If there is a collection account of your credit report that you believe doesn't belong to you, you should DISPUTE YOUR DEBT to have it removed. The process for filing a dispute is pretty straight-forward as we have already touched on in other posts. Your first step is to pull your up to date credit report. You ca do this for free at AnnualCreditReport.com or through other places like Credit Karma.
Disputing your debt is done simply because you believe this information is incorrect. As an example, if you check your credit report and see a collection account that you believe belongs to somebody else, has an incorrect balance, or is greater than seven years old you can and should file a dispute.
If you discover inaccurate information from a collection account on your credit report you can contact the credit reporting company that is reporting the collection and formally file your dispute. These are the three credit reporting agencies you would need to contact. Whichever one is reporting the collection account on your credit report.
Now you can also contact the debt collection agency directly and file a dispute with them. This is what is known as a direct dispute because you are contacting the debt collection agency directly. The debt collection company will then conduct an investigation and if they discover that the collection account is being reported incorrectly they MUST:
Remove it from all of your credit reports
Correct any information that is not true
If you go down this path and mistakes are found and corrections need to be made to your collection account and/or credit report you need to watch it closely to ensure that those changes are actually made. Many times it will be found that the information is incorrect, but the changes don't get reported, fixed, or erased. It is necessary that you follow up, follow through, and stay on it because these changes or lack thereof can have a huge impact on your life.
We cannot tell you how many times we have seen this happen along the way. People put in all the work. The time, energy, and effort to call, sit on hold, speak with 10 different people, and finally get a resolution. Only for the change to not be reported. This is why it is so important to keep any and all communications you have made with the debt collection agency or credit reporting agency. You need to ensure that the changes are actually made so it does not impact you even more moving forward.
Consumers have more rights and avenues to pursue than they know about. Debt collection companies profit and even exist because of this simple fact. Knowing what you can do and the actions you can take to see results makes it extremely difficult for the debt collection companies to do what they are hoping to do. Take your money. Dont let that happen. Educate yourself and know you have found a partner in Forgivey that is working to erase the debts of all of its members.
This content provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance.