I pay my bills. I have never been late paying my mortgage, car payment, etc. I was hit with numerous medical bills after a botched surgury and cancer scare. So please don't reply with "pay your bills".
I had a small bill that was reported to collections. I was literally faced with piles of medical bills to sort through and a few were gotten to late, but certainly paid if someone notified me. I got a letter from IC system notifying me I had a small medical bill reported to them, which I promptly paid - they tacked on 12.00 charge. Unbeknownst to me, the same medical billing company reported another bill to IC System after I had paid the initial balance. IC System never notified me of this bill. IC admitted they did not send me another letter, nor were they able to reach me by phone, as they were aware from the first balance that the billing company gave them the wrong number. This is a violation of the law. They are obligated to notify me in writing within 5 days after they recieve a bill. As far as I knew, my debt was paid off.
I had paid the doctor's office for the second bill. I had mistakenly written the check for $2 less, but they never notified collections of this. Again, I had no idea this bill was in collections because IC never notified me of this.
The harm began when I went to refinance my mortgage and my broker explained this was on my credit report. It was the only negative thing on there but had affected my score significantly. This has kept me from getting a great refi rate. The nightmare began when i contacted this company and had to deal with the poorest customer service I have ever experienced. In trying to obtain information about the bills, what was reported and when and what attempts they had (or hadn't) made to contact me, I was hung up on twice and supervisors refused to talk to me. I have left several messages with supervisors to get this removed from my credit, but no one calls me back. One girl actually was helpful, but her supervisor threw her under the bus by refusing to talk to me after she had given me information which proved they had violated the law!
Yes, I should have paid the bill earlier. This is not the point. Consumers have the right to be notified when a collection agency is involved and given the chance to pay before being reported to the credit bureau. In my case I had actually paid the bill to the medical company, but it was in collections without me knowing. This would have been on my credit continuing to erode away my credit without me ever knowing if the broker had not brought this to my attention. So now the bill is paid twice over with a service charge from IC Systems and will remain on my credit report for 6 months. The time and energy I have put into trying to resolve this is exhausting and has ruined my chances in saving thousands of dollars on a refi.
I. C. has not shown any efforts in correcting their mistake or their violation of the law. Their employees have said that they are not able to take it off my credit. The supervisors reportedly have the capability, but I was told they will not do so. Supervisors have refused to speak with me and do not return messages. The lack of accountability is unbelievable and illegal!!!