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Getting Started - Expert Help or Guidance


djmInTn
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Hi there - I'm new to the forum. I've spent all morning reading various articles and posts. They've been really helpful, but I still have a lot of questions and will continue reading.

 

About 5 years ago I had a divorce that left me holding the bag on a LOT of debt. It's a long story, but basically I ended up with a condo that went to foreclosure and about 25k in credit card debt. (I also have a tax debt that I've been making payments on ever since, but that is under control and will be paid off before too long.) I have a judgment against my ex for 25k, but last I heard she was a minimum wage barista living in another state and the expense of tracking her down and garnishing wages, etc. probably won't yield much benefit.

 

At this point, my TU report shows about 11 collection accounts. My score is showing a 540. I'm going to pull all three bureau reports today and start organizing them. I want to get this cleaned up as I've remarried and we want to start rebuilding things so that we can accomplish a number of goals in the future.

 

My question is, who can I turn to get some expert help or guidance through this process? For example, maybe someone who could spend 1-2 hours with me reviewing my reports, putting together a plan and then occasionally answering some very specific questions, reviewing documents, etc. I don't mind paying for these services if they provide me with some good direction that helps me get this cleaned up. I don't have a problem doing the grunt work myself, I just want to make sure that I don't make a bigger mess of things in the process.

 

I live in TN, btw. At this point, a lot of these accounts are about a year from the SOL. However, I want to get them cleaned up properly to make sure they will get cleaned off my credit report and won't come back to bite me later.

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Thanks. I am still reading a lot of info here. I just pulled my credit reports from the three bureaus and it will take me a while to go through all of them. However, I guess what I was looking for is someone who can look at them with me and tell me what to tackle first, whether I should try a pay-for-delete versus negotiating a settlement, what an appropriate offer is for a settlement, when to send letters to the credit bureaus requesting something be removed, those types of questions. I'm happy to ask questions here as well and continue reading.

 

For example, which account do I pick to deal with first? I may have 2-3 small items on my record that I could knock out within a month. Do I try to clean those up first? Or do I save up for a couple of months and try to settle off something larger? Is there going to be any difference in impact on my credit report?

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Anything you "settle for less than the full amount" is going to hurt, unless you can get whoever is reporting to delete their trade line.  Some original creditors (OCs) will do that.  On the other hand, if the debt has been sold and its a junk debt buyer (JDB) reporting, the damage from the OC's TL won't go away, and you really don't owe the JDB anything.

 

Maybe if you gave us a list of the baddies you see...no account numbers...

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Most of this stuff is really old, so I'm very familiar with the hurt already. I'm just trying to figure out how to go about cleaning up everything I can. As I settle off, I'll definitely be asking them to delete the TLs.

 

The ones I'm looking at are:

 

- Capital One Bank; they charged this off 5/2009 but as off 11/2013 they're still reporting at least to TU showing 120+ days. They are still reporting a balance remarks of CBG, >PRL<. The balance has almost doubled from the original charge off amount. They are the OC.

 

- I have one from GE Credit Bank that I settled. On TU it shows "account was paid in full; was a charge-off" and in remarks it says "settled - less than full blnc; closed". I don't think I can do anything about this. I probably just have to let it drop off eventually as I doubt they'll go to the trouble of deleting the credit line. I didn't know to ask them at the time for that. It's set to drop off in 2016.

 

- LVNV funding is the nasty one. They bought a Chase bank account and the balance they currently show is about $3.5k more than what the Chase balance was at the time of charge off. However, the balance went up and up and up until 8/2013, when it dropped by $2k or so. Very weird and random. I think that my first step on this is to write the CRAs and dispute what's reported (suggested to me on another thread here) then see what they come up with. I somehow doubt LVNV can provide verification.

 

Those are the ones I have big questions about.

 

Also, I have two items on my report that are medical debts. I am going to dispute one of them as I believe that I paid it already. (It was a copay and I recall that I had to pre-pay that co-payment before they would even see me. I just have to find the evidence for it. However, it's only about $100 so I may just offer them $30 and see if I can be done with it... It's about 5 years old now.) Should I focus on the credit card issues or should medical debt be prioritized in there right along with it?

 

As you can see - I have a lot of questions. It's a messy situation and I need to get it all cleaned up. I can do that, I just need a more experienced pair of eyes here and there.

 

Thanks!

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The medical debts (assuming they haven't been sold) are the easier to deal with...call the provider, give them the "...I just founf you on my credit report...I thought insurance took care of this...I'm so sorry, and after you took such good care of me...can I send you a check...oh, and can you clear upmy reports..."

 

You're right...probably not much to do about GE...you could try disputing as "not mine"...maybe they won't verify.

 

Crap 1 you'll might try a "pay for delete"...get it writing BEFORE you send money.

 

LVNV try disputing as "not Mine"...when they verify, which they probably will whether they can prove it or not...try this http://www.creditinfocenter.com/repair/DisputingWithOriginalCreditor.shtml which is usually for OCs but might work on a JDB.

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Sounds good. The medical debts I'm not too worried about. After more research, it looks like there are actually four. Three are from the same place and I know that I paid those bills because I paid them all at one time with one check. I can find that and get it cleared up pretty easily now, I'm sure. The other one is in collections, but I had previously disputed the bill with the doctor's billing office directly. They sent it to collections anyway. (He was billing me for services that he didn't render - he wasn't even present or in his office on the date that he's billing me for. I know this because they called me to tell me he had gone out of town that morning and needed to reschedule. He billed me anyway. I disputed it with his office, they ignored me and sent it to collections. I'll get this one cleared up pretty easily. If I need to, I can threaten to file a complaint with the OIG or with CMS and they should call it off.)

 

For Crap 1, I may try a 623 first. Will also try it with LVNV as well.

 

Thanks!

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