- Report: #671456
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Columbia House
Columbia HouseCustomer Service Center, PO Box 91601, Rantoul, Illinois United States of America
Columbia House National Recovery Agency They put a 9 yr old debt out on my credit report, past Statute of Limitations and FCRA rules. Rantoul, Illinois
I would be quite interested in knowing if anyone is pulling together or considering pulling together a class action lawsuit against National Recovery Agency and/or Columbia House.
Background: 11/12/2010 - I initiated a refinance request with my current mortgage lender discovered that National Recovery was on my credit report with a bad debt.
I contacted National Recovery at 1-800-360-4319. They told me that the debt was for Columbia House. According to National Recovery, I had incurred the debt "sometime in 2004 or 2005" and it was put on my credit report in April of 2010. They advised me that I should just pay it, which I refused.
I disputed it with them, as I do not have any recollection of having signed up with Columbia House. Back in 2004/2005, there were other people in my household, so I thought possibly someone else (a then-spouse or a teenager) might have put an order in using my name. I mentioned this possibility to National Recovery.
They told me that it doesn't matter - if anyone used my name, with or without my permission, that I am still legally responsible for the debt. They said the only way to have the debt removed in that case would be to find out who might have used my name, have them arrested, prosecuted and jailed - and then they would consider removing the debt from my credit report.
I asked for proof that the debt was mine; I never received anything in writing from anyone. They told me I'd have to go to Columbia House and ask them. The only thing National Recovery could tell me was that I should "just pay it".
I contacted Columbia House via email. Initially they told me that they could not find me in their system. They tried to find me by name, prior name, my current address and my previous address. They sent to me an email stating that they could not find me in their system at all. I had told them I wanted proof of this debt, including (1) when I ordered anything from them (2) what billing address was used (3) what shipping address was used (4) a copy of my enrollment form (I wanted to see the signature; I would know if it was mine and I might be able to figure out if it was someone else in the house at that time) and (5) what I had ordered. They have not provided this information to me.
I called them to confirm this and was told the same thing, however the member service rep said she would forward the request on to a special services group.
I re-contacted National Recovery and told them that Columbia House couldn't find any evidence of an account for me, and I wanted the item removed from my credit report. National Recovery then told me that the account was still mine. This time, they somehow had "more information" than they had previously had. They told me an account number and told me that on May 6, 2005, I had signed up for some sort of introductory deal and ordered Hannibal Lector.
That's not the kind of movie I watch. So now I know I did not order this.
Now Columbia House comes back with another email to me saying that they just located my account information. They gave the same account number, also stated that I had ordered Hannibal Lector - but said I had ordered this from them on February 1, 2001.
I have several problems with these two organizations.
1. They can't seem to agree on when I (or someone using my name) made this order. Was it 2/1/2001? Or was it 5/6/2005?
2. I have repeatedly asked for the bill-to and ship-to address, and they simply ignore my request.
3. I have repeatedly asked for a copy of the enrollment order, and they simply ignore that request as well.
4. This debt is relatively ancient. If I go by the collection agency's date, it was nearly five years old when they put it on my credit report. If I go by the original creditor (Columbia House), it was a full nine years old before it went to my credit report. Bad debt is supposed to be removed from credit reports after 7 years, and the Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania (where I live) is just 4 years. However, because the collection agency did not put it on my credit report until April of 2010, it looks like a recent debt in the scoring model as well as to potential mortgage lenders.
5. Other than the emails between myself and Columbia House, which were initated only after I discovered this item on my credit report, I have never received anything from either company regarding this debt. To find out when I am looking to refinance, when time to resolve such matters is critical, puts the consumer in the untenable position of having to either pay the item or risk the mortgage they are seeking. It forces folks in situations similar to mine to either pay up or risk not getting the mortgage they should have.
6. In my case, this has dropped my credit score. I have not paid anything late in the last twelve months since the last time I got my credit score. A year ago, I was at 715. Now I am at 690, which pushes me into less-favorable terms for a mortgage refinance, both in terms of rate and fees. As a result, it doesn't make sense for me to refinance with this debt on my credit report - the difference in terms between the credit score I expected to have (in the 700 - 720 range) and the actual score (690) cost me a half-point on the actual interest rate. Over the life of a 30-yr mortgage, that 1/2 point equates to just over $27,000 in extra interest charges.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/14/2010 02:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Columbia-House/Rantoul-Illinois-/Columbia-House-National-Recovery-Agency-They-put-a-9-yr-old-debt-out-on-my-credit-report-671456. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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