Detroit, MI asked in Consumer Law and Collections for Pennsylvania

Q: A collector that has been previously removed from my credit report keeps re-appearing as new account(s). What to do?

I’ve never received a notice from this collector or the original biller, I’ve disputed them on my credit and had them removed. They return to my report the next month as a new account. This has happened for 15 accounts now from the same single visit to original biller over four years ago. Is this an issue of needing to mail original biller for proof of valid debt? Is it too late since being in collections (although never receiving notice prior)? Do I need a debt/consumer attorney? Also this is a medical debt that should have been applied to our insurance at the time. I understand I may owe money but I want the actual valid amount and to hopefully get this off my credit report.

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2 Lawyer Answers
David Kennedy Bifulco
David Kennedy Bifulco
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Bethlehem, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: You should contact a local consumer credit attorney to review your credit report and the information you have on the account being reported. An unpaid account can remain on your credit report for 7 years. If you dispute the account and they validate it with the credit reporting agency it will just go back on your report.

Daniel Edward Mueller agrees with this answer

Daniel Edward Mueller
Daniel Edward Mueller
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: I agree with my Pennsylvania colleague. It sounds like the creditor has verified the debt in response to the credit bureaus' investigations. However, if they are misreporting the matter (e.g., claiming a false last payment date, misrepresenting the nature of the debt, etc.), you may have a claim under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

There is some good news regarding credit reporting. The three main credit bureaus will begin removing paid medical debt from credit reports in July of 2022. In addition, they will no longer report medical debt under $500 or less than one-year-old. Of course, how this plays out remains to be seen.

It is not too late to demand validation of the debt from the collector. However, you may have statute of limitations and other defenses and counterclaims. Therefore, I'd suggest speaking to a debtor defense attorney about your options before doing anything else.

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