QUESTION. I am in the process of obtaining a mortgage. I was told I needed to clean up a few things. One thing being that I needed to pay on a Comcast collection. I did so, but I did a settlement and not paid in full. Now the collection agency ERC is refusing to remove this from my credit report. Is there anything I can do to get this removed & where do I go from here? With thanks & appreciation.
ANSWER. Unfortunately the collection agencies used by Comcast are notoriously difficult to deal with when it comes to removal. Unless your settlement included a “pay for delete” agreement there’s not much you can do unless: (1) There was some violation by ERC concerning your agreement to settle then you can make a complaint with the Better Business Bureau to intercede on your behalf; for instance, if they promised to delete in exchange for payment; or, (2) You contact Comcast to see if they intervene on your behalf by pulling the account back and dealing directly with them since it was a partial settlement. You may have to talk to someone in charge to get this done and include the fact that you are attempting to get a mortgage. If Comcast can terminate the collection authority with ERC, they can direct ERC to delete the account.
Creditors and collection agencies have an agreement with the credit bureaus not to delete accurate negative accounts based upon payment of the debt. However, there are many creditors and collection agencies will agree to delete anyway simply because they have no duty to report to the credit bureaus in the first place.
Another option would be to send a goodwill letter to ERC requesting they remove the account from your credit reports. With a goodwill removal, it's solely up to the collection agency but if you can explain that you are attempting to get a mortgage loan then you may have a chance.
If you are not able to accomplish any of this keep in mind a “Paid” collection account looks a lot better to a lender when evaluating your credit then an “Unpaid” collection account. The best of luck to you!