I have an old account with Entergy that I opened up for a family member (a huge mistake on my part)...account was opened in 2010. The family member and I became on bad terms a couple years ago, and they closed the account by pretending to be me, leaving a balance. I didn't know the account was closed until I saw it reporting on my credit report. Entergy placed the closed account on my report, and I've attempted, multiple times, to pay them in exchange for removal, but they declined.
After looking in a Facebook group for credit repair, it was said that a utility company cannot just slap a closed account on a credit report...it must be open then closed. It was also said that utility companies usually assign the account to collection companies to collect, and it's considered unfair reporting if they don't, due to the fact they are only reporting the negative chargeoff. If the utility company chooses to report, then they must do it fairly, which they aren't by only showing one negative payment month. Is this true? It seems a little far fetched to me.
I'm so annoyed with this tradeline. It's only for $100 and I have no problem paying it, I'm just so annoyed that this bill is sitting on my credit reports, and I'm having to work so hard over something I didn't even do. Lesson definitely learned regarding allowing anyone to use my name for bills...I was 18 at the time and didn't know any better.
In the past, Ive only ever had utility companies report as collections and never a charged off debt or closed account. I am not sure what the protocol is for reporting for utility companies but I would dispute it with the bureaus in writing, not online dispute. If it's fraudulent then I would let them know that.
Unfortunately, this doesn't fall under fraud. OP opened the account in their name, which makes OP responsible financially for any charges. Fraud won't cover this. Even though the account was closed by someone else, the balance owed was still the OP's responsibility whether open or closed. Because of that, there's no sense in trying to claim fraud on this.
Utility bills will affect your credit score if you miss enough payments that the provider sends your debt to a collection agency or charges off your account, assuming you're not going to pay it. Just like co-signing any other type of credit/service. Your responsible. Another case on the forums of co-signing gone wrong. Pay it so it shows that the debt is paid. Lesson learned. Sorry it happened.