It would be strange if TU, EQ, and EX were three divisions within the same company. But they are not. They are three different companies. EQ made an internal decision to remove it, based on its own internal policies and the particular EQ team that reviewed it. EX came to a different conclusion.
You may be able to get better advice from folks here on next steps if you describe the thing you disputed more fully. You call it a "utility bill." How does it appear on your report? I am guessing that the utility company turned it over to a collection agency at some point, and it is the collection that you are disputing. Is that right?
What was the balance on it?
Finally, is there something untrue about the record as it appears on your report? In other words, did that utility company submit a bill to you for that amount (incuding possibly late fees etc.)? Or is it more that you are just trying to get this negative record off your report, and you are hoping that a dispute will be the best way to make that happen?
Thanks Camelot! That's really helpful.
Since the collection in question is almost seven years old, is there anything wrong with just waiting a few more months? At that point it really will be 7 years old, and then it should fall off.
Are you trying to buying a house in the next 90 days, or is there any other reason that just allowing time to take care of it is not the simplest solution?
One thing I am hearing from you is that it's possible that the collection as it appears on your report is fully legitimate -- it happened a long time ago, there were was a divorce and an ex in the mix, you really can't be sure etc. The dispute process is ideally for when you have a clear sense that the record is untrue in some sense. Thus, if I had a credit card that showed a date opened of Dec 2016, when in fact it I knew it was opened in Dec 2006, I could dispute the date.
Because the record might well be correct, and because it is about to fall off anyway, perhaps just allowing time to address it is best. Your thoughts?