Can a collection agency still report negatively on your credit report if you have disputed the amount owed?

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Can a collection agency still report negatively on your credit report if you have disputed the amount owed?

I moved out of my apartment on 5/1/09 and they put a collection on 7/09.The 1st contact I had was on 3/10 which was a demand letter. I promptly responded to dispute this amount. I have not heard back from the collection agency for 4 months. I lived in the apt. for 6 months and did the final walk through with the manager. She noted nothing wrong with paint, yet they are trying to charge me $711 for paint. I also initialed a red spot on the floor and they are charging me $818 to re-carpet and pad the entire place. What else can I do to dispute this amount? They put this on my credit 8 months before I even knew of this fraudulent amount which I dispute.

Asked on August 25, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Credit agencies only report what is reported to them.  If they reported it inaccurately or improperly then you have to dispute it with the credit reporting agency as well as the collection bureau.  The first thing I would do is to get a copy of your report from all bureaus (which you have probably already done).  Then I would send a letter to the collection bureau indicating that they have improperly reported an item on your credit report.  That this is improper and that you want it removed promptly.  Copy and send a copy of the letter to the State Attorney Generals' office consumer fraud division.  The write to the bureaus one by one and list the debt that you dispute.  Do not written anything more than something like "this is not mine and you have 30 days to remove it."  Keep checking back.  They have to verify the debt within 30 days and if they do not then they have to remove it.  Plain and simple.  Be diligent and follow with the attorney general.  Good luck.


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