Being in the process of purchasing a new home has caused me to be more aware of my credit report and everything that is placed on it. Every month I check it for changes and inaccuracies.
Today I had quite a surprise when I checked it. My credit score had decreased significantly from last month even though there should not have been any changes. About half way down my credit report I spotted a new collection entry that I knew nothing about.
Anyone who checks their credit regularly knows that anything can be placed on your report. You could be the victim of identity theft or just the victim of a shady business practices. In my case it was a shady collection agency and Hollywood Video. I have never received any notices from either one of these companies and had no idea what the charges were for. The amount listed was several hundred dollars. This was quite a shock to me, especially when Hollywood Video went out of business months ago.
I was not aware of any debt to them and I had a hard time imagining what would be worth several hundred dollars. I immediately turned to the Internet for help and information. I located several articles where other people had come forward with the same problem.
One state has already filed a civil suit. I also located information on the collection agency, National Credit Solutions, who conveniently has a perpetual busy signal. At this point I don’t know what else to do but file complaints with the Attorney General’s Office, the Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission and hope that somebody actually reads them. If not I risk losing the home that I have worked hard to get.
Another Reason to Check Your Credit
The best explanation I could find for the charges is that they are late fees that were owed to Hollywood Video when the business closed its doors. I don’t know how late fees equal several hundred dollars or why notifications were not sent to allow people to pay or dispute the charges before they were placed on credit reports. It looks like it’s just two more greedy companies and another credit scam to trick hard working people out of their money and ruin their credit scores.
The point of this article is two-fold. One reason is just to vent my frustration and utter disgust with the ways companies take advantage of consumers. Hollywood Video has been out of business for quite some time now, which I suspect is largely related to poor business practices and decisions. Of course, the collection agency blames Hollywood Video and claims they did nothing wrong. At any rate, credit scores have been ruined due to bad business practices.
My other point is to raise awareness of the issue in hopes that the it will be resolved. If you have ever had an account with Hollywood Video do yourself a favor and check your credit report. This can be done for free once a year and often through financial institutions for a discounted rate. There are also many companies that will offer free trials, but be sure to cancel the trial within the specified time frame or you will be billed. Be sure to check all three credit bureaus: Transunion, Experian, and Equifax. You can also google all three bureaus and deal with them directly.
If you locate any of these entries on your credit report please file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Better Business Bureau immediately. You can also file disputes with the credit bureaus directly, but beware that if you are considering any major purchases in the near future you may encounter difficulty with the dispute showing on your credit report. The more complaints that are received, the better the chances are of the case getting the attention it needs to reach a resolution