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Clearing up three collections past SOL with Portfolio Recovery & Southwest Collection Service


Uncle Reggie
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Things have been tough over the last decade - but have gotten better and I now find myself in a position to clean the last vestiges of negative tradelines on my credit.

I have spent much time reading this site and it is great - great information. Great advice - and I thought I would ask for some.

I have 4 negative items remaining. All are past the 4 year California Statute Of Limitations. I can't be sued I believe.

1) Barclays Charge-Off $2600 - balance was just under $2k at last payment in April 2017. Barclays last updated the CRA in April 2019

2) Portfolio Recovery - collection - for the above Barclay's bill - $2600

3) Portfolio Recovery - collection - for a HSBC bill from April 2017 - $966

4) Southwest Collection Service - Medical collection - not for a copay - my health insurance dropped (yes, April 2017) and I wasn't covered, although I thought I was. My company was shady. Long story.

**I just got looking at all this again, as I received notice of OSC: Re: Default Judgement. I thought I was being sued by Unifund.

They filed 2019 (I didn't know - I wasn't served - proof of service stated I was a short Asian man - I'm not, but have a surname commonly used by Koreans) and in June, I got a mailed notice of a OSC-Re Default Judgment with a court date of August 30th, 2021 - I went to court on the 30th and found out the case was dismissed without prejudice on August 13th - too much time between default order and getting the judgment - I went hoping I could negotiate a settlement - while waiting, went online and found the case was dismissed - downloaded all the case docs and learned a lot reading.

But it got me thinking - what else was out there from a bad few years. Not nearly as bad as I thought.

I would like nothing more than getting these removed from my report now instead of early 2024. 

My questions are - should I call the CA's and negotiate 'pay for delete' agreements? If so - what would the amount I should start at?

PRA on their website states unequivocally that after payment in full or payment for less - they remove their tradeline after 30 days. Is this true?

Will Barclay's re-affirm if I dispute through CRA process? Is there any other way to get that account to go away?

I have received all my credit reports - I have not disputed anything yet - no debt validation - haven't done anything except identify the items I would like to repair.

I have read too many posts here where people go half-cocked before getting advice - I thought I would defer to experience.

Thanks - sorry for being so wordy - newbie mistake.

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5 hours ago, Uncle Reggie said:

PRA on their website states unequivocally that after payment in full or payment for less - they remove their tradeline after 30 days. Is this true?

It is true.

5 hours ago, Uncle Reggie said:

My questions are - should I call the CA's and negotiate 'pay for delete' agreements? If so - what would the amount I should start at?

Settling is about leverage.  If PRA thinks you need or WANT credit you give up your leverage.  Send a letter to PRA that doesn't admit the debt is yours but in the interest of starting fresh after recent challenges you are offering to settle for "amount."  I would offer 20% since they can't sue you then negotiate from there until you reach a number you can both live with.

For the medical debt see if the provider can recall it and you can settle with them.  

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19 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

It is true.

Settling is about leverage.  If PRA thinks you need or WANT credit you give up your leverage.  Send a letter to PRA that doesn't admit the debt is yours but in the interest of starting fresh after recent challenges you are offering to settle for "amount."  I would offer 20% since they can't sue you then negotiate from there until you reach a number you can both live with.

For the medical debt see if the provider can recall it and you can settle with them.  

Thank you for your reply. I think I can read between the lines and see you recommend mailing PRA as opposed to calling them (of course any agreement would have to appear in writing before money changed hands)

I had a Midland Credit collection from the same period who actually contacted me and took 50% while they could still sue - I handled it over the phone, but received a letter that that accepted the $1150.00 as payment in full for the $2300. bill. Both the original tradeline and the collection are no longer on any  CRA report. 

I will try calling the medical group and see if they will accept a settlement - if they recall it - can the collection still be reported? Or must it be deleted since the OC (I'm learning nomenclature) was the one who accepted payment?

Lastly - the old Barclay's charge-off tradeline they haven't update for 2.5 years - would it make more sense to wait until PRA was paid and removed before addressing it? Would it be something Barclay's might not respond to? 

Thanks to the website for being here - there strength in numbers - and not just credit limits - lol. 

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Do your credit reports include the date of first delinquency (DOFD) on your collection accounts?  If this information is included, check the date the original creditor charged-off the account against the collection's DOFD.  If the DOFD is more recent, the account may have been re-aged.

I obtain my reports through CreditKarma and Experian.com.  None of the reports I receive through these sources include the DOFD, so I had to write to each CRA to request a Consumer Disclosure File that contained a comprehensive history of all my credit information.  FCRA Section 609(a)(1) says “…every consumer reporting agency shall clearly and accurately disclose to the consumer ALL information in the consumer’s file at the time of the request.”

Re-ageing is a serious violation of the FCRA, so it's worth checking to see if this has occurred.

As Clydesmom said, any communication between you, a creditor, or a collection agency should not admit the debt is yours. 

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19 hours ago, LaneBlane said:

Do your credit reports include the date of first delinquency (DOFD) on your collection accounts?  If this information is included, check the date the original creditor charged-off the account against the collection's DOFD.  If the DOFD is more recent, the account may have been re-aged.

I obtain my reports through CreditKarma and Experian.com.  None of the reports I receive through these sources include the DOFD, so I had to write to each CRA to request a Consumer Disclosure File that contained a comprehensive history of all my credit information.  FCRA Section 609(a)(1) says “…every consumer reporting agency shall clearly and accurately disclose to the consumer ALL information in the consumer’s file at the time of the request.”

Re-ageing is a serious violation of the FCRA, so it's worth checking to see if this has occurred.

As Clydesmom said, any communication between you, a creditor, or a collection agency should not admit the debt is yours. 

None of the three collections show the DOFD - the earliest dates they show is the dates they opened the collections. The Barclays account shows date last payment made (04/17) I found out after doing more research on the site - that PRA started to sue me for the larger of the 2 collections - the Barclay's card - $2600 - it was rejected at some pointy - then re-filed, but ultimately dismissed without prejudice - this occurred in 2020 -

The Unifund I mention in my first post was another Barclay's card they were suing me for - they filed for default and judgement on the same page but only got the default - then over a year later, the court demanded for them to show cause why it took so long to apply for the judgement - they dismissed as well.

I am pretty certain - all 4 negatives I have are all past 4 years old and are thus time-barred or zombie debt. I would like to get them all off my CR. (pay 20% to PRA and they drop off in 30 days? - See if the medical debt can be recalled?)

The old Barclays tradeline they haven't updated since April 2019 is the only one I don't really know how to handle  - if disputing it will get it dropped or updated. 

I will not admit any debt is mine - just clearing out mistakes is worth a few dollars to me... 

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My recommendation would be to write a letter to each of the CRAs to request a copy of your Consumer Disclosure File, including the date of first delinquency on the collection accounts.  Once you have this information you can compare the last payment date for Barclays (4/17) with the date of first delinquency reported by PRA on this account.

If you find the date of first delinquency on a collection is after the charge-off date, the collection may have been re-aged.  This is an FCRA violation.  There's always a chance this has happened, albeit a small chance.

Do your credit reports show a Unifund collection for Barclay's?

Have you called the medical provider's office about that particular debt?

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On 9/8/2021 at 8:52 PM, LaneBlane said:

My recommendation would be to write a letter to each of the CRAs to request a copy of your Consumer Disclosure File, including the date of first delinquency on the collection accounts.  Once you have this information you can compare the last payment date for Barclays (4/17) with the date of first delinquency reported by PRA on this account.

 

Do your credit reports show a Unifund collection for Barclay's?

Have you called the medical provider's office about that particular debt?

Thanks for the input - is the 'Consumer Disclosure File' a thing I request from the CRA's? Do I ask for one for each tradeline or does it contain all tradelines? 

On the reports - the date of delinquency is accurate on the Barclays account - and the date it was sold to Portfolio looks to be accurate.

The Barclays account associated with Unifund does not show up - nor does Unifund.

I haven't called the doctor office yet to ask them to recall - but it is on my to-do list. If they recall and I pay the OC - can the collection stay on the report or must it be deleted?

I just want to approach the remaining Barclay account the right way (which I don't know and will take advice) because I see that as the one account that could linger if they start updating - and would they if I were to question its validity - and would that make them bring back the old one associated with Unifund.

I would hate turning one old Barclay into two reporting Barclay's - :)

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19 hours ago, Uncle Reggie said:

Thanks for the input - is the 'Consumer Disclosure File' a thing I request from the CRA's? Do I ask for one for each tradeline or does it contain all tradelines? 

I sent a letter to each of the CRAs asking for a copy of my Consumer Disclosure File.  I also specifically asked that it include the date for first delinquency for the collection account on my reports.   I've never requested one of these before, so I'm not sure if it will include all tradelines.

 

19 hours ago, Uncle Reggie said:

The Barclays account associated with Unifund does not show up - nor does Unifund.

Sounds like it's nothing to worry about then.

 

19 hours ago, Uncle Reggie said:

I haven't called the doctor office yet to ask them to recall - but it is on my to-do list. If they recall and I pay the OC - can the collection stay on the report or must it be deleted?

Someone else here may be able to advise you on this better than I can.   It's my understanding that a collection agency can't continue reporting an account/debt that has been recalled by the OC.

 

19 hours ago, Uncle Reggie said:

I just want to approach the remaining Barclay account the right way (which I don't know and will take advice) because I see that as the one account that could linger if they start updating - and would they if I were to question its validity - and would that make them bring back the old one associated with Unifund.

I would wait until you know the date of first delinquency reported to the CRAs.  Just be patient.  No need to poke a sleeping bear.

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24 minutes ago, LaneBlane said:

I sent a letter to each of the CRAs asking for a copy of my Consumer Disclosure File.  I also specifically asked that it include the date for first delinquency for the collection account on my reports.   I've never requested one of these before, so I'm not sure if it will include all tradelines.

Thank you for this - I will prepare letters this weekend.

 

 

I would wait until you know the date of first delinquency reported to the CRAs.  Just be patient.  No need to poke a sleeping bear.

Exactly - back in the day I would charge forward and make matters worse by being impatient. Age helps - plus this has to me my last go around with bad credit - I can't afford another 7 years of difficult credit.

 

What prompted this was selling a used car. I bought a $10,000 about 2 years ago - used Capitol One and put 30% down and got 10.49% interest on a 48mo loan. I was at my job for 6 months (but had been employed for the last few years).

A week ago I went back on the Capitol One website for a pre-approval on a newer car (the old one was impractical) and I got quoted 4.95% interest. I was blown away - I have been paying high interest for a while now. This was on vehicles priced around $40k. I stated I would put 20% down and I have been at my job 2.5 years...

I really thought I was screwed for the next 3 years - but a rate under 5% made me finally look at my reports. I lost my house in the crash of 2008 - I may actually be able to buy anther one (If I keep my job - lol)

Thank you! for the feedback - Sometimes you can feel alone and these issues are not the ones you bring up to family. it is nice to know there is a group of people who have walked the same path.

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  • 6 months later...

I have been letting sleeping dogs lie for the past few months - letting my two collections with PRA age to the point I am sure they are past SOL - and adding extra months to account for any extra months due to tolling due to the pandemic.

I am pretty sure I am OK as I recently received a letter from PRA for my Barclay's charge-off and they state they can no longer sue me for the amount - just threaten to keep it on my CR for the entire 7+ years....  So I will likely negotiate a settlement with them soon.

**I have not received any correspondance on my medical collection - BUT I just found a bill from the original doctor/medical group for my wife.

To recap - I have a $1600 medical collection because I lost my health insurance - my wife's bill was for the same battery of blood tests as mine - her bill was paid by my insurance and we had a $50 deductible. My bill came back from the insurance company as denied - coverage ended.

My wife's bill was for about $1200.00 - the insurance company paid less than $100 and we paid the $50 deductible - the rest was waived because insurance companies don't pay inflated bills.

The amount they went after me for was the full inflated amount - no Insurance discount.

A question for anyone familiar with medical collections - can I use that fact they accepted less than $150 on a similar bill to try to lower the amount owed? (I plan on calling the medical group and see if they can recall the bill from the collection agency now I have their contact info)

To recap - I am being charged the same $1200 (+$400 in fees/int) for a bill that the medical group was willing to accept less than $150 in payment when they thought I had insurance.

**On another note - time heals credit scores - I am now at 670 with Transunion - 650 with Experian & 713 with Equifax. Wow - one of my scores is over 700. Been a long time.

My wife's medical bill had $1,094.07 waived under code CO-45

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8 minutes ago, Uncle Reggie said:

My wife's bill was for about $1200.00 - the insurance company paid less than $100 and we paid the $50 deductible - the rest was waived because insurance companies don't pay inflated bills.

The rest was waived because the contracted rate was lower.  As an example:  Mary has to have an MRI of her back.  The billed amount is $1100.  Her co-pay is $100.  The contracted rate on an MRI of the back with her insurance provider is $400.  Insurance pays $300 and Mary pays $100.  The rest is waived as it isn't part of the contracted rate not because it is over inflated.  If Bob needs the same MRI and is uninsured he can ask the facility what the cash pay price is.  Often is is less than the ledger price because the patient pays up front prior to the scan.

10 minutes ago, Uncle Reggie said:

A question for anyone familiar with medical collections - can I use that fact they accepted less than $150 on a similar bill to try to lower the amount owed?

You can try but I wouldn't suggest it.  I would call and ask what the cash pay price is.  It will be lower but is not going to be 10% of the charges.  They accepted less on your wife because she had coverage.  Being covered means they are legally and contractually obligated not to bill her the balance outside the contractually covered amount.  When you lost coverage you lost that protection.

12 minutes ago, Uncle Reggie said:

My wife's medical bill had $1,094.07 waived under code CO-45

That is insurance code for Contractual Obligation.  

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Thank you - it did seem too good to be true - that I could get a $1600 medical collection deleted for $150. :) 

Do you have an idea of what I should expect for the 'cash pay' - and would my sob story of losing my job and insurance be something to bring up? (It is true)

Also - should I dispute with the CRA's and get a copy of the bill? I know I will not be able to find it - it was dumb luck I found my wife's old bill.

I really appreciate your help.

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54 minutes ago, Uncle Reggie said:

Do you have an idea of what I should expect for the 'cash pay' - and would my sob story of losing my job and insurance be something to bring up? (It is true)

Depends on whether this is hospital based billing or a private lab facility like Quest.  Cash pay price should be between 40 and 60% of the entire cost.  A well worded letter (NOT ONE FROM THE INTERNET) outlining your struggle with job loss and insurance and wishing to settle this now then asking about a cash pay price/discount i.e. lump sum settlement including deletion from the reports should get the desired results.

56 minutes ago, Uncle Reggie said:

Also - should I dispute with the CRA's and get a copy of the bill?

DO NOT dispute with the bureaus.  Try a goodwill settlement letter first.  Definitely get a copy of the bill.

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31 minutes ago, Clydesmom said:

Definitely get a copy of the bill.

I imagine you mean to contact the lab (it is a testing lab) as opposed to the CA - would that be the time to at least find out id they can recall the bill? 

Then upon receipt - mail the 'original' letter of explanation explaining the extenuating circumstances.

Correct me if I am wrong - we are avoiding contact with the collection agency?

Thanks again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I called the Medical vendor and they told me I would have to deal with the collection agency - they don't recall invoices they send to collections. So I have a $1700 medical collection that started out at $1150. It is past SOL. I would like to get this removed from my TU and Experian - it no longer shows on Equifax - which is weird.

Anyone ever deal with Southwest Collection Services in Orange California - What would be a good starting point? 20%? 

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Also - I have molested a debt settlement letter I found online to fit with some of the above advice for dealing with PRA on the 2 collections I still have outstanding. 

Feedback would be appreciated. :) 

Dear Sir/Madam, 

Re: <Account Number>

I’m writing this letter to inquire about the debt for the account number provided above. After a period of financial hardship, I am currently working to address several items that have appeared on my record.  I still have limited resources and really don’t recognize this account.

 It also appears that this account has aged past the period where I could be held legally liable for payment.

 But in the interest of starting from a clean slate, and with that in mind, I would like to propose to settle this account for $<XX20%XX>. In return, I request that your company remove this collection account from my credit reports.

 If your company is willing to accept this offer, please prepare a settlement agreement, sign it and send it to me. Once I receive my signed copy of our agreement, I will pay the amount listed above as agreed.

 Sincerely,

 <My signature>

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