• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

collection on an already paid debt

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.



Residents of Oregon, currently residing in Texas

My husband had some credit problems several years ago, before we were married. He settled most of the collections back in '95 and one in '98 and hasn't had any problems since then. We've bought a house and two new cars with only little problems and no outstanding debts have shown up on any credit reports we have seen. A couple months ago, I wrote letters to the three major credit agencies requesting information on how to clean my husbands credit up a bit, because it has been affecting our rates poorly, even though my credit is spotless. One of the reports we recieved claimed that my husband has an outstanding debt, that he in fact paid off in '98. I called the collection agency to investigate and they told me that the account was too old for them to look up and transferred me to another department where they proceeded to tell me that my husband in fact has another outstanding debt from a different account, which he insists he paid off as well (although we have yet to see this on any credit report, since '95 it's been reported as paid off). Equifax, who owns both these debts, told me that I would have to call the companies my husband paid and get letters confirming the payments, yet when I contacted them, they both said that they no longer have any files on him since they sold the accounts to Equifax. I have spoke to Equifax several times since then and their stance on the issue is basically that it is our problem and that we need to come up with proof. My husband has kept no records of the payments, nor has he kept his old bank statements, so we can only get proof for the '98 payoff. Equifax couldn't even tell me the last payment my husband had made to either account. They claim he hasn't paid, yet have no proof either way and no one seems to have any information regarding his payment history on the accounts. I find it ironic that all the sudden after 6 1/2 years for one account and 3 1/2 for another that these paid off accounts have suddenly sprung back up on his record, that both the accounts are owned by Equifax and that they were only purchased within the last year. This development means 7 more years of bad credit for someone who has grown up a lot and not misused his credit in a long time. If he really still owed the debt, why would they report it as being paid off for 6 1/2 years? How can we fight this without any proof? And what exactly constitutes sufficient proof? Don't they need some sort of proof to say that he hasn't paid? I just want him to stop being punished for something he did when he was eighteen and now it seems like he'll never get out from under this.



Finding proof that he paid

How did your husband paid off those debts? If it was done by check, then maybe you can request the record of those checks from the bank where he had an account at the time.
Be advised that for tax reasons (in event of an IRS audit),
you need as a married couple to keep all financial records
for at least 7 years if not 10 years.
If you are still dealing with Equifax thru a collection agency,then the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 USC section 1692g) requires third-party creditors, such as collection agencies to provide written proof that a debt
claim is valid. The fact that, after all this time neither Equifax nor their hired debt collector filed for a judgement against you in court would seem to indicate that no such written proof exists. To read this statue for yourself, go to http://www.findlaw.com and then type "15 U.S.C. 1692" into their search engine.

DISCLAIMER: I am neither an attorney nor a legal professional licensed to practice law in any state.
Therefore, the preceding is my opinion only and should
not be contrued to be privledged information, or as
part of an attorney-client relationship.

[Edited by ARTFUL CODGER on 05-31-2001 at 01:42 PM]


Unfortunately it is very, very difficult to get a bad report off your credit. This is a huge glitch in the whole system of credit reporting agencies. The burden of proof is always on you and you are always guilty until proven innocent. But trying to prove yourself innocent....oh boy! They don't even want to hear about it. Go to this website
http://www.troubleshooter.com. A man named Tom Martino is organizing a national class action suit against credit reporting agencies for just this reason. They have much too much power to influence our lives with little or no supporting evidence of claims that go against us. They have no burden of proof to back themselves up. Any company can become upset and put a bad mark on our credit and trying to get it removed is like trying to thread a camel through a needle.


Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential