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Thanks for your reply.

When you get a collection notice, THEN is the time to check your credit reports for any entry by the collection agency, and, moreover, to sign up for some kind of monitoring service so you will be able to tell if an entry in put onto your reports.

IF a CA has already reported the account to the CRAs, then you should INGNORE THE USUAL ADVICE about trying to deal with the original creditor rather than the CA. Deal with the CA and make the removal of
the trade line part of the deal you cut with them

I did do this, there was no mention of the account or collection in DF's credit report at the time of the collection letter. The collection letter even stated that if the account was paid within 30 days (which it was) they would not report it to the CRAs. As near as I can tell they first reported it after the account was paid in full to the original creditor.
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