So, back in January, back before I knew about myfico.com, I decided, hey, I think I’m entitled to a free credit report once a year, I think I’ll do that. I knew my CRs would be bad, although most of my financial problems were behind me and I was working on debt reduction big-time.
So, I pulled the reports. Not a pretty picture. I didn’t really digest them at the time. One of the lurking items was:
Type of Account : Open
Date Reported: 07/2008
Amount Past Due: $341
Date Major Delinquency First Reported: 07/2008
Creditor Classification: Utilities
Type of Loan: Factoring Company Account (debt buyer)
Date of First Delinquency: 06/2006
Comments: Collection account
Fast forward to March. I get a dunning notice from AFNI on behalf of Verizon Wireless, offering to settle at $341 bill for $170.61. That’s crazy, I tell my DW. I just paid my VW bill. I pay it every month within days of it being posted. These people are just trolling the water seeing what they can scoop up.
I’ve had a VW cell phone since August 2008, and I’ve been a customer in good standing. Prior to that my employer provided a phone, and prior to that I had a Verizon Wireless phone.
So I sent AFNI this letter:
Regarding your notice entitled “SETTLEMENT OFFER”, received 5 March 2010. I dispute this debt, and request that you verify with the creditor that such debt is valid, and supply me with documentation to that effect.
Furthermore, if you cannot verify the validity of the debt in question, I request that you notify me that you cannot verify the validity of the debt, remove my contact information from your files, and not contact me in the future regarding this matter.
Fast forward to April. Hey I think. I’ve been reading a lot of great things on this web site, myfico.com. I think I’ll see what I can do to clean up my credit, especially since I’ve paid off so much debt.
I look at the old reports. There’s AFNI. Hey, that’s the company that sent me that letter.
I start researching it, and decide that I may never get an answer to my March letter, and that many people have had success sending email to AFNI. So early on April 13, early in the morning, I send this email:
You sent me a notice entitled "SETTLEMENT OFFER", received on 5 March 2010. I responded that day, requesting validation of the debt.
Since I have not heard from you since then, I assume that you have been unable to validate the debt. In that case, I also expect that you will inform the credit reporting agencies that you have been unable to validate the debt, and have it removed from my credit reports.
The answer to which is silence.
So then, on April 15 I receive this letter:
This letter is to inform you that in accordance with 15 USC 1692(c) we are acknowledging your request to cease communication with you regarding this debt.
That is not what I was trying to get them to do!
Looking at the DOFD of June 2006, it is possible that the debt is valid, although I believe that it is more likely that it was a valid debt but that I resolved it with Verizon Wireless prior to August 2008.
I just recently signed up for USAA CreditCheck Monitoring Premium, and as of April 15, CCMP is still showing AFNI on my report. So if by any chance they’ve deleted, it hasn’t shown up yet.
While I’m not looking to pay money for no reason, it isn’t actually the money. I could PIF. I need to get it off my CR.
I live in Maryland, although the original account was opened when I lived in Virginia. I’m not clear on the SOL in this situation. But if I understand it correctly, that doesn’t affect the tradeline on the CR anyway.
Any suggestions? Do I call them? Do I send them a PFD letter? Wait?
Thanks for any suggestions.
I believe you should have sent them a Debt Validation letter, you still can, but since they believe you want to cease communication, they may not respond. If you decide to send it make sure its sent CMRRR.
heres info on SOL
Then a few days later I get a letter saying "we have validated the account with the original creditor, including account number and balance due".
I called them and spoke to a representative. I told him that I wasn't arguing that I didn't originally owe the debt but that I believed that I paid it before I opened my new account with Verizon. I said in the interests of resolving this issue I would be willing to settle for half the amount if they deleted the account with the credit agencies. The rep said they can't do that. I said that I would start to search through old bank statements online and on paper and see if I could find verification of payment.
I then sent an email to the same effect and got a reply, "This letter is to verify that we have filed a request with the credit bureaus to delete the account listed above from your credit report."
So then it occurs to me, what does that mean? Maybe they filed the request in their filing cabinets. Maybe they'll send a cancel the next day. There's really no recourse if they don't hold up their end of the bargain. I could have it in blood and it wouldn't make any difference.
So now I am wondering, maybe I should PIF, just in case they don't delete, then it will say paid in full, not settled for a lesser amount.
Anyone ever have them NOT actually have the record deleted?
I know it's hard, but I'd pull my OC records and wait it out.
Yea i have heard reports of them deleting as they said they would, basically now is the waiting and updating game. Remember if you owed a balance on the account they can still sale it to a new CA, lets hope that doesnt happen. Congrats on your success!
Well, I've sent off $170.60 to AFNI, by CMRRR. We'll see if they actually delete the TL. I am somewhat troubled by the thought that perhaps they are under no obligation to do so. We shall see, I suppose.
Just stay positive, i'm sure they'll delete just remember it can take up to 90 days for the CRA's to update. They(equifax) still haven't updated a late that was to be removed from my credit report.
I know this thread is a little old but I thought I would provide some info I gleaned along the way. Dispute the item online from all three credit bureaus. I did this twice for a 30 day late on a paid for car loan and for an AFNI collection (I already had the letter that they would request deletion it was just taking too long). Within 7 days the late was updated. Being smart and noticing when AFNI supplies updated information to the bureau (in my case the 4th of the month) I filed my dispute on the 30th. It was removed as of the fourth.
If you have the creditors letter that they will remove it, you can fax in to the bureau along with a brief letter advising them to update your report. Experience is notorious for refusing to provide their fax number, I was lucky enough (and very courteous) to speak with a rep who provided it to me. Good luck. Half the battle is getting the creditor to agree to delete.
If you have the creditors letter that they will remove it, you can fax in to the bureau along with a brief letter advising them to update your report.
Sure, you send it, but,,,,'
CRAs wont (or at least have no obligation to) delete based on a consumer interpretation, assertion, or documenttion of personal communications that you provide them in support of a consumer request for deletion. Consumer requests to a CRA for deltion from their credit files are almost not even worth the cost of postage, unless through, and part of, a dispute process under FRCA 611(a). They dont have that authority.
A creditor promise to delete usually has no legally specified date of deletion, and the CRA has no obligation to consider personal contracts between the consumer and any creditor/debt collector.
They delete when the party who posted the information informs them to delete their previously reported information.
CRAs are not a court of law.
Wait! I don't remember ever saying the CRA HAD to update their file based off of the letter I sent them. Let me go back and re-read my post . . . . Nope never implied they were obligated to do so. In fact I never stated or implied they were a government agency.
Not sure what the point of your post was. I'm sharing what worked for ME not making legal claims.
Anyways, to the original poster, persistence and a positive attitude goes a long way in repairing your credit report. Keep at it and don't take the first no as the final word.