“Should I pay a debt I don’t owe to get it off of my credit report?”

Should I pay this debt I don't owe to get it off my credit report?

“Should I pay a debt I don’t owe to get it off of my credit report?”

No, you shouldn’t pay it just so it will be removed from your credit report.

That’s blackmail.

If you don’t owe the debt then you should not pay it off.

There is a cheaper, and better, solution.

Dispute it under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to the credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and Trans Union – and tell them you do not owe the debt.

Send a dispute letter and I suggest copy the debt collector or the creditor who is reporting this debt on you.  Let them all know that you don’t owe the debt.  Explain what happened — is it ID theft, is it a mixed/merged file, etc.  If you need help, contact a consumer protection attorney in your state.  If you are in Alabama, feel free to call us at 205-879-2447.

But what if the credit agencies don’t remove it? What can you do then?

Either dispute it again and give them a second chance or sue them.

If you want more information, check out our article on the advantages of filing a lawsuit under the FCRA, or Fair Credit Reporting Act.

One thing to keep in mind is that many debt collectors and creditors will “park” an account on your credit report that is not yours.

They do this because they know that you will need to pay off the account at some point.

One federal judge has even commented that putting accounts on credit reports is one of the most effective ways to “wrench,” or squeeze, a payment out of a consumer.

So don’t give in to this type of illegal blackmail.

If it is not your account, dispute it.

If it gets removed, that’s great.

If not, then consider suing them in court.

Feel free to get in touch with us.

If you have any questions about what you should do and you live in the state of Alabama, feel free to contact us.

You can reach us at 1-205-879-2447, or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

I look forward to chatting with you.

Have a great day!

-John G. Watts


  1. Natasha Millikan says:

    I want to sell my condo in the next few days. The maintenance company is putting a lien on the condo because they want me to pay a water bill that I do not owe. It is easy to prove that I do not owe it but I do not have time to sue before I sell.

    One used to be able to write a check and write on that check that the payment did not constitute agreement to the debt. Is this still possible?

    Thank you!

    • John Watts says:


      It depends on a lot of details. What state you are in, etc.

      There is a concept called “voluntary payment” where the idea is if you really don’t owe it, then don’t pay it. Otherwise, you may give up your right to challenge it.

      Is this a large amount of money?

      Is it worth fighting over if you are about to sell your condo?

      I don’t think you’ll find a lawyer willing or able to give you a definitive answer without knowing all the facts and that’s going to cost some money. So first thing I would figure out is if it is worth it?

      Then, if not worth fighting over, put something like that on the check and maybe you can fight it later or not — keep your option open. Do keep in mind it may be rejected — they have all the leverage in the world to jam up the sale of your condo.

      I’m assuming if a water bill this is probably a couple hundred bucks so unless your condo is inexpensive or you have very little equity, I would think it is best to deal with this later and if you give up your right to do so, maybe that’s not a big deal.

      Check with a lawyer in your state if you want to pursue this.

      Best wishes and sorry they put this bogus charge on your property… Very annoying I know.

      John Watts

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