I found out earlier this year I was a victim of identity theft. One of the accounts, the largest at ~$1,300, was an AT&T/Uverse account, with collections by CA Diversified Consultants. After following specific directions to fill out an AT&T fraud packet only and send only to AT&T, and send the police report to Diversified, AT&T sent me a letter almost two months ago saying:
"You recently contacted us about xxxx account. Based on our investigation, we have concluded that you are not responsible for this bill. We have sent authorization to our outside Collection Agency to remove all negative references in your credit record regarding this debt. Please allow 60-90 days for your credit record to reflect this removal."
I was trying to be patient to see the changes to my credit reports (I'm trying to buy a house soon), but then I got an alert that Diversified reported the AT&T account collections to Equifax which hadn't previously reported the account. In my fury, I called Diversified. I spoke to two supervisors who said their information says that AT&T re-opened the account because of insufficient fraud paperwork. I immediately talked to an Identity Theft agent at AT&T who said the account cannot be re-opened, it was closed as fraudulent and the account recalled with Diversified. I called Diversified and they said "well that's not what our info says, send us the letter about the account closure if you want but until AT&T closes the account we can't do anything". I threated legal action because this is ridiculous! They didn't care.
DOES ANY ONE HAVE ANY TIPS?!?! Please!
Never threaten lawsuits over the phone.
Get your paperwork together, send an ITS letter to the collection agency, and if they don't respond properly, file a lawsuit in your local court.
I understand that threatending lawsuit over the phone won't actually accomplish anything, but I'm curious why you say never ABCD2199?
Because they hold the power over the phone. Yelling at a collection agent may just make them flag you as aggressive and who knows what they can do with the powers they have over my profile.
If I call a creditor, it is ONLY to tell them what I need them to do and what I want them to say in writing after they do it. I never negotiate over the phone, I never raise my voice, I never make threats.
When I had to deal with a well known horrible collection agency years ago, I answered their phone call, told them I have no knowledge of the debt they're calling about but since it was only $800 I'd be willing to consider paying it in full if they would put in writing what the terms of the payoff would be.
They wrote me a letter saying they would note the account as paid in full, so I called them back, acted very nice and said I would pay it the day I receive a letter saying they would delete the entire tradeline AND agree not to resell it AND agree to no more collection activities if I paid them $400 within 2 weeks of receiving the letter.
They sent that latter, I paid them, collection was deleted a few weeks later as agreed to.
Wasn't that difficult. They don't care about you, they want your money in the easiest and least stressful way possible.
If you can't keep your cool, don't use the phone. Tell them to do it in writing instead.
Understood, thanks for the reply. Does any one have any tips on handling this going forward? The OC says it is fraudulent and closed, but the CA seems to ignore that info and won't stop reporting it. How do I get them to stop reporting it?
The FCRA 605B identity theft process does not involve any participation or approval of the debt collector or creditor in having the information blocked from your credit report.
If you send the police report to the CRA, along with a copy of a standard FTC fraud affidavit, the CRA must block the information from your credit report without any involvement of approval of the party who reported the information that is asserted to have resulted from identity theft. That should get immediate block from your credit report.
The issue of whether or not there was actual identity theft is a separate matter that you should still pursue, as it can result in a finding of no debt in fact, which is appatently your situation, but resolution of that issue is not required in order to remove any credit reporting that is related to the asserted identity theft.
Check out the thorough discussion of the FCRA identity theft process presented in the sticky-thread in the upper portion of the General Credit Topics forum.
That will provide detailed discussion of the block of any credit reporting by the CRA.