How to Find a Creditor or Collection Agency

Last Updated: March 30, 2017

We see lots of people posting on our credit repair forum asking how they can get in touch with their creditors or how to contact a collection agency. They know they owe money to someone, but have no idea who or what their address or phone number could possibly be. This frequently happens when we get behind on our payments and just plain 'ol forget about them all together.

The best way to obtain this information is to request copies of your credit reports. You can get one free copy a year from If you want to be able to access your report throughout the year or maybe get notifications of changes on your credit reports, you can sign up for a free credit report and score. Our article on how to order your credit reports compares all the offers out there so you can pick which credit report company works for you.

Information is on Your Credit Report

After you get your credit reports, you will see a listing of the names and contact information for each company you owe money to. You will also see if your account was transferred to a collection company, and if so, it will show you the contact information for that agency. Use this information to send your dispute and/or contact letters. There will be an abbreviated account number listed so make sure to include this number on your correspondence.

866.785.9884 Call for a FREE credit repair consultation & FICO ® score from Lexington Law

Other Methods to Locate a Creditor or Collection Agency

Sometimes you may get your letters back with a stamp "return to sender" as what you thought was a correct address, turns out to be wrong. If you are having trouble getting in contact with a creditor or a collection agency because you don't know where to send them letters, here are some resources:

  • Search the Internet - This is probably the first thing to try. Open a browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, and go to or and type in the name of the creditor or collection agency. Chances are good that if they are still in business, you will pull up their website. From here, you can go to their "Contact Us" page and obtain their mailing address and phone number.
  • Search the BBB - Go to the The Better Business Bureau website and do a business search. If they are affiliated with the BBB, you will be able to obtain their contact information.
  • If those two searches come up empty, try calling your state attorney general, who usually works with your state's consumer protection agency.
  • Lastly, you can also try your state's corporation commission.

Hopefully one of these ways will get you the information you need. It is important to know where to send your credit dispute letters if you are planning to repair your credit. And, don't forget to send all correspondence certified and return receipt so you know the intended party received your letter.

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Opening a collection agency

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Opening a collection agency

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How to Start a Debt Collection Agency

Starting a debt collection agency can be easy with the right information. Learn what’s involved in opening a debt collection agency, from startup costs and business licensing requirements to marketing tips and insider advice.

Opening a collection agency

This article contains the following sections:

You can also find more business ideas using our Business Ideas Tool.

Starting a debt collection agency can be easy with the right information. Learn what’s involved in opening a debt collection agency: from startup costs and business licensing requirements to marketing tips and insider advice.

Opening a collection agency

This article contains the following sections:

You can also find more business ideas using our Business Ideas Tool.

Opening a collection agency

As the owner of a debt collection agency you’ll contact debtors and work with them to figure out a way of paying what they owe your clients. You’ll maintain a calm, patient demeanor and make the process as fair and stress-free as possible.

Who is this business right for?

You must be able to persevere and take rejection well. You’ll often find yourself in uncomfortable positions in contacting individuals who owe money and don’t want to pay. They might be hostile, embarrassed, frightened, or unwilling to talk to you at all, but you can’t be defeated by all of the negative attitudes you’ll encounter.

You should also have the sales ability to gain the trust and confidence of clients.

What happens during a typical day at a debt collection agency?

Here are several of the responsibilities you’ll most typically undertake on a daily basis.

  • Soliciting the debt collection business of companies who’ve extended credit to customers
  • Contacting debtors to encourage repayment on behalf of your business clients
  • Performing skip trace investigations to find debtors with little or no valid contact information
  • Collecting debtor payments and returning extended credit amounts (minus your commissions) to clients

Any business that sells to other businesses or individuals by extending credit will have its share of non collectable debt. The company’s own credit department might be overextended or not adept at collecting challenging debt, and that’s when a collection agency like yours gets the call.

How does a debt collection agency make money?

You’ll charge your business customers a commission as a percentage of the financial amount you’re able to collect. This will be a smaller percentage for newer and easier to collect debts and a higher amount for old or particularly challenging debts or those that have unsuccessfully been worked by multiple collection agencies in the past.

What is the growth potential for a debt collection agency?

Businesses will always find themselves in positions where customers who’ve been extended credit are unable or unwilling to pay back. The most challenging of economic times will bring you more opportunities, but on the other hand hard times are when debtors are least likely to be able to repay.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a six percent decline in the job outlook for Bill and Account Collectors between the years 2014 and 2024, but that could change if there’s an economic downturn.

Opening a collection agency

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful debt collection agency?

Can you be both firm and diplomatic? If you come on too strong with debtors they’ll hang up or slam the door in your face. On the other hand if you seem weak those who owe money might ignore or try to intimidate you. You’ll be most successful at this business if you can maintain a sense of equilibrium even during the most stressful times

You should also be a good judge of character. This will help you not only while you negotiate payments but as you begin to interview prospective debt collectors when you build your business.

What are the costs involved in opening a debt collection agency?

The good news is that there’s very little upfront cost. This is the sort of business that can be started from your home with basically only a phone, business cards, and a computer. But let’s take a closer look at materials you may need if your business expands beyond a home-based operation:

  • Office rent -- Zero to $500 a month in many locations. Your clients and debtors won’t often, if ever, visit you in your office, so you don’t have to impress. All you need is space big enough for a desk and a computer. If you have a spare bedroom or a kitchen table at home it’s enough to get you started, though you will likely want to upgrade to a more professional environment once you can afford it.
  • Office equipment -- $1,500 max. This is for a desk and chair, a computer, and a phone.
  • Transportation -- $200 at most. Most of your business will be conducted by phone, but you might use a car to meet with debtors face to face, to pitch business to a client or to attend a networking event.
  • Logo, website and marketing tools -- $200 or more. Hire a graphic design to design a logo for your business cards and letterhead and the appearance of your website. Your digital presence can be minimal, but make sure clients can figure out how to contact you.
  • Legal, licensure and insurance -- A few thousand dollars. You do have to be licensed and bonded in most states, but the specifics vary greatly. Start by consulting this online guide to licensing requirements by state. And then meet with an attorney before you start, to make sure your agency is in good legal standing.
  • Association membership fees -- A few hundred dollars a year. Consider joining such industry associations as the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals , the National Association of Credit Management or the American Recovery Association . Also consider joining the chamber of commerce in your community or other business associations where you might meet clients.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a debt collection agency?

Do your homework. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act sets the stage for what collection agencies can and can’t do legally. Your state might have additional laws and regulations, so make sure you’re in compliance with those as well.

As for generating clients, you might start by cold calling the credit departments of leading credit-extending companies in your marketing area. You can also buy charged-off debt online. This strategy is a bit of a gamble since these are transactions that other agencies have given up on. As a result, the debt can be obtained for pennies on the dollar, but the collection process will be arduous and often a losing battle.

Check out our detailed guide to learn specific steps on how to start a business.

Opening a collection agency

How to promote & market a debt collection agency

Your most effective tool will be your persuasiveness -- the same tool you’ll use to gain payment from debtors. Pitching business on the phone or face to face at networking events will often be your best means of promoting your business.

How to keep customers coming back

Once you’ve made customer contact and persuaded them to let you attempt to close a debt, your success in that area will bring in more business. Companies can quickly assume that debt is dead, so it can seem like found money if they get back 70 percent of what they were never expecting to see in the first place.

You can hire debt collecting staff at little cost by adopting a commission-based payment model. Therefore, consider making a hire anytime you see someone who looks like they have the right personality to chase down debt.

Opening a collection agency

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a debt collection agency. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, check out our informative guide, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.

For information about local licenses and permits:

Structuring your business as a limited liability company (LLC) ensures your personal assets are protected in the event your business is sued.

Opening a collection agency

How much can you charge customers?

You’ll negotiate the percentage of the debt you collect, based on the degree of difficulty. Keep in mind, you’ll get nothing unless you collect, so you must negotiate a high percentage (even as much as 50-70 percent of the total) when collection is in doubt because of the age of the transaction, the absence of valid contact information or the failure of other agencies before you. Debt that is fresher, on the other hand, might make you a commission as low as 18 percent of the total amount for the relatively small degree of risk. Your bottom line success will be in charging a commission that’s as high as you can get without making your seek a better deal with competitors.

Some collection agencies charge by a monthly fee, but that’s difficult to get clients to agree to since there’s no guarantee of collection.

What are the ongoing expenses for a debt collection agency?

Phone, Internet and transportation are generally your main ongoing obligations. You’ll also need to make enough or have enough in savings to meet your day-to-day financial demands until your business is able to break even.

How much profit can a debt collection agency make?

That’s highly variable. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for debt collectors was about $17.00 an hour, but that was for a single individual -- not someone who owns a business and could employ several collectors.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Consider expanding into other areas where you can use your talent for finding and contacting individuals, such as by offering private detective services or skip tracing for bail bondsmen.

How to Negotiate With Collection Agencies

If you have one or more outstanding collection accounts you’re not alone. With unpaid medical balances becoming more common (higher deductibles, uncovered expenses, etc), and bankruptcy more difficult to file since the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act, more accounts are slipping into collection than ever. Can you learn how to negotiate with collection agencies?

You can’t make them go away – not until you pay off the accounts they’re collecting on – but you can keep them at a reasonable distance. You’ll need to do this for a while, at least until you are in a position to settle the accounts once an for all. Here are some ways to do this.

Collection Agencies: Don’t Engage Them!

Here’s a tip that will save you a lot of time and anxiety, even if it won’t make the collection agents go away entirely: don’t engage them at all! That means that you don’t accept or open any mail from them, nor do you speak with them on the phone. A collection agent’s job is to harass you into paying your debt, and they will not leave you alone until you do. Anytime you open a letter or accept a phone call, you are inviting harassment into your life. But you are under no legal obligation to do so.

You already know that you owe the debt – the collection agent’s barrage of phone calls isn’t going to make you pay it any sooner. In fact, it could very well have the opposite effect. At some point, they will almost certainly threaten you with legal action – most of which is an empty threat. But they will do it because they know that some people succumb to it.

By “getting under your skin” – and doing it constantly – collection agencies only succeed in wearing you down, sapping your ability to come up with the money to pay the bill at all.

Your job in the arrangement is to make sure that that doesn’t happen. You need to keep your head clear – and clear of the collection agent – so that you can concentrate your full efforts on saving up the money that will make them finally go away.

Don’t Talk To Them Unless You Are Ready To Settle

The only time that you should consider taking a phone call from a collection agent, or even opening up a letter from one, is when you are finally in a position to settle the account. Any discussions that you will have with them before you’re in this position will be completely meaningless.

When you are in a position to settle, you’ll need to go on the offensive. The collection agent will attempt to get every dollar out of you that he possibly can, so the threats may continue even as you attempt to settle. Ignore the threats, and familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission’s Federal Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA. Your knowledge of federal law will force the collection agent to behave, as their ability to collect on a debt is specifically limited by the law.

By the time you are ready to settle, you should make sure that the exchange proceeds as a negotiation between equals. Never allow yourself to be intimidated by the collection agent. If you are, the entire process will only go worse for you.

Be Ready To Make A Partial Settlement

Part of the reason why you will avoid any contact with the collection agent until you’re ready to settle is so that you can allow some time to pass between the time the collection agent gets the account and the time you actually settle.

The longer that a debt is outstanding, the more negotiable the collection agent is likely to be. This is because collection agents are essentially commissioned salesman. They don’t make any money on a collection until the account is paid (which should help you to see why they like to harass people).

If months or years pass, the collection agent is likely to greet any offer by you with enthusiasm. You can use this to your advantage and offer to settle the account for less than the full amount. If the amount of the collection is $10,000, and you have $5,000 to settle the account, you start by offering very low number, such as $2,000.

The collection agent will always scoff and declare the first offer to be “impossible“. That is part of the negotiation game, and since you are prepared to go higher you’re in an excellent position to press your case. It is entirely possible that by starting at a lowball number, you might end up settling for say $4,000, even though you are prepared to pay $5,000.

Why would the collection agent accept 50% or less of the debt? It’s the old saying, half a loaf is better than none. No where is that saying more in play than the collection business. The original creditor has already pulled out of the process – that’s why the collection agent is there in the first place. But many debts placed for collection never settle and simply go cold and disappear. Collection agents are aware this, which is why they are usually settled for less than the full amount.

Never Send Money Unless You Get An Agreement In Writing First

This point is absolutely critical – never sent any money to a collection agent unless you have a written agreement that the payment settles the account in full, or that it represents your complete understanding that an agreed-upon payment plan will in fact settle the account in full.

Don’t drop the ball on this step! Collection agents will use every tactic available – ethical or unethical – to get as much money out of you as possible. Never accept a collection agents verbal agreement as it is not legally enforceable. Have the agent email, fax or mail (preferred method) the written agreement before you send any money. The written agreement should not only spell out the terms of the settlement, but it should also specifically reference the debt in question as well as any account numbers connected with it, and be signed by the agent or his superior.

Also get an agreement from the collection agency that it will remove the collection from your credit report from all three credit repositories. You’ll want to get this agreement in writing as well, so that you can send it to the three credit repositories (Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax) in the event that the collection agency fails to do so.

Have you ever settled with a collection agency? How did work out for you?

opening a collection agency

I have some accounts in collections. I'm working on paying the ones that aren't about to age out of the 7.5 years (according to my Experian credit report--the free annual one). My question is this: does a negative item that has fallen off your credit REPORT continue to affect your credit SCORE? I recently got engaged and I'm trying to get my credit in order before we get married both to make sure that if we need to open a joint credit account to pay for wedding expenses, and to be ready to buy a house soonish after we get married. I need to know that if these things that are scheduled to fall off my report within the next year or two will continue affecting my score so I can decide how to deal with them. According to one of your earlier posts, the statute of limitations in my state has expired on most of them.

Opening a collection agency

This is showing up on my credit report:

Creditor Name: (collection agency)

Original Creditor: (medical provider)

Original Balance: $123

Date Opened: 06/25/2007

Date Reported: 02/02/2012

Send a letter to the credit bureau and notify them this balance has been paid. you may also want to see if you have any receipt of proof of payment. if you used your bank account call them to go back to the specified date and have them fax or email to you copy of that payment in case you need to present proof.

Opening a collection agency

I know one thing for sure if a medical provider is reporting you to the credit bureaus. that is illegal look under the hippa act that all medical including bills or confidential and they will have to remove it or u can can sue

Opening a collection agency

My husband and I have been working for the past year on cleaning up our credit so that we can buy a home. I noticed that 2 accounts appear on my credit report under collection agencies LVNV Funding and Calvary Portfolio Services, in both cases the original creditors (Sprint PCS and Sears Card) fell off some time ago. I believe both to be cases of the agencies re-aging the accounts. How can I go about obtaining proof? Also if I contact the original debtors (Sprint and Sears) for Proof of first delinquincy will that re-start my debt with them and show up on my credit report again. Also the largest one is Calvary Portfolio for 1,700 (original creditor Sprint) is due to stop reporting in November. Should I just wait it out on this one even if the account has been re-aged?

Opening a collection agency

This is reminding me to pay my credit,I hate to say that i am dis agree about it but it has a good and bad things,but all in all this is very informative one.

I have an account that the DOFD is 10/2008, the collection agency is reporting that the "opening date" is 11/2008. Has this collection agency re-aged this account?

Have them send you the settlement offer IN WRITING. Open a new checking account at your bank. Put only the amount of money in the account that you need to make the payment each month and pay out of that account

Opening a collection agency

I have a debt that was sent to a collection agency 7 years ago. I have been paying on the debt for 6 years. The DOFD is 7/2005. Will the fact that I have been paying on this debt this whole time cause the debt to remain on my credit report or will it fall off this year?

For every payment you make it restart the life cycle of statue of limitation in your state. unfortunately this will not be removed.

Opening a collection agency

The statute of limitations and the reporting period are two different things. After the reporting period (7years and 180 days) expires, the debt will be removed, regardless of whether the statute of limitations has restarted or not. The statute of limitations governs lawsuits, NOT how long something remains on your credit report.

Opening a collection agency

How often and how many times can a creditor report derogatory information on your credit report.

I GAVE my ex-wife the house in the divorce, she was ordered to have the home out of my name within 90 days of the divorce. I tried to purchase a new house in December of 2011 with my current wife and found out the house had just been foreclosed and STILL had my name on the account. Since then, the mortgage company has reported a $92K foreclosure on my credit report every month almost to the day. Every month they report it, my score drops even more.

Opening a collection agency

Opening a collection agency

I have an account which was placed with a collection agency in June 2012. It's appearing on my credit report three times. Two with an open date of October 2012 and one with an open date of November 2012. Is this legal? It's the same debt.

Opening a collection agency

The debt can appear on your credit report in the form of the original creditor's report and ONE collection account. Even if the collection agency sells the debt to another collector, only one of them can have their trade line on your credit report at one time. You can dispute the two additional collections that should not be there with the credit bureaus.

I am a victim of re-aging. I opened a 1st and 2nd mortgage on a home in 2002. By 2003 I had lost my job and my home to foreclosure. My last payment was made February of 2003. The 1st mortgage fell off my credit in 2010. The 2nd has been re-aged a number of times over the last 5 years. The first time was after the loan was transferred from BofA (BAC Home Loans) to Litton Loan Servicing. Litton changed the date to show my first delinquency in 2007. I disputed this in 2010 only to have them change the date again to May of 2010. The loan was then transferred to Ocwen. After disputing directly with Ocwen, they changed the date to November of 2010. I have disputed this so many times that even the CRA's refuse to allow me to continue to dispute it. I have even provided the CRA's and Ocwen copies of the official payment records from BofA. Ocwen will not respond to my certified letters, and the CRA's tell me that I have no BofA accounts. Because the account number was changed when Litton took over the loan, the CRA's say it is not the same account. Worse of all, no one will help. Even numerous attorneys have been contacted, but none are interested in representing me. I had one tell me that my case would not make a good class action suit! I am not looking to make millions off of these criminals, I just want this removed from my credit so I can move on with my life. It is very frustrating, and I feel I am just spinning my wheels every time I send another certified letter, knowing it will never make a difference.

Opening a collection agency

I want to answer your question to the best of my ability, but the answer is long. I need your permission to make your question into a separate blog post.

Thank you for the quick response. And yes, you have my permission to use my conundrum for another blog post. Please let me know if you need any further info from me on my specific situation.

I would like to see the answer to that so feel free to email me that link. My question is on the original creditor: if you had trouble showing the original creditor, doesn't it follow they'd have trouble also? I mean if you disputed the debt as not being yours wouldn't they have to turn around and prove the original debt? Otherwise these companies could just make up imaginary debt and try to extort a payment.

Opening a collection agency

When you dispute a debt with a credit bureau, the credit bureau faxes your dispute to the CA along with a form saying something to the effect of, "Is this valid?" All the CA has to do is fax back a response saying "yes.9quot; As unethical as the process is, no real investigation is involved.

Opening a collection agency

I have noticed that on an old debt, allmost, if not at the 7.5 yr mark still shows on my report, they keep updating the date of the debt. This collection agency even went so far as to call my father (elderly father) and tell me I owe money and that he is going to have me arrested and take me to court and that my father is going to be subpeonaed to appear in court, etc. (I thought this was illegal?) Everytime they update the debt, the clock restarts. Also, i noticed some will see the debt and then I have two marks on my report for one debt. What do I do? This guy really freaked out my father, he also called me while I was living in Ohio and threatened to call the police on me, he pretended to be an attorney, etc. Why do they allow them to do these things?? It's not right. How can I stop this? If I had the money to pay them, I would, but I am a disabled veteran who receives a pension.

Opening a collection agency

They're not allowed to do these things. It's very very illegal. You can sue the pants off them.

Opening a collection agency

Report them for violations of Fair Debt Collections Practices Act to your state atty generals office as well as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (online form). You can also contact an attorney and it should cost you nothing and you should be able to be paid $1,000 for the violation.

Opening a collection agency

The article above explains your options when it comes to re-aged debt. If that doesn't work, you can hire an attorney and threaten Midland with a lawsuit. As a rule, CAs don't want to continue breaking the law when a consumer becomes too much of a threat. You will, of course, need proof that the Dell debt was charged off, such as an old demand letter from Dell, and that Midland is collecting on that same Dell account. Midland has to provide you with the name of the OC if you request it. It will take time and effort, but you CAN successfully fight a re-aging. Sometimes just threatening to sue is enough to get things straightened out.

ok. So once upon a time I had a debt with Dell (It had to be in 2004 or so that I bought this laptop). I stopped paying because I was young and silly and it came back to get me. I didn't pay as agreed for who knows why but now I need help and understanding.

Account Name MIDLAND FUNDING No Data Returned

For This Bureau No Data Returned

For This Bureau

Account Type Debt Purchase

Date Opened 1/1/2012

Midland being linked to citi bank

The original may have been removed for other reasons or the account was never reported to them.

Opening a collection agency

If the Midland account is the debt that Dell sold when you didn't pay, then the account has been re-aged. The Date of first delinquency (the DOFD) should be the same as the date Dell charged off the debt. Midland is the world's worst about re-aging.

Opening a collection agency

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Opening a collection agency

I have a debt collector who deletes and re-instates my debt every three weeks to include interest that accumulates over that period of time(usualy a dallar). Is this practice legal?

Opening a collection agency

I'm missing something here. There is no advantage whatsoever for a collection agency to delete an account and reinsert it from your credit report every three weeks. I'm almost positive the reporting contract wouldn't allow it. Highly unlikely? Yes. Illegal? Not to my knowledge.

Opening a collection agency

I have had 4 different collection companies come after me for a cell phone bill that was from 2007. The debt kept getting sold off for some unknown reason. Not one of them reported it to the credit bureau ( also weird). Well as of today I find out a new collection company reported me for that debt. The date states 8/24/2012. I did not receive to my knowledge any letter from this company stating the debt. I have never acknowledged owning the debt to begin with to any other collection company. What's going on here. How do I handle this.

Opening a collection agency

Unfortunately, if the collection agency claims you owe it, you don't have to agree for them to have the right to report the debt to the credit bureaus. Nor do they have to notify you before they make the report. The good news here is that no matter when the debt was finally reported, it can't remain on your credit report for longer than 7.5 years. So, take the date you defaulted on the original account, add 7.5 years and there's your removal date. In this case, it looks like you'll have a collection on your credit report for about a year. Many, many people here would call you a very lucky man.

Opening a collection agency

Got a summons and being sued by midland and they are not the original creditor but there attorney listed the original creditor as " original creditor identified as credit card number” and listed a (supposed credit card number I guess). Can they do this? What should I do?

Opening a collection agency

Wow. Just wow. If their attorney doesn't even know the name of the original creditor, that's an excellent sign.

Opening a collection agency

Hello. I am seeking some advise on how to handle a charged-off credit card account. The problem I have is that in June 2007, I defaulted and a charged off has been marked on my credit report. The account was not sold (as far as I know) and I was never contacted by a collection agency. In 2009, the bank’s debt recovery division contacted me and we agreed on a monthly payment, which I submitted until the end of 2010. In mid 2011, the bank that originally opened my account merged with another bank, with which I now have an account. Recently, I visited the new bank to inquire about the charged off accounts since I was preparing to purchase a home. To my surprise, I was told that the account does not exist on their records; however, they continue to report it to the different CRAs.

Opening a collection agency

As far as your first question goes – no, the reporting period for your debt has not changed. The reporting period is set in stone, regardless of when or if you make payments. The statute of limitations for lawsuits, however, does reset each time you submit a payment.

Opening a collection agency

Thank you for your feedback.

Opening a collection agency

Yes, its automated. When you send a dispute to the credit bureaus, they use a program called eOscar to forward your dispute to the collector. eOscar then matches the information in the request to the information in the collection agency's files, verifies the debt and sends the verification to the credit bureaus.

Opening a collection agency

Thank you for the advise, Lee. I appreciate you giving me tips on what to say. In all honesty, I was going to express exactly what you said I should not say. I am definitely going to inquire about the account now. Eventually, I will have to deal with it anyway.

Hey all, just a follow up message, lol. Firstly, I'm no longer engaged (not married either, but good riddance on THAT garbage. ). Anyway, just because my REASONS for wanting to clean up my credit have changed, I didn't stop my vigilance. Because of that, I got a re-aged account deleted from my (Experian) report. I had an outstanding bill from Sprint, from when I switched over to a new carrier due to customer service issues. I didn't violate my contract, I waited until it was up, but I just left; I had been on a family plan with my sister, and she said she would pay the last bill, but it was in my name. She didn't pay it, and I'd moved a couple times, so Sprint couldn't find me for a few years. I literally just got a "settlement offer" from some collections agency last week, and that reminded me "hey, it's been a year since I got my free annual report" so I ordered just the one (I like to spread them out over the course of the year, something I read online or in a book). Basically, I was like, it's been like three years since I'd heard about this debt, so I remembered from this site that communication with them could re-age the statute of limitations for suing, so that's why I got my report, to see when it was scheduled to fall off my report. When I saw the dates on my report, it looked off, so I called my current phone carrier and got the date that I started a plan with them. Using that information, I disputed the entry because it was over 2 years behind when I knew I'd last paid anything to Sprint. I just got the email from Experian, and they totally deleted the entry. I thought they'd just update it with the correct information, which WAS one of the potential outcomes of the dispute, but they deleted it totally. I'm not gonna argue with that, lol.

Opening a collection agency

Congratulations! I love it when people post success stories. And don't worry, communicating with a debtor may cause them to update the date of last activity on your credit report, but it doesn't restart the statute of limitations for a lawsuit. I see that bit of info being passed around quite a bit, but its simply not true.

I have an account on all 3 cb. All 3 were set to be removed March 2014. I didn't remember this account so I disputed them. They all came back as verified but experian changed the removal date as November 2019. I have called them multiply times sent in the original credit report showing the original removal date but the won't help. They say there's nothing they can do because that's the information they are getting from the creditor. What can I do? Is it legal for experian not to help me even when I have the original report showing the dates were changed. This is the one thing stopping us from buying a house. Thank you

Any suggestions ? This is the one thing keeping us from buying it first home. Thank you

Opening a collection agency

Hello Lee, I was wondering if you could give me some advice on something.

Opening a collection agency

Your account hasn't been re-aged. Your credit report can show both a charge-off and the collection agency that purchased the charged off debt. It cannot, however, show two different collection agencies collecting for the same debt.

Opening a collection agency

I have a very old sears account, it is 6 years since first reported as delinquent. I have the money to pay it right now, Should i wait til it falls off to pay or pay now. I dont want it to restart the 7 years, if it even does that? I gave the card to my ex after divorce for the kids, she did great for years then last month I pulled a report for a home purchase and found this..My fault totally, I want to take care of it but dont want the cycle to restart.

Opening a collection agency

The reporting period is 7 years and 180 days. Paying a debt does not affect reporting period on your credit report. It does, however, restart the statute of limitations for a lawsuit. If you plan to pay in full, this doesn't matter. Just make sure you get a zero balance statement from the collection agency proving that you paid.

Opening a collection agency

I have a question and am hoping you can help me. I recently received a letter from a debt collection agency working on behalf of my condo association. The letter showed that I owed 2 months rent (the past two months, march and April) and that my account was delinquent as of April 16th for a total of $900. I know this to be incorrect as I have receipt for march payment on April 1st, and just paid the April bill yesterday. When I paid yesterday, it is true my account was exactly 7 days overdue. But as of today, I have paid all of the supposed debt. Is my association breaking any laws by not contacting me about my bill and by turning me over to a collections agency after only 7 days of delinquency? And is there any way to avoid paying the collector fee of $155 since I have already paid the debt?

Opening a collection agency

You don't owe the collection agency a dime. It's time to make a visit to your condo association headquarters armed with your payment receipts, the canceled checks (if you have them. If not, you can always print out your online banking record to prove your payments were cashed),the collection letters, and some grade-A professionalism. You want to make an appt to talk to someone in charge. Demand to know why you're being sent to a collection agency for two bills you've already paid and they've already accepted payment for. And check your credit report too. If they've hit your credit report with a negative trade line, a lawsuit may be in order. Let me know how it goes with your visit to the condo association and we'll go from there.

Opening a collection agency

I have a large eviction debt from a nasty collections agency, from 4 years ago in WA state. I've never made any payments, plan or contact with the agency. For the past few months though, they have been trying a new tactic, updating my debt amount with interest accrued. When they do this, I get notifications from my credit alert accounts that I've now become delinquent on one of my accounts. How badly is this going to damage my credit (which is already low) and can I get them to stop without attracting attention again? I have no way at this time to begin to make payments on the debt. The original date of debt is the same, so I don't think this is re-aging, but can you help me understand the timeframe for it to fall off my account, or how long they can sue me for it?

Opening a collection agency

To the best of my knowledge, the SOL in Washington State is 6 years. The reason the collection agency is doing this is because every time it updates your credit file, it keeps its collection as a recent entry. Recent entries have a much greater impact on your overall credit score than older entries. Basically, they're just doing it out of spite to trash your credit.

Opening a collection agency

Ah. I looked into the court case, thanks to your advice. Looks like the eviction case was dropped by the plaintiff after I moved out. So I believe that the original SOL is still applicable. I wish there were a way for them to stop updating my credit file. I'm a student and have no way of paying the full amount at this time. Thank you for your help!

Opening a collection agency

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Opening a collection agency

Are you still available for questions?

Opening a collection agency

Yes, although I have a hectic work schedule and it sometimes takes me longer than I'd like to get back to people.

Opening a collection agency

Date Opened: 05/25/2012

Date Reported: 05/21/2013

Date of Last Activity: N/A

Date Major Delinquency First Reported: 07/2012

Months Reviewed: 10

Factoring Company Account (debt buyer)

Date of First Delinquency: 03/2008

Comments: Collection account

Opening a collection agency

The "date opened" only refers to the date when the account was opened with the collection agency, not the original creditor. So no, its not re-aging. It would become re-aging if the CA changed the DOFD of the original creditor.

Opening a collection agency

I have an outstanding medical bill from emergency surgery in 12/2011. The bill was sent to a collection agency. When they contacted me, I told them I did not have the money to pay them at the moment. This agency ran a hard inquiry on my report without my authorization, and I just got a new alert and it was the same agency reporting my debt as derogatory (again) last month. Is this legal? Does it affect my score?

Opening a collection agency

A hard pull will drop your score anywhere from 5 to 10 points. Unfortunately, a collection agency doesn't need your permission to conduct a hard pull. They have a legitimate business relationship with you. The collection account itself will also hurt your credit score. By how much I can't say. It depends on your current scores. The higher your scores are, the more damage the collection will do.

Opening a collection agency

So I am in the process of building a house. I had appox. score of 650. I had been pre-approved and started the building process. A few weeks before closing two old CA updated the activity dropping my score appox. 60-70 points. The Sol have passed and the debt was about to fall off next year. My problem is don't qualify for my home now and about to lose it because of there re-aging practices.The last report date previously showed sometime in late 2007 And that it had been purchased sometime in 2009. They have updated to all 3 CB two months in a row. I want to threaten to sue, but I cannot find anywhere in the FCRA where it states that its illegal to report on a monthly basis keeping my debt appearing as current and having the greatest effect on my fico. Any recommendations and do you also know where it states that it's illegal for them to do this.

Opening a collection agency

Unfortunately, this is pretty common. Collection agencies watch your credit report and as soon as mortgage inquiries pop up, they toss their debts on there with the knowledge that you'll have to pay them off to get approved for your mortgage. The SOL is only the period of time they have to sue. The reporting period, however, is valid for seven years from the date of first delinquency. That means they can report at any time until the debt is scheduled to fall off your report. Regardless of when it shows up as transferred or updated, it very likely hasn't been re-aged unless they continue to report the debt beyond 7 years and 180 days from the date you made the last payment to the original creditor.

Opening a collection agency

A collection agency reported for the first time in five years on 08/2013 that I had a paid collection with them. They are claiming it was assigned to them 03/2008 for a medical lab bill for $75.00. They are reporting the status as of 08/2013 - Paid; Date of 1st Delinquency 10/2007; Balance as of 08/2013 - $0 ; Last Payment Date 05/2008. I contacted the credit reporting agency and disputed this claim. The credit reporting agency came back and said that they have check with the collection agency and the debt is valid. What recourse to I have to fight this. I have no other blemishes on my credit. Is this legal?

Opening a collection agency

The answer to your question was a bit more in-depth so I turned it into a post. Copy and paste the address below into your browser to reach it.

Opening a collection agency

HELLO LEE I'm in need of some serious advice .. About 10 years ago I took a gym membership out and thought I closed the account out well here I am trying to go into the reserves and when I pull my credit report it there .. I called the credit agency first and they couldn't find the debt because it was in my maiden name.. Then I took it to experian to dispute it.. Well a few days later I get A email stating that the my dispute results were in and I could ck it.. I didn't see any results so I Called the customer service agent told me that the results were that they weren't going to be moved.. So then I called and made a payment arrangemnt with the collection agency.. Yesterday I pull my report and the collection is off of my report .. And no longer under investigation .. I called the collection agency back and they aren't aware of this .. ( no I did not disclose it being deleted to them ) because the lady said it would not be removed until I paid it off.. My question is M I still covered under the Sol and can they file a judgement against me.. For regaling the debt.. I have not made any payments yet.. But I wanna know what to do before I do..

Opening a collection agency

The lady at the collection agency is wrong (big shock there, eh?). For starters, if this debt went delinquent over 10 years ago its illegal for it to be on your credit report in the first place. The federal reporting period for bad debt is seven years and 180 days from the date you stopped making payments. It was deleted because the credit bureaus clearly saw that the entry was obsolete. And guess what? Since the reporting period is expired, the collection agency can't re-add it to your report without breaking federal law.

Ok so your saying I'm in the clear because the payment hasn't actually been made.. And the original debt is in the state of fl I live in Nc Now..

Opening a collection agency

Yes, to the best of my knowledge. Neither FL nor NC impose a 10-year SOL on bad debt.

Opening a collection agency

I have a installment with credit union (secured Loan)opened 2005 delinquent mid 2006 balance $7798 there was 0 activity it shows as closed by grantor. now the problem is in June 2013 it started reporting again as delinquent? what can I do should I dispute make go away it has been 7 years? please help

Opening a collection agency

My husband who was single when the debt occurred 2009, had a Bank of America CC that went into default and then sold in Nov 2009. He had several debt collection agencies try to collect on the same debt, he never responded or contacted them. Then in late 2010 I had someone at the door hand me a paper (summons) which I had no idea what it was for or who (the kid marked on the paper that it was given to Joe but it was really given to me). I just took it and asked the kid who it was for and he just walked away. Looking at it, it was for my husband and pretty much looked fake. So I told my husband and we decided to contact them. I called and they (Asset Acceptance Corp) didn't even have the same information as the paper I was given and when I challenged them they got me a manager who then told me they were closing and hung up on me. For a few weeks following they would call me and hang up whenever I would answer, then I sent a letter to them only to contact us by mail and haven't heard from them since. I went down to the courthouse and looked the info up and learned it was real and to respond was almost $500.00, thus we never did anything. My husband called them about a month ago to try to settle and they keep adding interest and higher settlement offers which are more than the original debt (Orginal debt $5209.00 AAC wants a minimum of $6k) they keep adding interest now up to $6271.00. We are desperately trying to buy a house and this is the only thing in our way!! I'M DESPERATE! They have reported the debt on our credit report about 5 times in different names and amounts (2 of them are the original creditor BofA). Today I got an alert from that 1 of Asset Acceptance Corp was removed off of our report but couldn't find anything else.

My questions are:

What are my options? I just want to be done with them!

There are multiple Companies reporting on our Credit report under different names but for the same debt. How do I handle that?

We live in CA, do they have a statute of limitations?

Is contacting them starting over the time limit? or just any payments?

We just want to buy a house and be done with them but $6k is a lot of money. But I'm willing to do whatever it takes as long as I know they will do their part and remove it. My fear is I pay them and they still come after us? Some people tell us to pay it and some people tell us to wait til it falls off but it's just getting worse for us!

Opening a collection agency

Hi Lee. I have a situation in which I had gone to a community college in 2003. I did not finish the semester so I'm assuming financial would not cover that. So I think I would have to pay out of pocket. About two weeks ago i received a notice from a collection agency that i owe this debt to the school and I have 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt. Well i called them and asked to send me a letter or a bill from the school that I owed them money and until now I have not received one. I live in NJ. My question is.. If the debt still valid? it's been over 10years and this is the first time I've received a letter from the debt collectors. Can this affect my credit? Thanks for your help.

Opening a collection agency

Is this being reported by the credit union or a collection agency that bought the account? My guess would be a collection agency. If I were you, I'd fire off a letter to the collection agency letting them know that this account is beyond the legal reporting period and by reporting it they are violating Section 605 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Demand that it be removed immediately. If they don't remove it, notify the credit bureaus of the problem and try to back up your claim with proof, such as an old copy of your credit report with the expiry date and account highlighted. If all else fails, sue. You have the right.

I had a car repo back in may 2009, the statute of limitations in NC is 3 years on repos so the sol should have been up in may 2012.. The original creditor has it listed on my report as a charge-off, Asset Recovery has added another collection and dated it Jan 2012..Upon further investigation I saw that a payment was reported in Dec. 2011 that I know I never made making it appear on my credit reports as though the sol has not yet been surpassed!! I have been working with Lex Law but they have sent out letter after letter for the last 6 months and nothing has yet been done about the false date reported to the credit bureaus.. Asset was taken off once and my score went up to 735 but it was then added back on dropping the score back down to 638.. Is this a common practice and legal for Asset to do and if not what more can I do about it?

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