Well, thanks for the help. I will send GW letters to both these negative accounts - DTE Energy and NCO Financial.
Although I did not actually want the electric bill in my name, and my mom drove the costs up herself, I don't feel they will believe me if I tell them that. I don't want to sound like I'm trying to fake them out and not take responsibility for my own actions, even if they really WEREN'T my actions. I'm confused about what I should write to DTE Energy. My family did go through A LOT that year. My sister was in the hospital the whole year (the winter the electrical bill skyrocketed due to heating costs, and then the summer the bill for all that was due and then wasn't paid) and my dad died the month the first big bill arrived. (I have his death certificate...would they want to see it?) Everything during that time was in total disarray, and I'm surprised that more bills didn't get messed up...perhaps they did, even, although this was the only one in my name.
Okay, so here's the deal. As soon as I saw this new thing on my credit report (the NCO Financial negative item that appeared several days ago) I went searching high and low for reports on any success people have had on getting NCO Financial to remove an item off their credit report. I emailed NCO Financial twice - once to their official email address, once to an email address I found here.
ANYWAY - to make a long story short - today the NCO Financial thing is OFF my credit report! I can't even believe it. No one has contacted me at all. No one responded to any email, no one has sent me a letter. I didn't think that was weird because I emailed sunday night and it's only thursday, but this is AWESOME. I'm only looking at one credit report, however. I have not seen all 3.
But HURRAY. I am so bolstered by this.
This thread has been totally up and down, I know. Even I'm having a hard time following all this
Next step is to GW DTE Energy.
I want to buy all 3 credit reports (however, I am SUPER POOR so that's kind of difficult) but I also want to wait and see if anyone contacts me with some info on what happened. If they send me a letter telling me they have decided to remove this off my credit report, should I be confident they took it off all 3?