Question: My question is this, I just got a call from the Sr. Vice President of Omni Financial Service, a company who is notorious for making bad, high interest loans to military members. I was one of them that fell for their tactics when I was a young soldier. Before leaving the military I ensured that as a Non-commissioned Officer at this time, this debt was paid.
It was being paid by allotment straight from my military pay. The SVP tells me over the phone today that I paid 24 out 26 payments and that if I paid $341 today he would wipe it off my report.
This is AFTER I had informed him I was already told prior to my departure from the Army that the debt was paid in full. He then tells me that a payment was made in 2005 for $341 from one of my old credit cards (more than likely my ex wife who paid this) as I was out of town for a certification for my DoD position I took after leaving the Army.
Long story short, not only did I not know about this payment being made in 2005, but as sure as the sun comes up each morning, that this debt was completely paid off. My bureau reflects a KD from them and last reported in 2005, mind you nothing before or after that entry. I was not even aware of it, since I had thought the debt paid until I pulled my report as my 2nd wife and I are considering buying a home this fall, so I pulled all three bureaus.
Now, here is the tricky part….all of my financial documents that I had kept since 1998/1999 until 2008 were shredded to make room for the 2009-current years documents. So any proof of this is probably in the coffee cup I am drinking out of by now.
The account is due to be removed Aug 2011 due to the 7 years reporting date, but I am trying to have it knocked off now so it does not have any effect on my ability to purchase a home.
Is there any new or changes in laws that I can present that says, if this was a debt why is there no entries reported on my bureau after the only listing you show? If the account was paid off and you still collected that money from my ex wife (don’t ask we did not talk about money she had hers and I had mine), even after I was told by an employee when I called (which i did tell the SVP today who acted like I was the biggest liar since Pinnochio, big surprise) then why was there no active attempt to collect the debt?
I am in IT now, so I attest to accurate data reporting and I disputed the validity of the debt. he is sending my original contract as proof (original my ass) and expects me to investigate on my end. Seriously?
This was 2007 and nearly 7 years ago, not only are ALL my past accounts long closed but even getting the information is next to impossible. What is my best option to have this company DELETE this account entirely right now? Any serious help will be appreciated, and I already know mistakes made here, got it moving on……someone???
Answer: Normally, I would suggest consumers try a few strategies to get collection accounts deleted:
(1) Dispute the collection to the credit bureau first, if it is not verified it may be deleted and you are done.
(2) If verified as accurate hit the collection agency with a debt validation request and make sure you put in the request a cease and desist all telephone communication. You want to deal in writing only.
(3) If the debt is invalid, meaning they cannot provide proper debt validation send a letter to the credit bureau disputing the invalid debt and request it be deleted.
(4) If the debt is valid you may want to consider doing a lump sum payment in exchange for a deletion.
(5) You can also try to find a factual error to dispute in the listing, such as an incorrect amount or date and request a deletion. The Fair Credit Reporting Act says credit bureaus can only report “accurate” information.
But, in your case, I would suggest the following:
a. Let sleeping dogs lie or you may end up re-starting the statute of limitations and extending the credit reporting period just by acknowledging you owe the debt or making a payment or even payment arrangements on the debt. Stay off the phone, deal in writing only.
b. It is not your duty to “investigate” in validating a debt and it is doubtful they have any original documentation that would constitute proper debt validation. Besides, debt validation may not help you if you are dealing directly with the original creditor. Original creditors are not subject to debt validation as that is a rule under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, applicable only to third-party debt collectors. Even in-house collection agents are not covered by the FDCPA. Only if they are using an outside collection agency (third-party) would debt validation apply.
c. You are only a few months within of the 7-year reporting time limit. Let it fall off. Sometimes the credit bureaus will delete an item early if you dispute it a month or so in advance of the deletion date.