I used to live in America for 2 years, but i moved back to my home country in December 2012, i will however will be moving back to American next month. I checked my credit score (story behind why in the end) and i can see a collection from a company called "ENHANCED RECOVERY CO L" for $600 where the original debt was $175. Another weird thing is that they say that this debt is from August 2015, which is very strange, as i have not lived in America since December 2012.

I chatted online with TIME WARNER CABLE, as they are the company the debit is with, and they say it is for equipment i did not return, I clearly remember mailing it to them, but this is so long ago that i have no proof of this any more.

In the chat with Time Warner did they tell me that i could pay with them, the $175, and they would take care of the Credit Score, is this correct as the collection where made by a third party company?

Also Time Warner have had my email address and it have not changed, but they have never contacted me about the debt?

Is it legal for "ENHANCED RECOVERY CO L" to set the date opened to 3 years after i left the country?

The original debt was $175 what is up with the $600?

I have the option of getting a new Social Security Number when i move to America, because of a spelling mistake of my original Social Security Number, would it be worth the time to fight with the credit score companies about this or should i just get the new number? The old number is 4.5 years old and have no other "hits". (I will of cause still pay Time Warner what i owe them)

Sorry for the basic credit score questions, i only lived in america for 2 years for school, so i never know much about it, and there are so much contradictory information out there that it can be hard to find out what is correct.

Story behind: I currently lived close to the US border, have been for the last year, so i often go to Macy's to do my cloth shopping, but they would not give me a credit higher then $100, even though i have more then 190k income a year, when i questioned this did they tell me it properly was because of my credit score.

The old Social Security Number, only have the the age, i have never borrow money, and only had a credit card for the last 6 months when i was there (Was paid in full every month though). Don't have any loans as i never buy anything i can not afford, no mortgage (renting) and no student loans (Paied it all during attending school).

  • They may just correct the name. People change their name on their card all the time. Of course if you are claiming that you are not the same person that had that other number... Aug 15, 2016 at 10:25
  • 1
    Debt collectors aren't exactly the best at dotting the is and crossing the ts. It sounds like your $175 debt (maybe the package was lost in the mail or they lost it before noting they had it) was turned over to a debt collector. By now, probably more than one--they're probably listing the date they got it rather than the date you were supposed to mail it back. Aug 15, 2016 at 21:44
  • Is listing the date they got it legal, should they not list the date it should have been paid? Aug 15, 2016 at 22:13
  • Since they didn't get the debt until after it was overdue, wouldn't showing the date it was originally due look worse to anyone examining your file?
    – keshlam
    Aug 16, 2016 at 6:51
  • As i remember will debt stay on my Credit Score for 7.5 years, meaning that if it was from the time it was due would i only have this debt on my account for additional 2.5 years, but when they say it was due 2015 will i still have to fight with it for an additional 6.5 years. So i would say the correct time would be best! Aug 16, 2016 at 17:40

3 Answers 3


Sometimes what happens is that a creditor will hand over accounts to a collection agency for action, and after a period of time, it may be reassigned to yet another collection agency if the first one was not successful. Theoretically, this should not be cause to reset the date of collections on your bureau file, but that very well could have happened here.

Another instance when this happens is when someone contacts a creditor about a collection item on their report, either to pay or dispute it. Either way, this restarts the 7-year clock on that collection item, so if a debt is old enough, sometimes the best course of action is to let it go. If a debt has been in collections for 4 years, let's say, and you decide to pay it off now, your score isn't going to improve because you paid the collection enough to offset the effect of having it refreshed on your bureau file. Besides, creditors know how old the debt is, so waiting 4 years to pay it isn't going to win you any favors in their eyes anyway.

To your question though, it seems to me the most likely thing is that somehow the debt was refreshed through some action by the creditor or one of the agencies assigned to collect on it.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!


The first thing you need to know is that getting a new social security number will not erase your credit history. In fact, using a name change or a social security number change to get out of debt is considered fraud in most jurisdictions and you can be arrested for it. As soon as you are issued a new social security number, your old number and new number are linked in the government and credit bureau files. Everything that was on your old credit report will appear on your new credit report.

The second big thing to know is if you suspect that your social security number has been used fraudulently in regards to credit, stop reading this right now, immediately call one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax), and place what's called an initial fraud alert. You only need to call one of the three. The one you call will notify the other two. This places a flag on your credit file at all three bureaus which says that your identity may have been stolen and any financial institution which is processing an application for credit should immediately contact you at the phone number you provide. The alert is good for 90 days and you can renew it as many times as you wish. I suggest using TransUnion as your one call because I've called them when my identity was stolen, and they're automated system is very well designed.

Now that that is out of the way... you said that they have your email address, but it is very unusual for people to be contacted by email for a debt. In fact, I would automatically disregard any emails about debts. Every legitimate financial institution I've ever come across will either call you or send mail to your last known address.

Regarding what's being reported on your credit report, you need to type a letter to each credit bureau which is reporting the information telling them who you are and that you are disputing this information on your report. Mail it to the bureaus by certified mail with return receipt. Under United States law they are required to verify the information on your report, if you dispute it, and remove the information if they are unable to verify it. In many cases, it's too much of a hassle and the bureaus just remove the information.

The other thing I'll leave you with is that you said you've only had credit in the past six months. Six months is not enough time to build an adequate credit profile. You really need to be strategic about your credit score. Every time you apply for credit, it drags the score just a little bit lower. Your question wasn't really about building credit, so I'll spare you the novel on that, but I would encourage you to seek out one of the many resources which are readily available online.

I am not an attorney. This is not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your particular jurisdiction.


Generally when items go to collection you will receive a letter in the mail not an email. You can try to dispute the charge with the credit companies (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) showing that the charge came after you left the country. Like the answer above me said, disputing it may cause the 7 year clock to restart which leaves it on your account longer. It may just be simpler to try to improve your credit score instead. You can check your credit score as often as you want using Credit Karma online or on your phone.

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