I have a collection account with National Credit Systems for around $2000, and the CollectionShield360 status was updated this morning to Negative. This is what the info box shows:
What can I do if the status is "Negative"? A status of “Negative” is assigned when we were unable to successfully dispute an account directly with a Collection Agency on your behalf. In these situations, our clients have seen the best results by sending a dispute letter to the Credit Bureaus on their own. For your convenience, we prepared a credit bureau dispute letter for you to use.
Does anybody have have any idea what this actually means?
It means that they (the credit repair organization) has internally classified the collection as a "negative" item in their records.
It does not relate to any official status in your credit file.
For numerous reasons, dispute by a credit repair organization filed with a CRA may be dismissed by the CRA.
One typical reason is that their "dispute" did not provide a specific assertion of an actual inaccuracy in the reported collection.
The FCRA permits the CRA to dismiss any dispute as "frivolous or irrelevant" if it does not comply with the basic requirments of the dispute process.
A credit repair organization that files a dispute on behalf of a consumer with a CRA often will not provide any showing of any specific inaccuracy in reporting, often because the credit repair organization is simply shotgunning disputes without first having obtained clear basis from the consumer of an actual reporting inaccuracy.
The FCRA provides a second and alternate dispute process, referred to as a "direct dispute," wherein the consumer can choose to file a dispute directly with the furnisher of the disputed information, thus bypassing any involvment of the CRA or any credit repair organization.
The implementing rules for the direct dispute process (16 CFR 660.4 et seq) explicitly precludes any credit repair organization from filing a direct dispute.
It must come only from the consumer, with no involvement to the credit repair organization.
You can choose to file your own dispute, either with the CRA or directly with the furnisher, provided you include some assertion of a specific reporting inacuracy.
Is there any actual inaccuracy in the reported collection?
If not, then you might wish to move directly to attempting removal by making a PFD offer rather than filing a dispute.