Q: My Credit Report Has Three Medical and Hospital Delinquencies that are Being Reported as of 2006 – 2011. However, These Alleged Charges for Which I Have Always Disputed Were From the Years 2002 and 2003. Can These Charges and Reporting Be Removed From My Current Credit Report?
A: In a word: yes, those old, alleged medical and hospital delinquencies can be removed from your credit report, but it will likely take some focused work on your part to get them eliminated. Sometimes, medical collection accounts show up on a credit report even after 7 years if a person has paid monthly payments on the debt or has somehow “reactivated” the account by giving lump sum payments, partial payments on settlement payments to get rid of creditors. In your case, you may not have done this, since you said you’ve always disputed the debts. Nevertheless, be aware that a medical bill alleged to be past due might take a year or so (could be more time; could be less) before it’s reported as a collection account. If you had a hospital bill they claimed you owed, from 2003, and it wasn’t reported to the credit bureaus until 2004, that information would remain on your credit report until at least 2011.
Here’s what to do: if the debts are, in fact, more than 7 years old, simply dispute them online at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. When you specify a reason for your disputes, state that the debts are outdated. If you get nowhere with the credit bureaus, write to the hospital or medical institutions in question directly. Let them know that they are violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by reporting a debt that is more than 7 years old, and issue a firmly-worded letter insisting that they cease and desist all such reporting to the credit bureaus.