Collection accounts are similar to public records in that they're reported hit-and-miss by collection agencies. Each agency is less interested in accurate reporting than they are in twisting the consumer's arm by trashing their credit rating.
Collection agencies, in short, are more interested in getting paid than they are in the accuracy of the credit system. So, collection accounts are often inaccurate - but the collection agency has vested interest in keeping an active collection account from dropping off the report. Since they're so focused on profit, collection agencies are often willing to delete a negative credit listing themselves, given the proper financial incentive.
Paid collection accounts are just as bad to a credit score as unpaid collection accounts, but paid collection accounts are better because they're easier to remove through efforts to dispute and remove.