The month after I returned my vehicle I got a final account statement via mail indicating that I had a balance of $1,300 for mileage.
Fine, I write them a letter saying I couldn't pay the full amount at once, but I did want to make payment arrangements. I also included a payment with my letter. Small payments were made each month and by the fourth month the account was paid off.
Please keep in mind the original creditor AND their collection agency were contacting me at the same time. The small payments were rendered to the original company and the final payment was rendered to the Collection agency.
Recently, I reviewed my credit report and noticed they listed my account as a charge off. The high credit amount was wrong (I'm not really sure what that is) but if my lease was paid off and the mileage is calculated separately isn't the 1300 the high amount?
The first date of delinquency is listed as the date of my initial account settlement letter. Do I have a fighting chance? Isn't a charge off when a consumer is making no payments over a period of 180 days. I had the entire matter settled within 120 days. Please advise. Thanks!
Answer: If what you say is correct than you have the basis for several different credit disputes based upon factual errors. The only advice I can offer is to use one factual error at a time and request a deletion for the error, not a correction of the error as stated in How to Dispute a Charge-Off. If one factual dispute does not work, then dispute based upon another factual error.
Hopefully you have supporting documentation for all of your concerns as it will help you when disputing the inaccurate information. If the original creditor or collection agency verifies the information as accurate with the credit bureaus you can request the method of verification. The method of verification requires the credit bureaus answer the following questions about how a credit dispute was verified:
- The name of the creditor
- The person’s name they verified the dispute with
- The address
- The telephone number; and
- The documentation used to verify the dispute.
Another option would be to dispute directly with the furnisher of information after you have first disputed with the credit bureaus. As of July 2010, the FACT Act requires the furnisher of information to respond to credit disputes initiated directly from the consumer.
While this is not a new action consumers can take, it is new in the way the furnisher must respond to consumers. Now, the furnisher of information must respond within 30 days just like the credit bureaus or the negative credit item must be removed from your credit reports.
It is important to first dispute with the credit bureaus then if the result is not what you anticipated, dispute directly with the furnisher of information. Disputing directly with the furnisher of information basically puts the original creditor or collection agency on the spot by asking them to provide the information they used to verify the credit dispute as accurate. You can read more about the Direct Dispute Rule here.