How A Collection Agency Got Me Into Helping Consumers….

by John Watts on April 27, 2012

I hope you are doing well this Friday — almost the weekend… :)

It has been a little while since we spoke about credit reporting errors and I want to share a few resources with you but first let me tell you one of my personal credit reporting stories — and this is one of the reasons why I started doing consumer litigation.

I had a child who had several MRIs in a week and I thought I had paid for all of my deductibles.  Normally that is paid when you check your child in….

A few weeks later I got a letter from a Montgomery, Alabama, collection agency called Holloway Credit Solutions, LLC, saying that I owed a couple hundred bucks on a bill from Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.

I called the agency and told them I didn’t think this was right.  They insisted I owed the money.

I told them I would call Children’s Hospital and check it out.

Turns out I did owe the bill.

So I called Holloway back the next day and paid it over the phone.

The very next day Holloway put this on my credit report as a paid collection account.

I was not amused.

I called Holloway back and was told that “Yes, we received your money and yes we put this on your credit report anyway.”

I asked “Why would you do that?  I told you I thought I had paid my deductible — it was confusing with multiple MRIs in the same week — but as soon as I found out I owed more money I paid it.”

Holloway’s response was “Too bad.  We put this on their because we are able to do it so we did it.”

“You are hurting my credit report by doing that.”

Their response?  ”We don’t care.  Because we have the power to hurt you, we are going to hurt you.”

I never tell people I deal with that I’m lawyer but I broke my rule here.  ”I’m a lawyer and all I do is sue companies that hurt people.  Do you really want to act this way towards me?”

The response was “We don’t care.  We are going to leave this on your credit report to hurt you.”

“Let me speak to your supervisor.”

The supervisor was even worse.

It was then that it hit me — If these companies will treat me, a lawyer who sues companies, this way, then how much worse will they treat people who are not lawyers?

I decided to start researching this area of the law more intently — I had helped personal injury clients with collection issues and credit report errors over the years but had never studied this area of the law intensely.

The more I read and studied and attended conferences the more I knew this was an area of rampant abuse and very few lawyers were out there to help people.

So I disputed this account and finally Holloway took it off my credit reports.  By the way, if you have any Holloway accounts or other collection accounts, consider sending the letter we discuss here — http://www.alabamaconsumer.com/2012/04/simple-letter-to-send-to-debt-collectors/ and remember that collectors hate to accurately credit report — http://www.alabamaconsumer.com/2012/04/why-collectors-hate-to-mark-your-account-as-disputed-on-credit-reports/.

If you would like to see a number of articles (and videos) on correcting credit reports, you can find them here including articles that contain sample dispute letters to send to the credit reporting agencies (what I had to do to get the Holloway account off of my credit report).  http://www.alabamaconsumer.com/practice-areas/credit-report-errors/

This fits with that old expression from Napoleon Hill — within every adversity is the seed of an equal or greater benefit.  I was very annoyed with this arrogant collection agency but it was a turning point in my career where I started helping more and more consumers sue collection agencies and credit reporting agencies.

So I guess I owe a big “Thank You” to Holloway for helping me to see the light…. :)

Well, I hope that this email has been helpful to you and I wish you a wonderful last weekend in April…. Can you believe next week is May?  Enjoy and we’ll connect next week….

Best wishes….

John

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