Credit Card Center Advertiser Disclosure†
01-17-2012 05:48 PM - edited 01-17-2012 05:59 PM
Not sure if this is a dumb question or not, but I'm hoping there's a simple answer.
Recently while checking my Experian credit report I found that Trident Asset Management has put a collection on my CR for $93. The original creditor is Columbia DVD. Today I called Columbia DVD and they said that did have an account under my maiden name and an old address from 2005, but couldn't give me any other details. I have absolutely no memory of having a Columbia DVD account ever, however I do remember having a BMG Music account around that time which I fulfilled my obligations for and closed the account... not sure if they're related.
Anyway... I'm currently drafting a DV letter to Trident Asset Management. As of 2009 I've used by married name, but this account is apparently from 2005 (before I was married). Do I use my married or maiden name (or both) in correspondence? Basically I think this collection is bogus and want if off my record, but I don't want it delayed by a name-change/confirming identity issue. My TU and EQ scores are very respectable and I've worked hard to get them that way, but this collection is really holding back my EX score.
01-17-2012 07:06 PM - edited 01-17-2012 07:06 PM
Thank you for replying. I'll probably do the same.
01-17-2012 07:30 PM - edited 01-17-2012 07:32 PM
I would presume that, since they reported to your CR, they sent the required dunning notice within 5 days thereafter. I would use the name they provided in their dunning notice to ensure they match it, along with their collection account number. I would also clarify the name change due to marriage, and then sign it either way.
I dont see any question of your identity if you provide at least the name they have in their records.
A suggestion, if you wanted to pursue the "account not mine" approach. As a supplement to simply sending a DV, you could assert that, since you have no knowledge of any account with this creditor, that the account may have resulted from possible identity theft. A truthful and logical assumption.
FCRA 615(g) provides that, if the consumer (or any other party) notifies a debt collector that any information pertaining to the debt may be fradulent or the result of identity theft, the consumer may then request the debt collector "to provide to the consumer all information to which the consumer would otherwise be entitled if the consumer were not a victim of idenitty theft, but wished to dispute the debt under provision of law applicable to that person." A mini-FCRA dispute process without having to file an actual dispute under either FCRA 611(a) or 623(a)(8). A lot more comprehensive than the broad DV requirement to merely "obtain" verification from the creditor. And, unlike the FCRA dispute processes, such request does not have to be based on an assertion in inaccuracy in actual credit reporting. It goes to the accuracy of the debt, not credit reporting.
01-17-2012 09:44 PM
Thanks for your reply and for the information, Robert.
No, I never received a dunning notice from Trident, nor have I ever received any bills/notices from Columbia DVD. I also have been extremely vigilant in updating my personal information with all 3 credit bureaus whenever I have moved, changed employers, and have made sure a current phone number is always on file. My attention to these details is due to having a purse with my SS Card inside it stolen in 2005 - I also had an alert put on my files with the credit bureaus for about half of 2005 and all of 2006. Since then I have typically checked my TU and EQ reports approx. every 3 months (admittedly I have become lax in checking my EX reports in the last 2-3 years, which is why I'm just discovering this collection today - it says this CA account was opened 3/2010). Considering my efforts to keep my contact information up to date and accurate these past 6-7 years, I think it's ridiculous that the OC/CA has never contacted me personally regarding this debt.
I suppose Identity Theft is possible. I will look into the regulations you provided and consider my options. Thank you.
Truthfully, the weaker side of me is tempted to write a PFD letter, pay the $93, and not go through the waiting and hassle the dispute process seems to involve. On the other hand, this seems like extortion and I'm FURIOUS that it's so easy for these collection agencies to blemish people's CRs without any contact or proof.
01-18-2012 07:20 AM
I also had an account with Trident, I didn't get a duning notice either and
have had the same PO Box for 10 years!! However Trident is good at PFD's
They report on the 23rd of each month so if it comes back verified they will
also include a letter stateing that if you PIF they will delete.