Friday, October 20th, 2017

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Does the Collection Agency Have to Remove An Error?

Dear Melissa,

About 2 months ago I received my quarterly credit report to discover it had dropped by 100 points—from a 750 to a 650. I discovered I had been turned over to a collection agency for a bill, which I thought my insurance company had paid, as it was for a mandated test. It was for $120. Then, after no contact from the collection agency, they turned it over to Equifax.

After much legwork on my own over the past 8 weeks, I discovered that the medical company filed my insurance papers incorrectly and then to boot my insurance company did not pay the claim. They applied it to my deductible, hence two mistakes and that is why the medical company did not get paid and turned me over to collections. I was unaware this was going on, as I had cancelled this insurance policy in February. The first I heard of being turned over to collections was in July, when I looked at my report.

Since then, I have gotten a letter from the insurance company stating that they had made a mistake and should have paid the claim. I faxed it to Equifax. I also faxed a copy to the medical company, letting them know as well that this should never have been billed to me personally. They asked me to call the collection agency and said they would arrange for him to remove this debt from Equifax when they receive their check from the insurance company. I called and spoke with a man who said he was the district manager of the company. He said he absolutely would not give me anything in writing stating that he would remove this from my file, but that when the insurance company paid his client I would have his word that it would be removed. He said if he gave me something in writing I could sue him for extortion.

What is going on here?? It sounds like I am the victim of some kind of dirty doings. Have my rights somehow been violated? They are all acting very strange and nervous when I talk to them, and why should this sit on my credit report when it’s not even my responsibility to pay it. It’s the insurance companies, and they admitted the error in the letter. Please someone help….

Terrelle N.

Get Assertive!

Dear Terrelle,

The collection agency has no reason to remove the account.  Since this does not benefit them, you will be hard-pressed to find someone to do this, unless they receive pressure from Equifax.

Since Equifax has told you that the collection agency should remove the account, contact someone at there and inform him or her of the issue with the agency.  If an account is a mistake, the collection agency legally has to remove the account and Equifax must update their system.

When the insurance company pays the client, the collection agency may only update your account as a “paid item.”  This will still affect your credit score, because it will be a paid collection item not a removal.

It may take awhile, but if Equifax deems they are doing something improperly, the collection agency may lose their account with the credit bureau.

Melissa Douros Dovco Collection Solutions, Inc.

As the owner of Dovco Collection Solutions, Inc., Melissa Douros uses her eight years of being a collections specialists to offer advice and answer questions pertaining to debt collection. With running her own successful collection agency, she seeks to keep debt collectors accountable for their actions and in line with the law.

Do YOU have a question for Melissa? Email her at melissa@dovcocs.com

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