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I just realized that I posted this on the wrong board. No wonder I didn't get any replies. Here goes again:

I have a debt on my credit report that I actually do owe. Well, I owe them $200.00. They report $1000.00. I called them and they confirmed that I only owe the $200.00 and they don't know why they reported 5 times the amount.

I spoke with someone in the administrative offices and told them that I would refrain from suing them for reporting such a gross error and in return they would just take the item off my credit. They said they would have to speak with their attorneys. I called back the next day and they said that the attorneys told them they wouldn't do that. I then asked them for the address to have them served.

My question is: Do I really have grounds to sue them? We are trying to buy a house and the loan officer will not even touch us with this $1000 on there. I've even showed them the fact that it's an error. I've disputed it with the CRAs and I see on Equifax that it's being reinvestigated. I've asked them to completely delete it since it's erroneous.

I just checked today and the amount is still on there. The cable company never even corrected it. Should I wait to see what the CRAs are going to do, or should I go ahead with my suit? I called the courthouse and it will cost me $52 to file, but I don't want to spend that money if it will probably just come off anyway. Can I still sue if I'm disputing?

UPDATE: I just picked up the packet from the JPs office this morning for the small claims suit. I'm a bit apprehensive about doing this. I decided that I would send them a letter of intent to sue this morning and see if I get a response first. That will be atleast be something to have in court. All I will ask them at this point is that I want it completely removed. Yes, I owe the $200, but since they reported $1000.00 for so long, I figured the least they can do is eat that $200.00. If that doesn't work, then I will send them one more letter (settlement letter) and tell them that now they can remove it and pay me an amount for damages (I was turned out for a home loan and we are trying to catch the interest rates while they are so low). How do I figure out what is a fair amount to ask for?

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§ 807. False or misleading representations [15 USC 1962e]

A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:

(2) The false representation of --

(A) the character, amount, or legal status of any debt

Did you get something in writing from the CA stating you owe only $200? If not, see if you can. This will help support your claim. It may be too late since you mentioned filing suit against them. The key here is to show willful disregard for the FDCPA for monetary damages. Request that the information be deleted from your files as its incorrect status directly led to declination of credit.

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YES! I have a letter already faxed from the creditor (cable company) that shows I only owe them $200.00. They TRIED to say it was for cable boxes and "oh, you finally returned them". No, it (only one) was picked up by one of your guys a WHILE back and in fact, the date they show the box was turned in is ONE MONTH before they reported the wrong amount.

Even if there had been a box not returned, it does not come to $1000.00. I've only ever had ONE box, as I only had ONE television. That one box does not come to $800.00.

I have the letter from the cable company dated April 14, 2003. They reported this wrong amount sometime late last year. I might even be able to find an old cable bill they sent me telling me what I owe. I know it was never $1000.00.

I'm sending them my letter today letting them know that I will sue unless they completely remove the entry from ALL CRAs and that the debt will show paid in full and that they will not resell the debt to a third party and there will be no further collections attempts on it. If they don't comply, I will go ahead and file the suit. At that point, I plan on faxing that to them with a new settlement offer, saying that I will take one-half of the amount I"m suing for and the terms of the deletion.

Do you think that's enough to show the court that I've tried to resolve this? I also have the list of the calls I've placed to them and who I spoke with each time.

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