My credit report shows this:
Midland Credit Management
Current Balance: $1,162
Original Balance: $953
Account Condition: Derogatory
Reported as: MIDLAND FUND
Original Creditor: HSBC BANK NEVADA N A
Date Opened: 12/28/2011
My credit report also shows the original creditor reporting this, so the same account/acct number is listed twice. Is this correct? Also they report the last payment date as 2010, 2009 and that is not correct. Last payment made was in 2007. How can they change dates and what can I do about this? If I wanted to pay something off, I don’t feel I could trust Midland or Portfolio to show it was paid. How do you pay things on your credit w/o getting scammed?
You have three issues: Preventing yourself from being a scam victim, the dates on your credit report, and how to make a fair deal with a collection agent.
Your first, and most important task is to make sure the collection agent has the legal right to collect the debt. No one wants to be scammed. For their part, honest collection agents want to collect debts they own a legitimate right to collect fairly. Dishonest collection agents and scam artists profit from confusing consumers unfairly.
When someone claims you owe them a debt, your first action should be to validate the debt. There are two reasons to validate a debt:
If a collection agent provides insufficient information when it tries to validate the debt, send it a notice of insufficient validation, in which you explain why you have no legal obligation to pay the debt.
When an original creditor sells a delinquent debt — called a collection account — to a collection agent, both companies will appear on the consumer's credit report. The dates each one took ownership of the account should also appear, making it clear it's one account that changed hands.
The more hands the collection account passes through, the longer the history a collection account will have. A long history is not an error or misleading to lenders experienced in reading credit reports.
The key date you should look for in a collection account is the date of first delinquency. The date of first delinquency is typically 30 days after the date of last payment.
The date of first delinquency sets the starting point for the 7-year clock in how long a collection account can appear on your credit report. This starting point is set by a federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Anyone reporting information to consumer credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — must convey accurate information or risk prosecution or cash penalties allowed under the FCRA.
Here, you mentioned the accurate date of last payment was sometime in 2007, which we means the date of first delinquency was either in 2007 or early 2008. Whoever reported the 2009 and 2010 dates would appear to have violated the FCRA.
What to do about the wrong dates? File separate disputes with each consumer credit reporting agency that is publishing the wrong date.
You mentioned the last payment was 7 years ago. Many state statutes of limitations are shorter than 7 years. If this debt is subject to a statute of limitations shorter than 7 years, then the collection agent cannot use your state’s courts to compel you to pay the debt. Let’s look closer at the statute of limitations issue.
Each state has its own statute of limitations for contracts. Take these four steps before you pay a collection agent:
Under the FDCPA, a collection agent may not add fees or interest to a collection account, unless the fees or interest are mentioned in the contract the consumer signed with the original creditor. Because most collection agents cannot produce a copy of the original contract the consumer signed, courts usually do not allow collection agents to add fees to their collection accounts. In other words, just because a collection agent adds mystery fees to your account doesn’t mean you must pay them.
One important point before we explain how to reach a settlement agreement with a collection agent: Reaching a deal with a collection agent will not remove the delinquency from your credit report, or improve your credit score a measurable amount.
If you’re not a born negotiator, read the Bills.com article negotiate debt settlements article to learn debt negotiation techniques. Here are three key facts to remember about debt negotiation:
Get your final agreement in writing. Read the Bills.com settlement letter article to learn the eight facts you need to see in a settlement letter. Some unscrupulous collection agents refuse to put a settlement agreement in writing, and then later claim the payment received was not a final conclusion to the debt. A written agreement protects both parties from a later misunderstanding.
Be sure to validate a debt promptly and in writing when a collection agent contacts you in an attempt to collect a debt. When more than one collection agent tries to collect the same debt, a debt validation is the only way to make certain which collection agent has the right to collect an account.
You may have no legal obligation to pay an old debt. A debt that cannot be validated cannot be collected. Also, if the statute of limitations clock that applies to the account has run out, a collection agent violates federal law if it files a lawsuit against you in an attempt to collect the debt.
Follow the steps outlined on this this, and follow the hyperlinks mentioned, to learn how to validate debt, if the statute of limitations for the debt has expired, and if necessary how to negotiate a settlement to this debt.