Many Alabama consumers are shocked to learn, in the last several months, that their credit reports have been trashed by a collection account with National Credit Solutions, a collection agency out of Oklahoma. The amount is usually around a hundred dollars and it is allegedly for a Movie Gallery rental.
Movie Gallery is no more. One reason is the shoddy system for taking rentals — usually all you had to do was provide the last four digits of the telephone number and “POOF” the movie was yours to take home. The problem is Movie Galleries were often in smaller areas where it was the only rental place in town so anyone could go in and rent a movie in your name as it was likely you had an account there.
So what do you do if suddenly National Credit Solutions, or some other collection agency that claims to be collecting for Movie Gallery, shows up on your credit reports?
If you owe it, pay it. You should always pay the bills that you owe.
If you don’t owe it, then fight it. Collection agencies love to say “Look, it will be easier for you to just pay it even if you don’t owe it. We can’t prove you owe it but we will destroy your credit until you pay it. So, how would you like to pay it now?”
Dispute with National Credit Solutions (or whoever the debt collector is) and tell them, in writing (certified mail), you don’t owe Movie Gallery or them any money and they need to prove to you that you do. You want the account (the “tradeline”) off of your credit report and you don’t want them to call you on your cell phone (and give them your cell phone so they won’t).
Then dispute with the credit reporting agencies (I know they report to Experian but check Equifax, Trans Union, and Innovis) that you don’t owe this debt and you were not late with Movie Gallery.
If this account is still on your reports after you get back the “results of investigation” then look into suing National Credit Solutions or the other collection agency that is putting information on your credit reports that is not accurate. The suit normally will be based upon the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
This will help collection agencies understand that, at least for you, it was a poor business decision to put a bogus account on your credit reports for $100 when they will end up paying thousands of dollars and removing it the account when they are sued successfully.
Best wishes with this and if you live in Alabama and have any further questions, please feel free to contact me through this blog or through my website or call me at 205-879-2447.
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