My wife just received a collection notice from Universal Fidelity, LP for $9.xx at Hollywood from 2009. She does not believe she had any outstanding late payments.
I about blew a gasket, as will need to be applying for some bus loans soon (with wife as a co-signer) and my wife has an 800+ credit score; I use to have 750+ but a small medical collections - soon to expire - dropped me to high 690/low 700s. Anyways, researched it a bit and found this (bottom line, if you don't think you owe it, contest it; apparently the matter cannot be reported on your credit report):
Universal Fidelity Webpage (lot's of info on Hollywood matter, including how to contest)
Here is the email we sent (Since I am doing this for my wife, I emailed them at the address specified on their website):
With respect to the captioned EDP # and Account No: ******, I dispute this debt - I believe I paid all outstanding late payments to Hollywood the last time I rented a movie.
Please contact me at ***** with any questions.
Hope this helps others.
What you are talking about is debt validation. Yes they can report it on your credit report but then are supposed to send you a dunning notice if they haven't already. From the receipt of that notice you have 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt. Once they receive it, they either validate or stop collection activity. There are no stipulations that say it has to be deleted.
For your protection, I would never email them. I would send it CMRR.
From what I've read, tons of people had Hollywood Video accounts go to collections after they went under. However, the collection agencies caught a lot of flak for their practices, and some state governments took action. IIRC, it was stated that Hollywood Video collections cannot be reported to the CRAs per some government action. Of course, it was advised that you pay the debt if it is indeed yours. I've been getting letters from West Bay Acquisitions for a while now for a $29.99 collection (ex rented UFC Undisputed 2009 with my card and never returned it o.O), yet it's not on any of my reports. I'll get around to paying it here soon...
I just read an article and yes, it specifically states that no CRA reporting will be done. It also states that if the consumer disputes the debt it will be dropped. This is an agreement between Hollywood and all 50 states.