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Pros/Cons of Paying a Disputed Collection


Pros/Cons of Paying a Disputed Collection

Hello myFICO Community,


I've done much reading throughout this forum, but I haven't found a post that quite fits my situation.  I hope to seek your advice, as I'm less than 5 points from a mortgage approval on good terms, but short on time.  Please know that any information or resources you might point me to are greatly appreciated.


Long story short, I went all the way to reserving a settlement date on a home before the lender figured out that the property wasn't approved for an FHA loan.  I've changed lenders and am very close to qualify for conventional, but I need those few points to get there.


My recent credit history (past few years) is very good, but the overall profile suffers from derogatory marks from about five years ago.  I went through a job layoff and fell behind on payments on several accounts, with a few going as late as 120 days.  I stuck with and paid off those accounts in full, and settled on one with the highest balance for less than the full amount. 


I also have one disputed medical collection, which is scheduled to fall off of my report in Fall 2013.  After reading PFD success stories on here, I think I shot myself in the foot by contacting the agency and offering to pay the full balance if they would delete the derogatory reporting.  They stated that they will only update the account to a "paid collection", which sounds like it would have a short-term derogatory effect.  I do have concerns that contacting the agency may have reopened the case, although I explicitly stated that the account is disputed and I do not recognize this as my debt.


My thoughts were to contact the lenders where I had the paid credit cards with some late payments, and seek goodwill adjustments.  I'm holding a yard sale to make some quick cash that I could use to pay down my highest credit-to-limit balance on a credit card.  I generally keep low balances, but I did do a little holiday shopping with one.  I didn't realize at that time I'd be seizing an opportunity to pursue a home so quickly.


I've also gone through my credit report and found some incorrect data, two instances where the reported credit limit on accounts was less than the actual limits.  I've filed disputes on these with the CRAs and hopefully this turns around relatively quickly.


Are there other things that I could do in my situation?  Is there still a chance to seek PFD on the medical bill, or should I seek other avenues to boost my score and (hopefully) let this one disappear in the Fall? 


Again, thanks for you time and advice.

Message 1 of 4
Epic Contributor

Re: Pros/Cons of Paying a Disputed Collection

Message 2 of 4

Re: Pros/Cons of Paying a Disputed Collection

Hi guiness56,


The debt is mine.  It's in dispute because my insurance company had authorized the payment prior to the service, then turned around and sent me a bill.  A few years back I was prepared to just pay it, then went through another layoff with a longer period of unemployment and completely dropped the ball on it.   



Message 3 of 4
Epic Contributor

Re: Pros/Cons of Paying a Disputed Collection

That seems odd that they authorized it then turned around and billed you.  I would dispute it too.

Message 4 of 4