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Is Pay for Deletion possible in Canada?

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11 replies to this topic

#1 Noday

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 10:07 AM

Good morning,

This is my first post on this board.

I have a few questions with regards to collection agencies. Subsequent to my separation with my husband, I obtained my credit report from Transunion and started paying off debts I owed.

First off, there is a debt that appears as "Paid" in the Collections section. When I called the agency in question, I was told that it was sent to them by mistake by a municipality in Ontario for a speeding ticket. I called said municipality and they told me it had been paid. Is there a way for this line to be removed from my credit report, seeing as it was sent to the agency in error? I asked an agent at this agency (IQOR) and was told that since the debt was sent to them in error, they couldn't remove it from my credit report.

Second, the only other debt that appears in the Collections section of my report is from a debt to Telus, dating back in 2007, for $1,732.00. It appears first with an agency by the name of CBV Collections Services, but the account is marked as closed, probably because they weren't able to obtain anything from me (I was umeployed and preggo at the time). Then the same debt appears again under the name CBCC, as $1,970.00

My question is as follows:
-Is it possible to negotiate with this agency for a "pay for deletion"? I have researched online and have discovered that this option exists, but I'm uncertain if it's done in Canada.
- Also, should I attempt to negotiate for a lower amount (as in 500$)?

#2 Stu.Padaso

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 11:41 AM

I'm not 100% certain, but I'm sure the system works very similar to the US system we read so much about here at on this forum.

If IQOR doesn't have a record, then you can write Equifax and/or Transunion and have them investigate it. Since IQOR can't provide proof of the debt to YOU, then obviously they can't to Equifax/TU either. So it has to be deleted. How much time it takes for this to happen, I really don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if IQOR has 30 days to respond.

As far as I know, PFD is possible in Canada. But I honestly have no idea how to go about it. As far as negotiating for a lesser amount - go for it. I remember finally getting the funds from the sale of my house (6 months after the fact) and calling a few of my creditors and they gladly accepted my reasonable offer. I think my Visa had a $7000 balance, I asked if $4000 was enough. They countered with $5000, so we met in the middle and I paid them $4500. But I never knew I could have gotten it deleted from my reports. At that point in my life I hardly knew anything about credit reporting and stuff like that.

Funny. It was IQOR I had to deal with when I got my mortgage back in Aug 2008. TD simply wouldn't approve me until I got rid of it. It was like 140-odd bucks for a cable TV bill (or was it gas?) that was missed when I sold my house years prior (I thought my lawyer was paying it out, she thought I was paying it out). So TD wanted a receipt directly from IQOR. I got my IQOR account and telephone number from my TU report. That phone number, I swear, connected me to a College Frat House with a party going on the background. The seemingly stoned guy at IQOR gave me an account and transit number and told me to go to any CIBC branch and deposit the funds. They'd mail me a receipt but it could take a few weeks. Sounded a little shady, but for only $140 and needing it gone NOW I didn't really care. I couldn't wait for the IQOR receipt, so I made sure CIBC gave me a detailed stamped receipt. So I showed it to TD, and gave them the phone number and fellas name and ID number that I spoke with at IQOR (time was short at this point). TD originally balked at the CIBC receipt, telling me it must be an IQOR receipt. But when I told them "how can I fake that bank stamp? On a pre-printed CIBC receipt? For the exact same amount as IQOR wanted? With the name IQOR clearly printed and linked to the bank account noted on the receipt to which the deposit was made? With the tellers signature clearly legible? Call her if you don't believe me!". TD realized I wasn't the type to make up such an elaborate ruse, so they accepted the CIBC receipt as proof that I paid the debt.

A month or two later IQOR was totally gone from my credit reports. And it was only 3 or 4 years old, but it had completely vanished from my reports. I never knew you could PFD, but IQOR did it anyways. Since then I get hard copies of my credit reports every year and IQOR has never been seen since.

(For the sake of completeness : I never did get an official receipt from IQOR.)

Edited by Stu.Padaso, 29 December 2009 - 11:52 AM.

#3 Noday

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 12:07 PM

Thank you for the quick response Stu.

When you contacted your creditors for repayment, did you do so over the phone or in writing? I'm wondering which way to proceed right now...I have the money to repay the debt in full, but of course, I want a written statement confirming repayment and *ideally* I would like them to remove the mention from my credit report, but I don't know if that's possible.

Also, I just ordered my Equifax report and I see that in the collections section, the debts mentioned in my previous post aren't present. Is it normal that one agency has some information while another has something different?

Thanks again for your response.

#4 Stu.Padaso

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 01:21 PM

Thank you for the quick response Stu.

When you contacted your creditors for repayment, did you do so over the phone or in writing? I'm wondering which way to proceed right now...I have the money to repay the debt in full, but of course, I want a written statement confirming repayment and *ideally* I would like them to remove the mention from my credit report, but I don't know if that's possible.

Also, I just ordered my Equifax report and I see that in the collections section, the debts mentioned in my previous post aren't present. Is it normal that one agency has some information while another has something different?

Thanks again for your response.

I'm not the best person to be asking, to be brutally honest. Quasei is the person who would (hopefully) be able to provide you with good advice. But I don't know where she is lately. Probably taking a holiday or something. I'm sure she'll be back sometime soon.

Knowing what I know now, I would do everything in writing. Maybe an initial telephone call just to get a handle on the situation, but anything of importance should be in writing and then sent via registered mail. When I handled my issues a few years ago, like I said before, I never knew much about all this credit reporting stuff. So I was working blind. Everything I did with IQOR was over the phone, but in hindsight it would have probably been safer to do it via direct mail. But time was of the essence at that point, so I didn't have a choice. And I got lucky. Pure dumb luck.

As far as how to write the PFD letter, once again I'm going to claim ignorance. I don't want to mess you up by giving wrong advice.

The only advice I will offer is when writing a PFD letter is to do it in typical Canadian fashion. Be honest. Be polite and sincere. Ask clearly but don't be demanding. Just say what needs to be said and be done with it. And whatever you do - don't make stuff up and don't go overboard with excuses. If the cause of your credit problem was a car accident and you were in a coma for two years, fine, briefly mention that. Where I come from an excuse just tells me that you have convinced yourself that you don't take full responsibility for your actions. You're dealing with a collection agent, and unless s/he started their job yesterday they have already heard every excuse in the book. They just want some money. You need to come across as an intelligent and honest person who has taken responsibility for their past problems and now wants to do the right thing. Which therefore makes your chances at success a whole lot better.

(If anybody thinks I'm off base with that last paragraph, please let me know. I don't claim to know it all. I'm open to discussion on the way a PFD should be worded.)

Moving on....My EQ and TU reports are almost identical for anything current. My TU online report shows items back to the early 90's, but EQ does not. But overall I'd say they're the same in my case. But once again, I might be the exception to the rule. Quasei might know the answer to that question.

(Hopefully this thread will teach Quasei not to leave me in charge of the classroom. ahahahaha.)

Edited by Stu.Padaso, 29 December 2009 - 01:22 PM.

#5 Noday

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 02:43 PM

Hmmm, I wish Quasei would log on so I could pick her brains. I'm *itching* to have this debt paid off, because it means I'll only have two more left to tackle: income tax arrears (for which payment has already been arranged), and student debt (also being paid)...BUT if there's a way for me to lower the amount of money I pay CBCC, I'll do what it takes!

#6 Quasei2

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 10:24 PM

Mommy's home!

Haha! Seriously you guys are silly. Stu, you do just fine with the advice really!

My CBR's are completely different. I have a bunch of tradelines showing on my TU and only 2 showing on my EQ! Hopefully 4 once CIBC & AMEX report. If there's something that is a current, open, and positive tradeline that is not on your report you can request to have it inserted.

As for IQOR definitely dispute with the credit bureau. Heck you might want to dispute both of them and just see what happens. If you're patient enough to wait it out then you might find a nice little surprise when neither one responds and they both delete. If I read your entry correctly there are 2 entries for the Telus amount? It might not hurt to go ahead and dispute both of those via the credit bureau.

As for PFD letters they're a tad trickier in Canada. I agree with Stu's assertion that the letter must be gentler in a groveling sort of way that acknowledges you screwed up and are making efforts to rebuild your credit worthiness. I wouldn't do this though until you have received the responses back from the credit bureaus and you exhaust your dispute options. Assuming they do verify with the credit bureau, I would then ask them directly for validation of how they came to the total of the $1970 - a basic DV letter asking for this information should suffice. Once you have this step done, if they do not respond within 30 days I would forward this information along with your letter & a copy of the tracking or registered mail return receipt to the credit bureau and dispute it a 2nd time. If that still doesn't work then go for the PFD or even a PF other goodwill like resetting counters, etc.

You could ask to pay it as a settled amount, but some banks would request that you pay the remaining owing in full and have it updated as such before they'll extend things like auto loans and mortgages. So I would say all or nothing. Play the disputes game first and then go the PFD route.

Which province are you in?

Hope this helps!

ETA: Oh and do nothing over the phone... always written and keep copies of everything! You never know what tiny detail might help you down the road. Also, in Canada we don't work on credit report repair with the idea of eventual litigation. That will lead you down the wrong path with wordings, etc. Always do it with the idea in mind that unless there's fraud on the acct something you did got it to the state it's in and there might be an uphill climb to fix it, but you CAN fix it with patience and diligence. :lol:

Edited by Quasei2, 29 December 2009 - 10:27 PM.

#7 Quasei2

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:12 AM

I had another thought to add here... And it's an important one.

Have you ordered your credit reports as hard print copies or are you just seeing them online? If you are just seeing them online STOP! Before you do anything else, order the paper copies. Do not write to anyone nor dispute anything until you have the hard copies in your hands. They may be very different from what you see online! There may also be discrepancies on the hard copy that don't show up online giving you more information to dispute.

Make your paper trail and start it with that hard copy. You'll be glad you did if anything goes ridiculous later on like my own nonsense fighting with TransUnion. With my own goodwill request I'd requested that counters be reset and was told by WFF that the manager said he was unable to do this, but then magically not only did TU finally comply with removing the item (as they should have 5 months earlier!), but on EQ the counters were magically reset and the item is now an R1 very pretty and tidy tradeline. :) So even if they say no, you might find a nice surprise if you play nice along the way. Mine was the result of a ton of groveling and keeping them up to date with difficulties I was having with TransUnion. (They also got the run around from TU!) Moral of the story... paper copies of everything so you have it to throw back at the credit bureaus if it's ever necessary.

#8 Noday

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 09:00 AM

Yay Quasei is here! **Bows down to the Grand Buddha of Canadian Credit Matters**

***Much grovelling***

Ok, now that that's over with, on with more questions!

I had previously asked that IQOR be disputed by TU back in November, but they sent me a letter in December only discussing the Telus debt. I called them back yesterday, indicated that I had spoken to the Municipality of Durham regarding that parking ticket, and that they confirmed it was paid (come to think of it, the people there told me they'd fax me a confirmation of payment and never did...should I do the leg work myself once again, or wait to see what TU does?). ..TU has launched another investigation regarding IQOR since I told them it was on my report in error.

FTR, I was basing my question on the report that I received from TU along with the letter they sent me. I initially was basing myself on the online report I paid for from their website and subsequently printed, but when I called a TU customer service person, they had the same information I did.

Re the Telus debt...according to TU, it appears twice because it was first sold to CBV collections, who closed the account after a year (it is indicated as "account closed"), and then the debt was sold to CBCC. I was told that even if the account was closed, the line would remain on my report until 6 years after the last date of activity (so 2014). I had already tried to dispute this one, but the letter I received in December confirmed its validity...so I'll have to deal with CBCC myself :o

Re the DV letter...how would I word the opening since CBCC has never contacted me regarding this debt? I am essentially running after THEM because *I* would like the debt paid off and to eventually better my credit score...

And finally, Re: the online copies...I had paid both TU and EQ to obtain my credit report, which I then printed. Should I have just ordered a free paper copy instead?

Ok, I think that about covers it, at least for now. I'm sure I'll have more questions later!
Thanks in advance Quasei :swoon:

#9 Quasei2

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 10:09 PM

Hey Stu, can we keep this one? I kind of like having people bow to me. LOL

So a good first step there. I'd let the TU simmer until you get the response back on it. Just a heads up... TU has a habit of being closer to the 40 day mark than the 30 day mark for replying. You can almost guarantee that your paperwork will be dated the 40th day and you will receive your mail on the 43-45th day. Mark your calendar! There's a LOT of waiting involved in this and it's a massive exercise in patience. I found the stress of waiting to be really overwhelming at times.

And yip basing your first steps on the paper copy that was sent is a good idea. The copy they sent is exactly what would have been received if you'd order the paper copy. AND you didn't use up your free one for the year yet. :wacko: If you receive the copies as a result of a dispute, etc then they don't count toward that free copy.

And yes absolutely I would order your paper copy from EQ as well. Sometimes funny things happen - items are reinserted without prior notification, etc - and this gives you hard and fast evidence of it. Print outs from online pretty much mean nothing. They're great for your own personal knowledge, but if by some bizarre chance this went to court, they wouldn't be admissible as evidence unless you had a really lax judge. Document like you're going to court, but approach the creditors with much groveling and acknowledgment of responsibility.

Is absolutely everything on the CBCC entry correct to the best of your knowledge? If not I'd start disputing via the credit bureau for that one with one individual error at a time - if you dispute one at a time it gives you more chances to have it deleted! Believe me, with TU you want as many attempts as possible because they're kind of a**tarded. lol

With your DV letter to CBCC I'd start it out something like, "There is an entry on my TransUnion CBR from you company. I dispute the validity of this entry. Please provide written documentation within 30 days or if validation cannot be provided I respectfully request this item be immediately removed from my credit bureau report as per ... (insert provincial statute name/section here)." Something simple, short, and very to the point. I would send it either registered with return receipt or via expresspost with tracking. Keep your receipts.

The only time I would agree that anything other than mail is ok is when dealing with the credit bureaus. Faxing is ok with them - just try to make sure you get a sent/receive receipt or journal printout to add to your file. Keep your cover sheets with the exact documents that you send with that cover sheet - even if you have to make copies of things. Try to use the dispute forms that the credit bureaus send to you directly rather than the printouts from online - make several copies! - as these have your ID number on them. Also, I never had any problem with doing disputes over the phone with TransUnion. I just made sure to document date, time, name/ID # of the rep, sometimes their supervisor's name/ID # (lol), and exactly what I requested to be disputed as well as whether they refused to dispute items. EQ there really isn't any point in trying to talk to them on the phone. I had much better luck dealing with them by fax and mail.

#10 Noday

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:03 AM

One last question regarding this matter...when sending my letters, who do I send them to? I do not have the name of the person in charge of my account, having never been contacted by the collection agency regarding this debt. Should I call them, from a payphone, and request the name of the person in charge of the Telus mobility accounts? Or should I just send it to their general mailing address and hope that the receptionist or whomever receives all the mail is willing to sign for my letter (since I always go registered mail with signature)?

Thanks again.

(Performs one more perfunctory bow) :D

#11 Quasei2

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:36 PM

No need to address to a specific person if you don't have a name. Whoever signs the registered mail receipt is now responsible for making sure it gets to the right person. You've done your job by sending it to the company hence your receipt.

#12 Fleury75

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 05:48 PM

Hi guys -

Just to touch on this, Im in Canada (BC) trying to do the same thing for my wife (pay off her collections as a PFD). So far none of the collection agencies will play ball - all they offer is to send a letter of amendment stating that the debt is paid. Has anyone actually waited this process through and received the PFD letter? Just curious is I should wait them out or just pay it :(

Thanks very much

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