Re: Collection Agency - New to Forums and need HELP!!![ Edited ]
08-06-2009 02:30 PM - edited 08-06-2009 02:33 PM
This is kind of an overwhelming list in this format. As you go along, you will get more and better responses if you group like with like, so all your collections together, separate from your medical collections, etc.
The first question is what are you willing to pay? Do you have funds to get started on paying these things off? That's the only way to proceed . . .
So the first thing on your list is killing you even though you have no lates on that credit card. One of the big things that make up your score is your utilization ("util"). Because you owe more than the limit on that card, your util is over 100%. You'll be scored highest when your util (overall, and separately, by card) is less than 9%. So you will get a big bang (scorewise) for your buck if you pay it off. Why did you close it?
For the CAs, you should first DV (to make sure that the CA even still has your account), and then try to negotiate for a PFD. If you don't know the abbreviations yet, check the stickied threads at the top of the forum to find them out. A paid CA is just as bad as an unpaid CA for score. But most loan officers will require that those be paid off prior to closing, so even if you can't get a deletion, you probably still will need to eventually pay those. But worth the shot at deletion.
For the medical CAs, you'll want to do some research on HIPAA. Supposedly, paid medical collections cannot report (just unpaid medical collections can report). But you'll want to follow the HIPAA process to make that happen. You can use the search feature in the upper left and type in HIPAA. It's pain, but some folks have had success with it.
For the lates on the car loans, the best you can do is try for a GW. Unless-they're reporting something incorrectly. If there's something incorrect, that's a different ball of wax entirely. But it sounds like you're not disagreeing with anything on your reports, just wishing the bad stuff wasn't there.
On your husband's list, as I mentioned above, paying off CAs will not help your score unless you negotiate a deletion. Additionally, both the OC and the CA can report on a single account--so you get dinged twice for the same bad account. Just keep that in mind.
For the cards that have not yet gone to CAs, you'll want to try to work something out with the OC so they don't go to collections. Looks the one is paid, what about the other one? Once paid, they can continue to report as COs. That's just an accounting term. But look carefully to make sure they are reporting correctly in terms of your recollection of events--that is, when the lates occurred, etc.
You definitely have a lot of repairing to do before you're ready to begin rebuilding. But there are lots of folks here who can help.
ETA: don't talk on the phone to CAs, do all the negotiations in writing. You can try to negotiate for PFD with OCs, but that's rare, and most won't do it.