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What do I do?? I see a debt collector and not original creditor on credit report


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My husband wanted to pull his credit reports from annual credit report.com and well, Transunion is the one  that would let us pull.  There is a Debt Collector Enhanced Recovery Company, says it's for Sprint, but Sprint is NOT on the credit report at all. 

 

Is that strange??  It reads as follows:

 

Placed for collection: 02/23/2015
Account Type:  Open Account
Date Updated:   04/12/2015
 
The sprint account is not open it is closed!  I see a few debt collectors that say the account is open.  Can someone explain why??
 
About Sprint
We had international charges on our sprint account that were not ours and they refused to remove them which made our bill over $1000! We couldn't pay it.  Now it's over $1600!  Now it's in collections, but isn't the OC SPRINT suppose to be on the report too?
 
I mean I have no clue what to go buy without it.  We left Sprint in January 2014 last payment was in December 2013 I think.  It has NONE of that on the credit report.  What do I do?
 
Thanks
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@kennerchick

 

Is that strange??

 

 

Not necessarily.  Some businesses will choose to report with all 3 CRAs while some may choose to report with only one or two.   In my experience, fewer seem to report with Transunion, but I don't know the reason.
 

 

Account Type:  Open Account

 

 

 

Notice that it says "type".  This does not mean the "status" of the account.  "Type" means the description of the account.  It was described or considered to be an "open" or "revolving" account.    "Type" does not mean the current status which would be closed or charged-off.

 

"Status" means as it stands now.  They are not saying that the account, as it stands now, is open.

 

 

We had international charges on our sprint account that were not ours

 

 

What was the nature of those charges?   Were they allegedly made by you to an international number?  

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The sprint account is not open it is closed!  I see a few debt collectors that say the account is open.  Can someone explain why??

 

Yes, the collection account IS open.  It has nothing to do with the original creditor account status.

 

About Sprint

We had international charges on our sprint account that were not ours and they refused to remove them which made our bill over $1000! We couldn't pay it.  Now it's over $1600!  Now it's in collections, but isn't the OC SPRINT suppose to be on the report too?

 

No.  There is absolutely no requirement that the OC report the debt.  They can leave it to the collection agency they hire.  

 

What do I do?

 

Start by sending a DV letter to ERC and make sure to indicate the charges were fraudulent and are disputed.  I would also look into filing a complaint with your state regarding the phone charges that you disputed because you did not make the calls but Sprint did not remove.

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Start by sending a DV letter to ERC and make sure to indicate the charges were fraudulent and are disputed.

 

There are some issues with doing that:

  1. Maybe it's more prudent for the OP to dispute with the CRA first (if the OP chooses to dispute), since the OP would have a private cause of action
  2. If the OP never received a debt collection letter from ERC (with the 30 day notice), then the debt collector does not have to honor any debt validation (DV) request.
  3. Disputing with ERC directly may be treated as a dispute under FCRA 623, which does not have a private cause of action.
  4. There's also a possibility that any dispute may awaken the debt collector, which may not had actively pursued the account, yet.
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There are some issues with doing that:

  1. Maybe it's more prudent for the OP to dispute with the CRA first (if the OP chooses to dispute), since the OP would have a private cause of action
  2. If the OP never received a debt collection letter from ERC (with the 30 day notice), then the debt collector does not have to honor any debt validation (DV) request.
  3. Disputing with ERC directly may be treated as a dispute under FCRA 623, which does not have a private cause of action.
  4. There's also a possibility that any dispute may awaken the debt collector, which may not had actively pursued the account, yet

 

I have dealt with this debt collector not once but TWICE.  They are a credit report "poisoner" and do not send dunning letters at all.  

 

The problem with a "private cause of action" is the debt is legitimate.  There is NO violation or harm in ERC reporting a debt that is accurate.  The discrepancy is between the consumer and Sprint.  An OC is NOT subject to the FDCPA.  

 

The way to get them to go away is by a DV letter and complaints to official government agencies such as the CFPB and the FL Office of Financial Regulation which has been trying to shut them down for years.

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The problem with a "private cause of action" is the debt is legitimate.  There is NO violation or harm in ERC reporting a debt that is accurate.  The discrepancy is between the consumer and Sprint.  An OC is NOT subject to the FDCPA.

How do you know the alleged debt is "accurate" or "legitimate"? What possible harm is there in disputing with the CRA in the first place?

 

This is not about the FDCPA.  This is about the FCRA, with reference to the "private cause of action."

 

There is no mention by me about disputing directly the OC, so I'm somewhat mystified.

 

The way to get them to go away is by a DV letter and complaints to official government agencies such as the CFPB and the FL Office of Financial Regulation which has been trying to shut them down for years.

 

What's the point of a DV letter if the OP never received a dunning letter?  (That makes no sense per the FDCPA).

 

If the OP wishes to dispute, then maybe the OP could dispute with the CRA first, then after the CRA completes its investigation, the OP can dispute directly with the furnisher (debt collector) per FCRA 623.

 

I think there is a confusion between the FDCPA and the FCRA.

 

I agree in principle complaints to government agencies can be effective.

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First, the debt collector is only reporting what the OC provided it with.  The debt collector has no way to know if there is an error or not.  If there's a dispute with the OC, regarding what charges are valid and what charges are not, the CA that takes over the account will not have any way to tell you one way or the other.  If there's an error in the records, it resides with the original creditor.  These laws have a defense of bona fide error, and the debt collector would no doubt claim as such.  They would not only have no reason to know that the records they were given were in error, but they also have no way to know what the actual correct information is supposed to be.

 

I think I understand what you're saying, so your point is well taken.  But is there any harm in disputing with the CRA first?

 

If by doing so, the OP catches the furnisher doing a mistake (FCRA violation), could it not be to the OP's benefit?

 

Furthermore, "bona fide error defense" is not a full proof shield as commonly believed, as I explained in another thread.

 

Finally, there is no provision for a "bona fide error defense" in the FCRA itself.

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How do you know the alleged debt is "accurate" or "legitimate"? What possible harm is there in disputing with the CRA in the first place?

 

There is no harm in doing so but with my experience with this CA they WILL validate.  They use reporting as their weapon of choice.  The debt is legitimate because the OP stated clearly they DO owe Sprint money.  They are aware of what this CA is attempting to collect for.  This is NOT a case of a debt being reported that the consumer has no knowledge of.  That limits if not removes a private right of action since the CA is legally reporting an account that was turned over to collections.  

 

What's the point of a DV letter if the OP never received a dunning letter?  (That makes no sense per the FDCPA).

 

If the OP wishes to dispute, then maybe the OP could dispute with the CRA first, then after the CRA completes its investigation, the OP can dispute directly with the furnisher (debt collector) per FCRA 623.

 

SIGH.  The DV letter tells this particular CA that the consumer knows their rights and will not go away quietly.  It also protects rights they have under the FDCPA regardless of receiving a dunning letter.  

 

There is absolutely NO point to disputing with TU hoping for an investigation.  There won't be one.  They will simply send an electronic E-OSCAR code to ERC who will respond back with one validating.  End of story.

 

Based on my experience with ERC a DV letter combined with complaints to official agencies WILL make this CA go away.  Now if you have an opportunity to deal with them by all means chase your tail and send pointless 623 letters.  If the OP wants to deal with ERC then what I suggested will be the fastest and easiest.

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SIGH.  The DV letter tells this particular CA that the consumer knows their rights and will not go away quietly.  It also protects rights they have under the FDCPA regardless of receiving a dunning letter. 

 

Do you have a statutory reference in the FDCPA to prove this?  In other words, demonstrate the debt collector has to honor a DV letter from the OP, even if a dunning letter was never mailed.

 

I'm glad you resolved your dispute with ERC, and your experience is insightful.  Maybe by replicating what you did, the OP will get the same result, but then maybe the OP will get a different result, and not so favorable.

 

That's why it may be prudent to follow the steps in the FCRA first. 

 

Your presuming the debt collector has an airtight case (under the FCRA), which unless you know all the facts (which some may be unknown at this time), and you can be 100% sure the "private cause of action" is of no value, then it makes sense to take the extra steps, even if it takes extra time.

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Do you have a statutory reference in the FDCPA to prove this?  In other words, demonstrate the debt collector has to honor a DV letter from the OP, even if a dunning letter was never mailed.

 

I don't need one.  I NEVER said that ERC had to honor the DV.  I said it preserves consumer rights under the FDCPA.  You REALLY need to work on your reading comprehension skills.  

 

I also NEVER said ERC mailed a letter.  However, they don't have to PROVE they mailed one.  They only have to SAY they did (which they will) and produce a copy.  

 

I'm glad you resolved your dispute with ERC, and your experience is insightful.  Maybe by replicating what you did, the OP will get the same result, but then maybe the OP will get a different result, and not so favorable.

 

Well considering this is probably one of a dozen people I have helped with this particular CA, and the others DID get the same results I did I am confident in what I suggested.  What exactly is your experience with this particular collector?

 

Your knowledge of both the FDCPA and FCRA is so limited (and showing) that before you criticize someone who has a depth of experience with a specific creditor or CA you should really get a more solid foundation.

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I don't need one.  I NEVER said that ERC had to honor the DV.  I said it preserves consumer rights under the FDCPA.  You REALLY need to work on your reading comprehension skills.

 

Nice try in deflecting the issue.  I clearly said earlier that the DV makes no sense without the debt collector previously mailing a dunning letter, per the FDCPA.

 

In response, you said a DV letter would "preserve consumer rights" without addressing whether a dunning letter is necessary or not.

 

If (and I say if) you honestly believe a dunning letter is not necessary, then do not evade the issue, but directly address it, as follows:

 

Please explain to me how a DV letter, without a dunning letter, would trigger protections which "preserves consumer rights" under the FDCPA.  Please provide statutory references from the FDCPA to demonstrate your point, instead or merely asserting it is indeed the case.

 

I also NEVER said ERC mailed a letter. However, they don't have to PROVE they mailed one. They only have to SAY they did (which they will) and produce a copy.

 

I never claimed the ERC mailed a letter either, or suggest that you said it, so I think you're misreading what I'm saying.

 

To be very clear, I am saying a DV letter makes no sense without a dunning letter.  It seems you disagree with my point, but you do not seem to address the issue.

 

Well considering this is probably one of a dozen people I have helped with this particular CA, and the others DID get the same results I did I am confident in what I suggested. What exactly is your experience with this particular collector?

 

None.  No experience with this particular debt collector.  That you have personal experience adds great value to your suggestion. 

 

That said, even if the OP replicated your procedure, it does not necessary mean he or she will be successful this time around (although I would admit that the odds are in the OP's favor.)

 

Your batting average is besides the point.  My point is the OP could cover all the bases by taking the extra time, and extra steps, in disputing with the CRA first, the most risk adverse approach.

 

Ultimately, the OP would have to decide whether to roll the dice or not.  If the OP wins using your procedure, then I will be very happy for him or her.

 

Your knowledge of both the FDCPA and FCRA is so limited (and showing) that before you criticize someone who has a depth of experience with a specific creditor or CA you should really get a more solid foundation.

 

From my vantage point, your knowledge of the FDCPA seems mistaken, until you address the issue I mentioned above.

 

I will humbly admit I am not a FCRA and FDCPA expert, since I am a learner like many others here.  But you haven't presented a convincing case either, until you back up your claims.

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@bassplayr

 

Thank you for your detailed explanation.  It was very useful in better understanding the situation.

 

The OP will NOT prevail if an attempt is made under the FCRA to recover anything, not like this.   

 

Sadly, the OP will have a difficult time trying to get anywhere with a DV request as well.  The CA will report the same flawed numbers that the OC did...if they respond at all.

 

From what I understand, from reading your post, is that a dispute with the CRA is of negligible value.  Neither will a DV to the debt collector be of any good either.

 

(From my reading of the FDCPA, a DV letter makes no sense without a dunning letter.)

 

Then what should the OP do then?  Wait for a dunning letter, or some other debt collection activity?

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@kennerchick

 

What was the nature of those charges?   Were they allegedly made by you to an international number?  

We don't know anyone who lives out of the US so we didn't make the charges.  As to what they were, I really don't remember and I no longer have the bill.  I was cleaning out old stuff and accidentally tossed it out.

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There are some issues with doing that:

  1. Maybe it's more prudent for the OP to dispute with the CRA first (if the OP chooses to dispute), since the OP would have a private cause of action
  2. If the OP never received a debt collection letter from ERC (with the 30 day notice), then the debt collector does not have to honor any debt validation (DV) request.
  3. Disputing with ERC directly may be treated as a dispute under FCRA 623, which does not have a private cause of action.
  4. There's also a possibility that any dispute may awaken the debt collector, which may not had actively pursued the account, yet.

 

I do not want to waken the debt collection agency.  They have not sent a DV letter as of yet.  I know this is just hitting the transunion report.  It wasn't there at the beginning of May.  So I wait 30 days from the end of May and then do what??  @BlueSquad

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@kennerchick

 

If you truly don't owe anything to Sprint, you shouldn't be worried about awakening the collection agency (CA).  Is there a possibility that there were a few charges incurred by you that you didn't pay simply because a bill included those overseas charges?

 

As long as the collection agency is correctly reporting what was provided to them by Sprint, it hasn't done anything wrong.  But that is yet to be determined.  Take things one step at a time.

 

I would dispute the entry in writing, not online, with the credit reporting agencies (CRA) and state that the entry is disputed because nothing is owed.  If it is verified by the CA, you can then send a "method of verification" request to the CRAs.   The CRAs will either tell you how the entry was verified or they will delete the entry.

 

See what happens after that.

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Here's a very relevant part:

 

If the OP here disputes through the CRA with the debt collector, it's not going to lead to any good result, and worse, it might wake the debt collector up and cause them to proceed with new action on the account.  Sometimes, the best action is not to take any at all.  If the OP were to take action here, it should be against the OC.  But I cannot speak to whether or not I think they should do that because we do not know enough about the international charges that she mentioned that caused the bill to go so high. 

@bassplayr

I don't understand all the language that was used here, but I am wondering what to do to remove the CA from the CR on transunion?  We can't dispute Sprint because it isn't on the report.  I know I lost my phone, found it and when we got the huge bill!  We left Sprint in January 2014! They would not remove the charges and would not even do payment arrangements so we could try to clear the account!  I don't know what a Dunning letter is, but we haven't gotten anything from this CA as of yet.  What do we do if we do not receive anything from them by the end of June which would be 30 days since we found it on the CR.    Thanks

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