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How to Dispute Duplicate Collection Accounts on Credit Reports

Collection accounts can be repeatedly sold from one debt collector to another. There is a possibility each collection agency is reporting on your credit report.
Dispute Duplicate Collection Accounts on Credit Reports
Dispute Duplicate Collection Accounts on Credit Reports

Dispute Duplicate Collection Accounts on Credit ReportsQuestion: I have 4 collection accounts (each duplicated 3 times – once in open accounts, once in neg. accounts and once more in closed accounts of my Equifax 3-in-1).

They all state open or installment which I will dispute – but first, all of these collection accounts list the original creditor in the comments section but on my credit reports there is no record from each of these OCs (Bally Total Fitness (2xs), Sprint, Bright House Networks). What does that mean?

Do I have something going for me here, or does the OC not have to report at the same time the collection accounts are reported? If so, how would I compare? and if I do indeed dispute this, if it is correct, it’s probably possible for the original creditor to suddenly appear… Then it would be worse? I don’t know. All debts are $1500 or less and are reported as opened within the last three years. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Answer: First, I would not go alerting the original creditor they are not reporting a charge-off. Do not help them further lower your credit score. But there is always a risk the original creditor can show up at any time. Knowing this, if you want to go forward you should concentrate your efforts with collection agencies that purchased the debt and the credit reporting agencies.

Duplicate Collection Listings. In the article “What to know before disputing a collection account” I talk about duplicate accounts. Bad debt such as charge-offs can be sold repeatedly from one debt collector to another. Many times a debt collector has resold a debt but neglected to delete it from your credit report.

One strategy you can try is to dispute the most recent collection account first as a duplicate account. Wait to see if it is removed. If the most recent collection account is deleted from your credit report, dispute the older account as not your account.

Many times older collections are not verified because the collection agency: (a) has no record of the account ; (b) the account has been sold to another collection agency; (c) in some instances, the collection agency no longer exists.

Whatever the outcome, there should only be one collection agency attempting to collect a bad debt. At the very least you will have one collection account removed.

Another possible dispute is charge-off accounts should not be open accounts. Dispute based upon the “open account” error and request a deletion. You do not want negative information corrected so always request a deletion of the entire entry.

Debt Validation. Another strategy would be to deal directly with the debt collectors reporting on your credit report. Request debt validation from the collection agencies. Read the article: “What is Debt Validation” which will explain how the process works. Many times debt collectors purchase junk debt without any supporting documentation. If they cannot prove you owe the debt they are not supposed to report unvalidated debt on your credit reports.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. Be mindful when you dispute charged-off debt and collection agency debt that is still under the statute of limitations. If the statute of limitation has not passed, you can be sued for the unpaid debt. Your state’s statute of limitations determines how long you can sued for a debt.

After the statute of limitations has passed, the debt really becomes uncollectible, meaning it is solely up to you if you want to pay the debt. The legal system cannot make you pay the debt after statute of limitations has run. Good luck to you.


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