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Strategies and Options - removing paid collect. - Advice???


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Greetings everyone! I just discovered this forum, and I'm amazed at the resources available. This is awesome.

The following is my situation, and I was hoping people with similar experiences could advise. I have read many posts, but I am still unclear as to my best approach. Please excuse the long message.


I have a paid collection (medical bill) on my Equifax credit report, date of last activity August 2002. The OC is a hospital in Delaware. The CA is also in Delaware. I was living in Delaware at the time of service. I now live in NJ.

I had no idea that I even owed this bill. I received no letters or phone calls from the CA. Now, I was moving from Delaware to PA in the fall of 2002, so there could have been a mail mix-up. Regardless, I received no notification, ever, in writing from the CA. The only reason I found out about the bill, and the subsequent collection, was b/c I independently ran my Equifax report (in Sept. 2003). I immediately saw the collection, contacted the OC (hospital), and paid the bill. As a result, the collection is currently in the "paid" status on my credit report. I didn't know to negotiate anything regarding my credit report at the time of payment.

I want the CA or CRA to remove the account completely from my credit report. The reason being is that I received no "Notice of debt" from the CA, as required by the FDCPA, Sec. 1692g. Validation of debts. Since I never knew I owed the money in the first place, I didn't pay the bill on time.

Strategies and Options.

As I understand it, there are a couple ways to go, but I have questions on their execution.

(1) Send a DV letter to the CA, asking them to delete the account from my credit report. Site the FDCPA violation of failure to receive "Notice of debt".


1. Is this even a smart way to go about it? Can I really "prove"

that I never received a Notice of debt? Shoud I be citing

a different FDCPA violation, or none at all?

2. What is the offical language asking for the removal of the

account? Is it "delete this account from any and all credit

reporting agencies you have reported this collection to, including,

but not limited to, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion"?

3. Alternatively, should I just start out by sending a standard DV

letter, asking them for all documentation?

(2) Send a letter to the OC asking for all records. It has been about 3 years, the account is paid, so maybe they have destroyed the records. Also ask for a Certificate of Destruction in that letter, if applicable. If they reply stating they no longer have the records, forward this letter to Equifax, in a "not mine" dispute.


1. It's only been 3 years. Is this long enough for this strategy?

Should I wait exactly 3 years from the service date (end of

August) before sending the letter, in the hopes that they discard

records older than 3 years?

(3) Send a letter to Equifax with the strategy: "to be deleted upon payment per agreement". If Equifax reaches out to CA, and they don't reply within 30 days, or don't have the necessary documents, Equifax will have to delete account.


1. Does this strategy even apply in my case? Should everyone do

this regardless, just to see if it works?

(4) A combination of the above, or other things I haven't included.

THANKS!!! Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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Sorry to see you just hangin there...let me see if I can help...

You've kind of got two choices here:

1. If you just want the CA off your reports, then send the a DV letter modified to say "hey, I found you on my reports...WTF? Give only your name and address and the info that's listed in their TL, but don't sign the letter. If they don't remove themselves, then your next step would be (B)....

b. If you want to make a little money off this, and the CA is still on your CRs, reporting as "Paid", then I'd suggest an "Intent to Sue" letter saying "hey, I found you on my reports" and pointing out that you never owed them any money and by reporting on your CRs they are reporting incorrect info and violating the FDCPA and FCRA.

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1) I don't want to make money, I just want them to delete themselves from the report. If I send the DV letter and they reply with confirmation, is it valid to reply with another letter stating they violated the FDCPA for failure to notify? Or is that not a good approach?

2) I'm a little confused about the ITS approach. Am I saying that I never owed them any money b/c they never notified me of the debt? Or is this just a generic approach to get the CA to delete the account?

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CA's don't just remove inq's because you ask them to. You HAVE TO get aggressive and show them that keeping the inq on your report is going to cost them more than taking it off, hence suing.

You send letters to rack up violations, to show a good faith effort to resolve this outside of the courts, and the off chance that they might actually delete from just that. Not likely, but it never hurts.

If you don't want to sue, just be content with a crappy credit report.

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47 offers some good advice. Sometimes its good to come out firing.

Your first approach, I think, should be a DV letter modified as I said. If you use the model in the "Letters" menu at the top, you'll see that you're not really claiming this isn't your debt...you're simply asking for them to verify that they have the right person, the right account, the right amount, and the right to collect in your state. The FDCPA isn't about whether you actually owe the money or not...its about making the CAs play by the rules. Since you've already paid the OC, they should not be able to verify any of this...

So...if they don't delete the TL immediately (say 30 days) or respond with validation or mark the account "in dispute" while they get validation, then you have them on violations of the FDCPA and you can then hit them with the ITS letter...or just skip that, and file suit in small claims...

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Yuu have wonderful leverage. The debt is paid already. They are under no obligation to report squat. Comb your reports. Catch all the violations you can. Then send an ITS. If they dont' delete on that, sue. Make sure in your settlement you get a copy of a deletion letter for your records and a liquidated damages clause so if they ever report it again, you get a lump sum.

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