First and foremost, I am completely addicted to this site now. What a great pool of knowledge! Keep up the good work. Now, on to the "good" stuff…
Long story short, I had an account witn 1st Financial Bank USA (FFBUSA) that I probably paid off three or four times over the course of it being opened. Eventually, due to little income (I was a student making $5.50 an hour working roughly 12 hours per week) I just could not "throw my money away" any longer — or at least that is how I rationalized ignoring the phone calls, letters, etc.
Fast forward a few years, I decided I would try to get my credit back in line. Before coming to these forums, I negociated a deal with FFBUSA that I would settle with a two-check payment totaling 40% of the balance. (I felt this was fair considering the credit limit on the card was $150 and the bulk of the $1,500 balance is fees.) They agreed to the terms I faxed to them, and even faxed me a letter back agreeing with the terms. Part of our agreement stipulated that upon accepting either of the checks they would report the account as "Paid in full" with a $0 balance.
Well, both checks cleared months ago, and on my Experian report, the balance is $0 but the accound is "Settled for less than the balance", and TransUnion shows a balance of $903, again "Settled…".
Obviously I am not happy with this. If FFBUSA is required to report accurately, should they not simply remove my tradline since they agreed to do something they cannot do? Or should they be required to report it as paid in full?
I called to inquire about the $903 balance on TransUnion. The representative at FFBUSA said to dispute with TU. I did. They simply "verfied" that their innacurate information is innacurate (I don't think that was the exact wording on the results page).
So, what do I do now? I'm mailing in a dispute to TU with copies of my faxed agreement, the agreement FFBUSA faxed me, and the letter FFBUSA mailed me stating "This letter is to verify that 1st Financial Bank USA settled the above referenced account in full and the remaining balance is zero." Do I have a case here?
Common misconception. Paying an account under whatever terms you negotiqate only requires them to then report that the account is now paid. This has little or no afffect on FICO scoring. It forcloses legal action on their part.
It does not require them to delete the account. In fact, the reporting manual used by all of the FCRAs and creditors specificall instructs them NOT to delete an account based on payment of debt on the account.
That is why many suggest a prior agreement that the creditor agree, in writing, to delete the account as a condition for payment. If you did not have a written PFD agreement prior to payment, they are just doing what their regs stipulate to them, and you have no grounds for aserting deletion from your CR.
So, what is my recourse for TransUnion's balance of $903. I have a written agreement from them that states they will report $0 balance and "paid in full"
I don't care if they delete or not. I care that the balance says $0. As of right now that $903 is way over my available credit making my TU utilization way over 100%
Thanks. I ended up calling TU. The nice lady — from another country I believe — informed me that I would have to dispute it again, but that they would just re-validate. So I disputed it with her on the phone. I then copied all correspondence I between myself and FFBUSA and mailed in a dispute. The day after I mailed the dispute I got a letter in the mail that they updated my report. Sure enough, it's now listed as $0 balance.
So I guess this is a minor win. A lot of hassle though. This system is… interesting.
Hi april 1987. Best of luck with ffbusa. They are very difficult to deal with. I don't have a specific name with contact information. I just called them everyday and gave them the same information going through supervisors, etc. until they finally realized that they were going to have to accept my terms. The difference between my and your account is that yours is (probably) current. Mine was a charge off with a bunch of extra penalties and fees that I convinced them was excessive. Essentially I told them I would pay what I owed them in terms of actual purchase power, i.e. my credit limit, plus 4 months worth of late fees. They accepted and we called it a day.
I've started sending letters to them weekly to see if they'll remove the baddies or even then entire tradeline. No luch so far.