Credit Blemished Over Imaginary Credit Card

The NES collection agency is coming after Nancy for a debt on an account number she’s never owned. She’s trying to beseech BoA billing for a resolution and to fix her credit history. That may be completely the wrong way to go about it. Here’s her story:

Nancy writes:

I had an MBNA credit card for years, which I canceled, and naturally after the cancellation, I never received any correspondence from BoA or MBNA. It turns out, however, that several months after I cancelled the card, a charge apparently went through, on a new account number that I had never used before. The first I heard of the charge, however, was when I received a collection notice several months after *that*. When I contacted BoA about this issue, they insisted on calling me “delinquent,” hung up on me twice, and also insisted that they sent statements to my home and “called” about the charge.

They also told me that I should have contested the bogus charge within 60 days after it was made, even though I continued to try to get them to understand that I did not know about the charge until they wrote off the account and sold it to a collection agency, who somehow had no problem contacting me repeatedly by phone and mail.

Finally, they instructed me to send my complaint in writing, which I did, in mid-August (certified and return-receipt requested). I have not heard a thing since then, and I figured 6 weeks was long enough to wait for a result. My credit report is, not surprisingly, unchanged at this time as well.

My question for you is- what is the next best step, in your experience?
– email an executive
– snail-mail an executive
– hire an attorney (extra expense, but as my credit is ruined, it may be worth it)
– other?

* other. Your next best move is to dispute the item with all 3 credit bureaus. It’s not hard, you can do it online, for free, at annualcreditreport.com. Simply by disputing it as invalid you may be able to get it taken off your credit report if the agency reporting the debt to the bureaus doesn’t respond to the verification request.

(Photo: Getty)

Also – have you considered the fault might be with NES and not MBNA/BoA? NES could have either gotten your and someone else’s records legitimately mixed up – or they could be knowingly attempting to fraudulently collect an invalid debt. Either are entirely possible.