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Advice on SOL and Collection Accounts


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Good morning all,

I tried to do a search for this information and didn't come up with quite what I was looking for, but my question is hopefully simple.

A little background:

I had insurance with Progressive back in 2003 after my insurance with State Farm was not renewed by them. (Get in one little accident in bad weather and they throw the book at you!) Needless to say, I had to come up with insurance fast as the State of Maryland, and more specifically the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) are like vultures when it comes to insurance and incredibly stiff fines if you aren't insured. Progressive requested proof of previous insurance or they were going to hike my rate from the already terrible $200+ per month to over $500/mo. I faxed the information repeatedly and they kept stating that they did not receive it. Then they proceeded to up my premium and tried to do an ACH withdrawal for the higher amount....which was returned.

At the same time, disgusted with the way I was being treated, I found a new insurance company that charged less and switched. Progressive refunded me the balance on the account, assuming that the $500 had cleared. Once they realized their error (I actually assumed for some reason that the refund was valid...I was so silly then), they sent me a bill for $231. I politely advised them that due to their own stupidity and inability to do what they were supposed to, considering the time (State Farm is not always easy to work with), hassle, and expense it took to get the documents and then send them to Progressive (repeatedly), along with the overdraft fees that I incurred as a result of Progressive raising their premiums to something I did not (albeit somewhere in the language they will probably state I did) agree to, that I felt the refunded amount was fair and was disputing the debt. I had sent them a letter to the same effect, but that was before I found this site and obtained the knowledge I have now.

So, that brings us to today. According to my TU CR, it was placed for collection in 11/2003, although the last interaction that I had with them was in September 2003. Either way, more than 3 years have passed, and if I recall, the SOL for MD is 3 years. Since it is showing as an open collection, I am in a quandry about what I should do. Should I DV, dispute with CRA, and pray it goes away, or should I try to deal directly with the CA (in writing, of course), who I would bet money isn't licensed in MD and try to negotiate it off my CR?

Anyone have any thoughts? I have two derogs on TU, of which this is one, and is unique only to TU. The other is a paid collection that I am trying to finagle off, but this one is worse since it shows as open. All advice welcome!

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Yes, the SOL in MD for oral, written and open-ended accounts is 3 years.


As for the dates, both may be correct. You last had contact with Progressive in 09/2003 but they didn't send it to COLL until 11/2003. DOFD is the one that's important. Any records you have in that area, save 'em. Letters received or sent and the like.

If it's listed with a CA, then yes by all means DV the CA and dispute with the CRA. Just follow Kristi's DV flowchart.


Prayer can't hurt. To what God(s) or Goddess(es) do you pray, and how much luck have you had with them? Me, I pray to Crom. But I seldom pray to him, he doesn't listen. As such, I'm in the market for a better deal these days.


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  • 2 weeks later...


Well, the first DV response is back, and things are looking good. This is a collection from DCS (Debt Credit Services) from an old Ameritech account. It's due to fall off in a little over a year, but since I want to refinance my car, I'd rather have it off now than pay another year of high interest.

Anyway, I sent them a DV letter and they responded with a "we have no record of your account." Yee haw! They even stated they would remove it from my CR if I give them my SSN so they can report it to the CRA. However, my highly suspicious and slightly paranoid nature when it comes to CAs makes me nervous about doing this. Should I comply with their request, or just wait for the result of my dispute with the CRA and then try to proceed from there? Either way this thing is coming off. I just want to make sure I don't hurt myself along the way. Any suggestions?

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Did the letter they sent state anything to the effect of, "The purpose of this letter is to collect a debt"?

I take it you did not include your SSN in your DV letter?

Was there an account number listed on your CR?

If so, did you include that account number in your DV letter?

I would sit tight, for now. Wait for the results of your dispute with the CRAs.

I'm with you on your suspicions. Paranoia is simply total awareness.

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First, thanks for all the advice I get here. It is greatly appreciated. Here's the letter I received from DCS.

Dear Tigger1313,

We are sending you this letter regarding your request for validation on the account that is listed on your credit reports. The account (# taken from CR with last 4 X'd out) is no longer in our system, and we could not find it in Ameritech's system by your name. We can not provide you any of the seven items you asked for in your letter to us dated March 26, 2007. The only thing we can do, after you provide us with your social security number, is request removal of this item off credit reports.

Basically, before we can remove this item from reports, we need your social security number. If your account had still been in our system, I wouldn't have to write you to ask for it. I have all the rest of the information needed. We know that this an SBC/Ameritech Michigan FACC account assigned around 02/06/2001, we don't need the amount showing, but we do need your social security number or the bureaus won't let us complete the process of deleting this item from your credit reports.

Please write, fax, or call me with the information I am requesting, and then we can continue and a letter of confirmation that this has been done will be sent to you in the mail. The numbers are listed @ the top right corner. (I don't have voice mail.) Please refer to this letter when you respond back and ask for me personally, as no one else in the office has the authority to do credit bureau removals. If you talk with someone else, they may not get the information I need.

This is a communication from a debt collector. This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose.


Debt Credit Services

Carol, Clerical Department

I was about to comply until I got to the last line, and that's what gave me pause. I think I'll wait for the dispute to come back from the CRAs, especially since I have written proof that there is no way they can verify.

I didn't include my SSN because they should already have it if it's on their files, and many have cautioned against giving anything personal to a CA. I gave them my account number as it appeared on my CR (and referenced in the letter sent back) when I sent the DV letter. I know better than to trust a CA with anything, even if it is a paid collection in this case. If I sent them my SSN, next thing you'll know, they'll somehow slap it onto someone else's debt and come after me for it!

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Thanks MadinKS. I'm still waiting for a response from the CA handling my dispute with Progressive. That one should be more interesting since it's an "unpaid collection" outside of SOL. What's driving me crazy is that the CRAs are taking their sweet time. I'm just waiting for the stupid TLs to come off! Aaaahhhh! Okay, who swiped my Tylenol. I think I need some.

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I'm still waiting for a response from the CA handling my dispute with Progressive.

It doesn't make sense that Progressive is trying to collect. What are they trying to collect on? Isn't insurance a pre-pay deal. You pay for coverage at the beginning of the month, for that month. Or on a 6-mo. contract. I could have sworn I read something about insurance companies can't sue you for insurance. It's either you're covered if you pay or you're not if you don't. Anyone else know the law on that?

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It's either you're covered if you pay or you're not if you don't. Anyone else know the law on that?

Not sure on the law of insurance...I do know if you don't pay your premium, your policy gets cancelled. It gets complicated when you have a lienholder on your vehicle because they do have to notify the lienholder, which could extend the policy's coverage beyond the normal cancellation date for a consumer.

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Suppose I should give some details on that little situation, no?

I had coverage with State Farm and got into a little accident on Christmas Day, 2002. The car in front of me was on dry pavement and braked hard. I was on ice and did the same. I don't really need to explain much more as to what happened, but my car was totaled. Their car had minor damage to the rear.

State Farm, after paying the claims, opted "not to renew," so I had to find new coverage. I went with Progressive, and it was bad enough that my premium was about $270 a month for a 2000 Saturn (one accident and two speeding tickets plus rotten credit - sucky life on Insurance Ave), but they needed proof of my previous insurance. I faxed it four times, sent it CMRRR once, and they managed to lose it every time. Since I "didn't respond" within their time frame (only because they can't keep track of a stupid piece of paper), they hiked my rate to over $500 a month. I was required to have auto-pay via ACH debit on the policy, so of course the money for the higher rate wasn't there and they overdrew my account. I got pissed (overdraft fees galore will do that), found new insurance, and cancelled.

Here's where things get weird. When I cancelled my policy, Progressive had already credited my account for the higher premium. Therefore, they issued a refund back to my account for $231. Then they figured out that they had made an error and asked for it back. I told them "You caused so much havoc in my bank account and caused me a number of NSF charges because of your stupidity that no, I will not return the money. I consider this to be payment in full for your error." Of course, they can NEVER BE WRONG, so they sent me to collections. My last payment to them was in August of 2003 as the September payment (the hiked rate) never processed. Since SOL is 3 years in MD, the CA can waste all the money they want trying to get it from me. I have detailed proof I acted in good faith and of the damage they caused my bank account. Now, they just need to be a good little CA and DELETE THEIR TL OFF MY CR!

Whew! That was fun. Now, again, who has the Tylenol? Aspirin? Ibuprofen? Anything?

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