I have an old debt from a cell phone provider that I am fairly certain I don't owe. It was from 3 or 4 years ago. It showed up on my credit awhile ago; I disputed it and it was removed. The other day, I got a letter from a collection agency trying to collect the same debt. They are promising to report the debt as paid in full if I pay a settled amount of $100. I have not responded to them yet (letter dated September 3)
The thing is, it's not on my credit right now. I have worked so hard to repair my credit and am about to refinance my house, I'm willing to pay the $100 to keep it from showing up. The problem is, will paying it put it on my credit, even as "paid in full", if it's not on there to begin with? I'm very confused about this and am not sure what to do. Should I dispute it, or just pay it to keep them from reporting it?
If you disputed and the prior collection was deleted as a result of their failure to verify the accuracy of their reporting, then NO party may reinsert the prior deleted reporting without first sending the CRA a pre-certification that they now verify its accuracy, notwithstanding the fact that verification was not previously provided.
In simple terms, what they means is, yes, it is possible for a debt collector to have a collection reinserted into your credit file, but it requires a pre-certification of its accuracy before it can legitimately be reinserted. Your payment, alone, is not necessarily an admission of accuracy of the debt, and thus wont remove the obligation of the debt collector to comply with the verification provisions of the statute. Having received payment and thus terminating their collection efforts, there is most likely little or no motivation for them to take the time and expense to get it reinserted.
If they report and it is reinserted without providing the required certification and notice therof from the CRA, you can dispute the failure to comply with the reinsertion requirements of FCRA 611(a)(5)(B).
I would send a DV first thing. It's a new CA so the DV would be considered timely.