How to Deal with Collections
Dealing with collections is relatively simple. A lot of the credit repair companies do this same tactic. Now, with that being said, there are several ways to address collections. Here are some of the methods that the credit repair companies do. If you can do the leg work, you won’t have to pay the credit repair companies $1000’s. These methods are not guaranteed to work; this is why the credit companies never guarantee their work.
First step – Get a copy of your credit report. You can do this off of Credit Karma. Most banks will pull your credit report. Even some credit card companies will do this service for you for free.
Then here are the steps you need to do…
Get removed from the credit report
There are 2 method here.
If you dispute an account, by law, that company must respond to your dispute within 30 calendar days. If they don’t respond within that 30 days, they are required to delete that account. So with this knowledge, it is worth a try to write a letter to all 3 credit bureau’s disputing your account. 1 letter per bureau. Included a copy of the credit bureau. A simple letter to the credit bureau listing all the collections you wish to state are not yours. Believe it or not, this works about 20% of the time even if the collection is yours. Send the letter certified mail, so that you have a receipt of the credit bureau receiving the letter. In my experience, my customers have better luck if they send 1 letter for every account. This can get a little costly, as every certified letter can be 3-7 dollars. So if you have 10 accounts and the letters are $5, you are spending $150 in postage. 10 letter to 3 credit bureaus.
If the agencies don’t get back to you within 30 days. Writer 1 letter to each bureau stating their lack of response and include every account they didn’t address, requesting that all those accounts be removed from your credit. And ask for proof that the credit bureau has accomplished this.
Because there is no guarantee of this working is why the expensive credit repair companies don’t guarantee their work.
Letters of Deletion. Collection companies can issue a letter of deletion. Basically this is a letter from the collection company telling the credit bureaus to delete that negative account from your credit. Typically collection companies don’t like to do this and are not required to do so unless the mistake is on their behalf. But you can ask. This has a 50% likelihood of working if you pay the collection in full. Collection companies are not to be trusted. So if at all possible physically go to the company and pay them only after they have the letter available. Then do the exchange. Send this letter into the 3 bureaus with certified funds, requesting the credit bureau to remove the collection per the letter of deletion.
If an account is yours and you can’t get it removed.
If you have paid the account, send in a receipt of the proof of payment asking the account to reflect as paid. A note- if the collection is old, at first your credit score may fall, but it will rise in period of 3-6 months. So talk to a finance person prior to doing this.
Often times, collection companies will accept less than issued amount. You can always negotiate. It is worth a try.
Here are the addresses of the 3 credit bureaus
EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES, LLC
PO BOX 740241,
ATLANTA, GA 30374
EXPERIAN PO BOX 2002,
ALLEN, TX 75013
TRANSUNION PO BOX 1000,
CHESTER, PA 19022