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Old 08-11-2008, 07:32 AM
 
6 posts, read 10,589 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi, I came across this forum a few weeks ago when we started the process of buying our first house.

Now I have an issue that I could use some advice on.

Our loan is currently in processing and so far everything was looking good until this weekend.

I received in the mail a bill from a collection agency that said that I owed on a cable account which I paid over 2 and half years ago when we moved away from the city where the company was in.

The bill account was placed into collection by the current cable company which bought out the old cable company, through which we had our old cable service.

This bill was absolutely paid as I remember the circumstances when we paid it. The first bill never got to us because they company did not change our address and when we didn't get the bill we called them and they said that a second notice was sent to our old address which we got forwarded to us a few days after I paid the bill over the phone with the rep. Now it is almost three years later and the new cable company who purchased the old one is saying we never paid it.

I check my credit report yearly and never saw any indication that there was a problem with this account. Now I am scared witless that this is going to impact our loan which is in process.

So my question is...

Do I just pay this thing off to get it off my back? This would tick me off since we already paid it, but being that it was almost 3 years ago I have no records left that I paid it. I shred old bills and statements after 2 years.

Do I fight it, which is what I would normally do if I wasn't knee deep in a mortgage loan process.

And how will this impact the loan progress? I had a couple of items that were paid collections to begin with that were showing up on my credit report, so I am very nervous that this item will cause some serious damage.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
5,137 posts, read 15,097,622 times
Reputation: 1007
You should only be concerned if it shows up on your credit report.

I would look at your credit on http://annualcreditreport.com, and make sure to review all 3 credit reports.

Each bureau gives you the option to dispute the item ONLINE without having to send a letter.

You can also call up the 3 credit bureaus directly, and tell them that you have a mortgage in process, and to dispute the item. This will help the process by taking 3-5 days instead of 30days.

If they do not appear on your credit report, then I would sign up for credit alerts. I would use the products from myfico.com as their scores are almost alike with the ones we pull for a mortgage.
Pulling your credit score with the bureaus directly may have a huge difference in the scores. They use different scoring models.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
4,852 posts, read 8,323,197 times
Reputation: 5488
Smile Credit issue

I have a credit background. When an inquiry was made on your file, this company may have a flag out there for notification. They contacted you.

Since you are already deep in the process and I assume a credit report has already been pulled, they will use that one. What I would do is write a letter of dispute within the first 30 days of being notified and that will give you time to research the debt.

Let me know how it goes.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,615 posts, read 12,425,684 times
Reputation: 2525
Go to creditboards... you'll need to send a letter to the credit bureaus if they actually show this item on your report. Don't correspond with the collection agency in any way. I repeat - DO NOT CONTACT THE COLLECTION AGENCY! That'll really get the ball rolling in a bad way!
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:11 AM
 
6 posts, read 10,589 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for the advice.

I already pulled my credit reports for this year when we decided to try buying a house. I'm hoping they are not to expensive to pull again.

Bette, Yes the mortgage company has already pulled a credit report, so I may be ok on that end. But who would I write the dispute to? the collection agency or the credit bureaus?

Steve, Thanks, I wasn't sure if I should contact the agency. Should I contact the cable company though?
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Twilight Zone
295 posts, read 1,061,000 times
Reputation: 524
In addition to disputing the charge: If you paid the cable bill through your bank or credit card, you can contact your bank or credit card company & get a duplicate of the check or the credit card statement showing the payment to the cable company.
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,615 posts, read 12,425,684 times
Reputation: 2525
It gets quite complicated. There's a forum dedicated to issues just like these. CreditBoards (Powered by Invision Power Board)

I would go there; the specifics of this go beyond my know-how pretty quickly. I do know one thing, and it's to absolutely under no circumstances contact the collection agency. Who you contact depends on whether it's on your credit report or not. You may need whatever kind of proof you have that it was paid.
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Southeast Georgia
65 posts, read 215,935 times
Reputation: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by fsttimebuyer View Post
Thanks for the advice.

I already pulled my credit reports for this year when we decided to try buying a house. I'm hoping they are not to expensive to pull again.
It depends on what state you live in. Here in Georgia we are entitled to two free credit reports a year from each of the three credit bureaus, this in addition to the free report allowed me by the federal requirement. This means I can pull my credit report three times a year from all three bureaus for free. Check and see if your state requires a free credit report in addition to the one federal allows.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,139 posts, read 6,907,284 times
Reputation: 2912
What is so bad about contacting the collection agency?

It worked for me.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
5,137 posts, read 15,097,622 times
Reputation: 1007
1. Good luck trying to negotiate with them after they see that you're applying for a mortgage. They'll want the full amount because they need you need it desperately

2. Once you make a payment or start negotiating an old debt, it will restart the statute of limitations of the debt. This is bad news if you dont have full intentions of paying it all off at once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wankel7 View Post
What is so bad about contacting the collection agency?

It worked for me.
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