Collection Company Reports The Debt After The Fact

by Lisa

I paid a Dr bill (late) over a year ago directly to the Drs office. Now, nearly a year later, the debt ($54) shows up on my credit report as unpaid. When I called the collector, they said it was a communication error and they would show it as paid now, but they can't remove it from my report. This seems very unfair- they took longer to report it than I took to pay it. I am a week away from my scheduled closing on a home equity and this could jeopardize the loan. What can I do?

Reply from

If you paid this debt before it was turned over for collections, then you should insist they remove it. Explain that if they don't, you will hire an attorney and sue them for the extra cost for the credit damage. Ask them for a letter on letterhead stating that they are removing it so your lender can order a "rapid rescore" of your credit file.

If the account was already turned over to collections when you paid it, then it is unfair, but it would likely be considered accurate and you may actually make things worse by disputing it right before you go to closing. (A disputed collection account MAY trigger a review of your account that could delay the process.)

It may help you to know that under FICO's more recent versions of its credit scoring programs, collection accounts with an original balance of $100 or less are ignored for purposes of the scoring system.

You may also want to read our information on how to dispute credit report errors.

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