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Seeking advice: one CO, one more pending, a few more CCs


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I've been having difficulty paying my CCs and a loan for over a year due to some employment-related problems. Here's the debt I currently have:

- MasterCard from small credit union I used to bank with. Account was closed after I missed four payments (most of which didn't get reported to CRAs). My dad is paying off the remaining $300 owed. TU lists the account as open even though it's been closed since September.

- RadioShack (Citibank) store card, current balance $2100. Didn't make payments for six months, charged off last week. Debt has been placed with Encore for collections, received first phone call a few days ago and first letter from them today. I have not yet contacted them by mail and will not call them. Credit limit is listed incorrectly by TU.

- Citibank MasterCard, $500. Currently on hardship payment program with them to buy me some time.

- AT&T Universal Card (Citibank), $2200. Also on hardship program with 0% interest for a year.

- Dell Financial, $2100. Account also placed with Encore for collections and will be charged off in about two weeks. I made the mistake of talking to them a few weeks ago; they know I have no intention of giving them any money for at least three months. Will not speak with them over the phone again.

- Discover, $1600. Was on a hardship program but I'm "no longer eligible" for whatever reason. Still currently making the minimum payment.

- Beneficial/Household/HSBC, $5300 personal loan. Spoke with them a few days ago and made arrangements to give them one month's payment to avoid charge-off and to buy me some time.

Other crap on my TU report:

- Shell (Citibank) card. Paid in full and closed in November 2002. TU lists it as not being closed until April 2003. One late payment reported. I'd love to just get this deleted since I only had it for six months.

- A Crap 1 Visa (closed three years ago) and two utility accounts (one closed, one open), all with no adverse info.

- Five hard inquiries from Beneficial/Household, one from the small credit union I mentioned above, one from Encore, and one from "NCB Management" (??). I haven't applied for any credit in 18 months, and most of those inquiries have occurred in the last six months.

No collection activity is listed by TU. I intend to do a DV/C&D on Encore for the RadioShack account. It's too late to request a DV for the Dell account, but should I send a C&D anyway? I intend to dispute all the incorrect info I mentioned above with TU, including the inquiries.

I have a new job starting after the holidays that will pay me enough to get all of these taken care of within 12-18 months, but I probably won't have cash to settle the COs in a lump sum until June. When I start settlement discussions, I need to send letters to the OC, not the CA, correct?

Am I on the right track? Is there any further advice or information anyone can give me?

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Okay, TU says they can't delete inquiries, and that I have to contact the individual creditors. Is this true?

Welcome, insomniac. Along with posting questons, there is a search function (above) that you can use to pull up any topic you can think of. It's great reference material.

Many people have received different responses when disputing inquiries. Some had them removed with one call, others had to fight a little, still others are stuck with inquiries.

The FCRA says a CRA must check the accuracy of ANY information contained in the report. They don't think this covers inquiries, which means you usually have to sue them in Federal Court for being morons.

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