200 debt for failing to return your cable equipment. They agree to take $105 for the debt.
Before you fully accept this offer, as you have the money in your hand ready to pay, you say “…and I need you to delete this from my credit report.”
In the collector’s mind, they had already sealed the deal.
If they say no on the deletion, you pull that money back.
Now they have lost something.
Psychologically, we are more concerned about losing something than failing to gain something.
It’s just the way we are wired.
However, if they do agree to delete the debt from your report, get the agreement in writing if possible.
Even if they won’t provide it in writing, at least they have stated that they will do this.
If they follow their word, that’s fantastic and it will come off your credit report.
If they go back on this, you sue them under the FDCPA.
What if you’ve got your hand on the money and they say they’ll never delete it?
Just tell them, “That’s fine, I’ll just go to the next one on my credit report, and I’ll use your dollars for them.”
Sometimes that will get them to change their mind and sometimes it won’t.
Remember how you started off that conversation – “I dispute this debt, but I want to get it settled.”
When you say you dispute the debt, then the next time they update your credit report they must mark it as disputed.
If they do not, they have almost certainly violated 1692 e(8) of the FDCPA.
1692 e(8) says they can’t do any false credit reporting that they know is false or that they should know is false.
This includes failing to mark the account as disputed when they know it is disputed.
If they fail to mark your account as disputed, they have violated the law.
Go to a consumer lawyer and sue them.
They’ll pay you money, they’ll pay your lawyer money, and they’ll delete it off your credit report, assuming you’re successful.
I’ve filed dozens of these and there is really no good defense for what they have done.
They’ll try to argue some things, but they know that they are caught.
You disputed the debt and they updated your credit report without showing the debt as disputed.
Now they must remove this from your credit report.
Repeat this process with all of the companies in your report.
You may have four, five, or maybe a dozen of these collection accounts.
The debts could be medical bills or some bogus charge for internet or cable equipment – they always say you never returned the equipment.
Methodically work down that list and make sure you get the best deal you can. Make sure they are going to delete it.
If they won’t delete it, wait until they update your report and see if they mark your account as disputed.
If they don’t, then they will be paying you and will delete the account.
We hope this is helpful to you!
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