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I have also posted this message on the Consumer Credit/Credit Cards board...

This is a long story but I will try to be brief. I would appreciate any and all input/advice.

In 1998 I received a civil summons from Household Credit with whom I'd had an account since 1990 and which, obviously had become quite deliquent. The amount was for approximately $2500 including court costs. Because Household had repeatedly failed to comply with payment arrangements they made with me by noting my payments were late when they were not (I often made payments by phone to insure that they were not late) and charging me late and over the limit fees, my attorney filed a very detailed answer disputing the amount. A copy was sent to the lawyers representing HCS and filed with my county's court.

We planned to prepare a settlement offer once we received a reply from HCS but we never heard another word from them. I wasn't trying to get out of paying the debt; I just wanted the erroneous charges removed. I even went to the courthouse several months later to check the file and nothing had been added. So, I tried writing to them on my own to get the ball rolling and the letter I got back in June 1999 stated "At this time, we are unable to supply you with the documents you requested. Should they become available we will be glad to forward them to you."

The account shows as a charge off on my credit report. I'm not sure how to tell what the charge off date is, but the year under the "Date Reported" category says 1997.

The reason why I'm thinking again of doing something about this account 3 years later is because my fiance and I would like to buy a house in the next year or two, and it is my understanding that all negative items on the credit report should be cleared up before pre-qualifying for a mortgage. So, my questions are...

1) Is my assumption about obtaining a mortgage correct?

2) How do I begin to take care of this situation with HCS when they say they cannot supply me with any information?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
Laura
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