Many people in credit repair programs need some level of help with collectors. Between phone calls, dunning letters, and the often cryptic list of debts that appear on credit reports, it can be problematic to identify legitimate debts and determine the best course of action.
A Unique Breed of Collector
There is a unique breed of collector that specializes in buying and dunning ancient collection accounts; debts over seven years old. These accounts are unattractive to first level collectors as they are beyond the statute of limitation for enforcing through the courts. They are also beyond the credit bureau reporting period limit.
Profiting From Ignorance
Of interest to anyone in a credit repair program, the age of the debt means that legal action can be neutralized by the statute of limitation defense, and any threat of reporting to the credit bureaus is not valid. The lack of legal leverage does not stop these collectors from vigorously practicing their craft. In fact, these last-chance collectors represent the most profitable part of the collection industry!
Credit Repair Education Pays
What is their secret? They prey on consumers who do not know their rights. If you are contacted by a collector about an ancient debt, just examine the statute of limitation, check out the reporting period limit, and send the collector a cease communication letter. They will go away forever. There are many great credit repair resources online. A little education goes a long way!
Another Common Quirk
While a bit of credit repair education can arm you with the knowledge you need to vanquish these collectors of ancient debt, there is another type of collection account that can be eliminated quickly with a dispute letter, if you know what to look for…
A significant percentage of all collections on credit reports fall into a very special category. These accounts are everywhere. Left alone they can linger for years, in some cases decades. They have the power to depress the credit scores of their unfortunate victims, often dramatically. And they should not be reporting.
Failure to Vacate
Collectors buy and sell debt. Over the last decade this practice has become commonplace, and much more frequent. Many collectors will sell an account in as little as six months if it does not pay. When an account is sold the collector is supposed to vacate all credit bureau reporting. Sadly, this often does not happen. And yet a little credit repair could eliminate the offending account completely.
The Credit Repair Solution
If you have collections on your credit report, it is fairly certain that you are a victim of this type of defunct account. Credit repair is the answer. The first and most obvious indication is the presence of more than one collection account for the same debt. If you examine your credit report and find several collections for the same debt, all but one is erroneous. And the last one may be too!
The Value of Vigilance
Given the speed at which collectors churn their portfolio these days. It is quite feasible that even the most recent collection on your report is in error. Once you remove all of the duplicates, examine the last, most recent, account. It may be legitimate, but if the reporting date is over six months, or if you have been contacted by a different collector since the reporting date, it may be a candidate for credit repair as well. Good luck!
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