Collection and Charge-offs: Are They Accurate?

Today, I show you how a gentleman got a $1,290.63 collection deleted. But first, to explain…

An unpaid bill might be charged-off by the original creditor and then sold to a collection company. If enough time passes without collecting money, the account might be sold again and again. There is no limit to how many times it may be sold.

A collection can even be sold after the legal date for reporting to the credit bureaus. When that happens, these “bottom-feeding” collectors purchase a bundle of outdated accounts for a penny or two on the dollar. They know they won’t get money on the vast majority, but on the few they do, it makes their effort profitable.

When you have a collector requesting money, how do you know if they have the legal right to collect?

How do you know if the amount they purport you owe is accurate?

Come to think of it, how do you even know it’s really yours? Do a Google search and see how many people have your same name.

The Law Gives You the Right to Receive Validation of the Debt

You have the legal right to request documentation showing the debt is yours, that the collector has the legal right to collect on it, a payment history, documentation that the balance is accurate, original documentation with a signature, and more.

If they can’t provide proper validation, they don’t get to report it to the credit bureaus and they can’t force you to pay.

As you can see from the letter below, a collection agency completely cancelled a $1,290.63 account, because the gentleman who purchased and read this book took proper steps according to his legal rights.

This is proof that Repair Your Credit Like the Pros works. Thank you for reading my post. I work hard to provide good information to folks who need to improve their credit.


6 thoughts on “Collection and Charge-offs: Are They Accurate?

  1. Hi, Carolyn.

    I bought your book, but have been afraid to send a letter to Amex.

    They are suing me for 21k after a collector was unsuccessful in getting payment. I signed up as a business. Half of that is interest. I no longer have that company.

    I can send them the “prove to me this is my debt letter.” Do you think that will be effective even after suit has been filed?



    Because YOU matter!

    1. Jennifer, a lawsuit for $21,000 is very serious. You must not ignore it! I am not an attorney and cannot give legal advice. Don’t delay on seeking help, and whatever you do, don’t fail to show up for court. If you ignore this and fail to show for court, the collector could very well get the judge’s permission to garnish your bank account and/or your wages — and add new legal fees on top!
      I don’t know if you want to call and speak with the collection company yourself, or if you want to ask an attorney or a licensed credit repair specialist to speak on your behalf. I will email you the names of two excellent licensed credit repair company owners you can call. I wish you all the best!

  2. I fallowed all the steps in your book and a collection agency continues to report accounts that were not created by me.

    Every time I disputed them, they just provided to the bureaus an account statement showing a balance but they had never provided me

    with any proof other than a computer generate statement.

    I filed a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and they’re also useless, because the collection company send the same statement

    to them and they closed the case after just receiving the computer generate statement, they never as the collection agency to produce any real proof.

    I managed to get these accounts remove from Experian and Transunion but Equifax refused to remove them.

    These accounts were created by my ex-wife when she took my children to the doctors, I had provided that information to the collection agency

    but as you know, they don’t care.

    What to do next?


    Victor J Virella

    PS. Your book did help me clear other items on the credit reports. ________________________________

  3. Hi Carolyn,

    I brought the book and I love it and also use it as a reference guide. I wanted to know how long does it take for an inquiry to come off 30 days the same as a collection?

    1. You have a good question, and thank you for purchasing the book. When you send an inquiry dispute, they have 30 days to investigate and respond, so yes, it is the same time frame as for a collection or any other type of dispute.
      The best way to get a hard inquiry removed from your credit report is for the creditor to send in the request. The credit bureaus are required to post what the creditors tell them. If a creditor make a hard inquiry without your knowledge or consent, that is a violation of law. Accordingly, they must instruct the credit bureaus to remove it.
      Hard inquiries affect the credit score for only 12 months (even though they post for 24 months), so if it is older than one year, you can ignore it.

  4. Thank you!  Very nice to be reminded.  I did this with an account and it was removed. Another thing people need to pay attention to is that sometimes you will receive a collection letter with theirall too famous words “this is a demand for payment”.  If you look at the way bottom, in very tiny print, you will see how they may state the debt is past the date to pursue in court, etc  (verbiage varies).  A lot of people get so nervous they immediately call the collection agency and settle, even if it is for half or less than the full amount, all because they didn’t read the fine print.   Collection agencies are so sneaky.

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