What is the best way to go about disputing a report to my credit?

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Last April I had moved and my AT&T internet wasn't working at my new address so I closed the account, paid the last bill, and sent the modem back. I checked my credit this week and my score has gone down 90 points because of a report from Southwest Credit Systems. I called and they said it's from AT&T. I asked what the account number was and she gave me a 9 digit number. I went on AT&T's website and saw that 1) my account number was 10 digits and different from the one she gave me and 2) it showed that I had paid my last bill 04/05/15 and had a zero balance. The chat with a CSR box popped up and I told the guy, Eric, what was going on. He seemed genuinely concerned and told me when the last bill and paid, that they had no right to report anything, and that he would escalate that matter to his supervisor, who would give me a call back the next day. It's been three days and no call.


My concern is that Southwest had the last 4 digits of my social and that they knew the account had been closed in April- which leads me to believe that for some reason AT&T did send them my information. I just don't see why, if I owed AT&T money, they wouldn't call me or send me another bill before sending it to collections. 


I haven't called AT&T or Southwest Credit yet because I don't know how to go about this. All I know is that I need to get what Eric said in writing. 


I'm only 22 and had above average credit before this, and now I need to get a loan to go back to school so I need to get this fixed as soon as possible. 

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Southwest Credit systems is a JDB.  They probably bought the debt from AT&T, or a clearinghouse AT&T sold the debt to, and then listed their own trade line for the delinquent AT&T account so the account numbers would be different.

When you say that you called "them" I assume you meant you called SouthWest Credit and that SouthWest Credit told you that the debt was from AT&T.  You then called AT&T and they told you that your account was a different number and that it actually had a zero balance.  You are still waiting for Eric to call back.

My guess is that if Eric did anything at all, he did check with his supervisor and his supervisor told him that the debt was sold and to not worry about it.  I don't think he will call.  Why would he?  Presumably, AT&T does not own the account anymore and the boss would not want Eric to waste his time on non monetary issues.

I would write SouthWest Credit a cmrrr letter disputing their trade line.  They have to respond to that dispute.  They will probably send you a welcome letter and dun you for the debt.  Then you would dispute the debt and demand verification.  They may or may not respond...depending upon if they think they have verification, or not.  

If you are not satisfied with their response then you dispute directly to the CRAs.  

You could try these disputes online or by phone but your documentation would be limited.  It's easier but less effecient.

I disputed a trade line with SouthWest Credit  and their return answer was that they could not verify the account and were deleting it.  Maybe the same will happen with you.

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