No. of Recommendations: 7

You wrote, When I called them back they refused to provide more information without having me disclose my birthdate to them which I refused to do.

They claim to have sent me a letter which I never received which seems to be common practice looking on the internet about their practices.

They also misidentified my address in a very specific fashion that I managed to tie to one particular business (which is the only one that's ever misidentified the address in that way).

While I wouldn't give a DOB, it doesn't hurt to give them a corrected address. There is nothing they can do with that other than send annoying letters. (And serve you if the case were worth suing over ... despite what most people seem to think, you don't want to avoid being served.)

Also, I called that business and spoke to their financial department today which indicates my account is paid in full.

I had something like that happen when I went to refi back in '99. I found I had a collection on my credit report, but the original creditor (an urgent care facility) didn't have any record of it.

I left work early one day that week and told them I urgently needed to see someone in accounting/finance. The person that came out was the same person that I'd spoken to on the phone. I explained why my situation was urgent. She took me back to her office and I waited while she went through their hard files. Took about an hour, but she found that a file adjacent to my daughter's had a delinquent account that matched the amount claimed. Apparently it was a mix up on the paperwork. My daughter's account had my SSN as the primary obligor and someone had apparently pulled that paperwork when sending off the other debt to collections.

They fixed the problem by providing me with a signed letter stating there had been a mix up and the debt was not mine. I think I then disputed the credit report entry and it was retracted just in time for the refi.

And, Is credit monitoring worth the expense?

Normally not, but it depends on how quickly you need to get that mortgage and how much this debt might be.

Also, If an erroneous entry appears on my credit report how do I go about expediently having it removed from my credit report?

There is no "fast" way. The best way is to collect evidence and file a dispute. However, CRAs have repeatedly been sued over failing to examine any consumer evidence, so it's best to try to correct the problem at the source before filing a dispute.

As an example to CRAs being sued over this, read about the recent verdict against Equifax:

Finally, How do I identify this supposed debt they are calling about without divulging more information then they already have about me?

I think you've already identified it ... sort of. You probably need to go back to that business and speak to someone in accounting. Ask them if they use First Source Advantage as a collection agent. Then tell them that FSA is trying to collect a debt that is from them. If you really don't owe anything, they should be willing to help you fix it with FSA and the CRA.

Certainly they will try if they have any hopes of you doing any more business with them. But if that bridge is burned, I'd start paper correspondence with FSA and try going down the path of requesting information about the debt. Ultimately once you have clearer evidence of the debt from either FSA or your credit report you'll probably need to send a Demand for Validation of Debt letter citing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. There should be some fair examples of such letters online...

- Joel
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