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        )

)
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Success!

September 24th, 2014 at 03:26 am

A few months ago I signed S up for Credit Karma, and was unpleasantly surprised when a paid collection showed up on his credit report. (I don't know why I was surprised, it's been on there since 2011, but apparently I'd forgotten all about it!) We did a HARP refinance in 2013, too, and it was never even mentioned during that process. It was a medical collection, so maybe that's why. (The kicker is that is was for one of *my* medical bills, that we were going back and forth with the insurance about. Our insurance is through his work and our cards both have his SSN on them, which I guess is why it showed up on his credit report.)

I've never been too concerned about our credit reports in the past, other than to be sure there were no major inaccuracies. We've never had too many negatives, just lots of debt, so credit repair was never a focus. For various reasons this time, that paid collection bothered me, so I set about to see if I could get it taken off. I started by disputing the debt with TransUnion; they verified it, but did add a note that we disputed it. Then I did some searching and found out that if you stretch things Wink you can sometimes use HIPAA privacy laws to remove medical collections. I found a sample letter, tweaked it to fit our situation, and sent it over -- and it worked!

We got a letter back from the collection agency saying they were writing to the credit bureaus to remove the information from his credit report. That was early August; I had to wait until mid-September to get his free annual credit reports again, but meanwhile was watching the TU report in Credit Karma, which continued to have the collection listed. Last week I checked and the Equifax and Experian reports had dropped it, but TU still had it.

Yesterday, I disputed the item again with TU (they have an online dispute function) and included the letter from the collection agency. The first dispute took 30 days to get an answer -- this one they answered right away, and they deleted the collection. Woot! Smile

Coincidentally, a collection on my own credit report was deleted within the same timeframe -- different collection agency, different bill (though same health issue). Both were scheduled to drop off in 2017, so we gained two years there.

I also sent goodwill letters to two creditors to ask them to remove a couple of 30-day lates (one each) but that didn't get me anywhere. Frown They're from 12/2008 and 12/2010, so I'm guessing they're not going to have a whole lot of weight overall. (One wasn't even our fault, they suddenly stopped withdrawing the automatic payment from our bank without telling us they were going to stop. They never actually responded to my letter at all, but we paid the account in full a couple of years ago, so maybe they don't really care anymore.)

I'll be interested to see if this makes much of a difference in S's 'FAKO' credit score that Credit Karma provides. (He has a Discover card but hasn't used it in years, and you have to have an account statement to get your free credit score from them. He shreds the cards as soon as he gets them in the mail, so we'll have to wait until the new one comes, whenever that might be, and then have him use it once a month for some small thing we pay off right away!)

In the grand scheme of things this is a small thing, but given the difficulties so many people have with the credit bureaus, I feel like it's a huge victory!

3 Responses to “Success!”

  1. Petunia 100 Says:

    Great job on getting the collection matter straightened out. Smile
    If S wants another Discover card, he can just call. They will send him a new one.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Congrats on getting that debt off the credit report! I was going to state what Petunia said about the card, just call and ask for another one. They want customers to use the card. Smile

  3. doingitallwrong Says:

    Thanks! It never even occurred to me to just call and ask for another card. Duh. Wink Not sure I'll be able to talk S into it, but I'll see what I can do. (He's not against using credit cards by any means, but he doesn't see any reason to have more than one. It's probably a good think that banks no longer give away all those goodies just for opening a checking account - back in that heyday there were times I'd have 5-6 checking accounts floating around, which would probably send him to the nuthouse! I did get a full set of French White casseroles, though, and a hand mixer. LOL!)

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