If you have a collection on your credit report, you may be wondering how to dispute it. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.
Checkout this video:
Check the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the time frame creditors have to sue you for nonpayment. Once the statute of limitations expires, creditors can no longer sue you or report the debt to the credit bureaus. The statute of limitations is different in every state, and it varies depending on the type of debt. The statute of limitations on credit card debt is usually between three and six years, although it can be as high as 10 years in some states. The statute of limitations on medical debt is usually between two and four years, although it can be as high as seven years in some states. The statute of limitations on student loan debt is usually 20 years, although it can be as high as 25 years in some states. If the statute of limitations has expired, you can still dispute the debt, but the creditor may not be able to take any legal action against you if you don’t pay.
To find out the statute of limitations on your debt, contact your state attorney general’s office or the state department of consumer affairs. You can also check your state’s statutes online at www.statutes.org/states/.
If you decide to dispute a collection on your credit report, you will need to gather any documentation you have that supports your case. This could include statements from the original creditor, payment records, correspondence with the collection agency, and anything else that you feel would be helpful in proving your case. Once you have gathered all of your documentation, you will need to write a dispute letter to the collection agency.
In your dispute letter, you will need to include your name, address, and contact information. You will also need to include the name of the collection agency and the account number for the debt in question. In the body of the letter, you will need to state why you are disputing the debt and include any supporting documentation. Once you have written your letter, you will need to send it to the collection agency via certified mail with return receipt requested.
You should expect to receive a response from the collection agency within 30 days. If they do not responding within that time frame, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Request a Goodwill Deletion
If you have a collection account that’s been paid or is otherwise considered “satisfied,” you can ask the creditor to remove it from your credit report with a goodwill deletion letter.
A goodwill deletion is when a creditor agrees to delete a negative item from your credit report because you’ve demonstrated good financial behavior (like making on-time payments).
To request a goodwill deletion, reach out to the creditor in writing and explain why you deserve to have the negative item deleted. Ask them to delete it as a show of good will.
If the creditor agrees, they’ll send you a letter confirming that the item has been deleted from your credit report.
Dispute the Debt with the Collection Agency
If you dispute the debt with the collection agency, they will have 30 days to provide you with verification of the debt. This is usually in the form of a letter from the original creditor indicating that you owe the debt and that the collection agency now has the right to collect it from you. If the collection agency does not provide you with verification of the debt within 30 days, they must remove the collection from your credit report.
Dispute the Debt with the Credit Bureaus
The credit bureaus are required by law to investigate your dispute and remove the collection if it can’t verify that the debt is yours or that you owe it. This process is called a “goodwill adjustment.”
You should dispute the debt with the credit bureau first, and if that doesn’t work, you can try disputing it with the collection agency.
Here’s how to dispute a collection with the credit bureaus:
1. Send a “goodwill letter” to the collection agency asking them to remove the debt from your credit report. Be sure to include documentation that proves the debt isn’t yours or that you’ve already paid it.
2. If the collection agency refuses to remove the debt, file a dispute with the credit bureaus. You can do this online, by phone, or by mail. Include any documentation that proves the debt isn’t yours or that you’ve already paid it.
-Online: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion allow you to file a dispute online.
-By phone: Call each credit bureau individually and file your dispute over the phone. Experian: 1-888-397-3742 Equifax: 1-800-685-1111 TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800
-By mail: Download and print dispute forms from each credit bureau’s website, fill them out, and mail them along with any supporting documentation to each credit bureau at their respective addresses: Experian disputes P.O. Box 4500 Allen, TX 75013 TransUnion Consumer Solutions P.O”. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19016 Equifax Information Services LLC P”.O”. Box 740256 Atlanta GA 30374
Wait for the Results
If you dispute a collection on your credit report, the collection agency will have 30 days to respond. The agency will either remove the collection from your report or provide evidence that the debt is valid. If the debt is valid, it will remain on your credit report for seven years from the date you first missed a payment.