After 20+ years of working with my wife filing bankruptcies, it finally hit me – Credit Repair!
Bankruptcy helps people remove debt, but what about recovering their credit after filing Bankruptcy in Raleigh, NC? What could I do? – Credit repair after and during bankruptcy!
Life has served you some knock-out punches. I recognize this; let me help you get back on your feet. — It is never too late for a fresh start! Now that you have filed your bankruptcy, it’s time to start working on your credit repair!
What is Credit Repair?
“Credit Repair” is the process of taking off derogatory marks and negative payment history off your credit reports. Each of the credit reporting agencies must be dealt with individually. You can receive your credit reports from Equifax, Experion, and Transunion each year at AnnualCreditReport.com. I cannot repeat enough – never lie, always tell the truth. The legal, ethical and best way to remove negative marks in your credit report is to ask questions, validations, and if they cannot prove the debt, by law, they have to remove it.
Remember, you do not have to show the debt is not yours, they have to show it is yours. With the terrible recordkeeping and your persistent pestering you have a very good chance of getting your credit report cleaned up. Follow my steps for the best results! You have very strong laws on your side, which I go into detail on how to use – Use them.
First, there is your “credit file”, and your “credit report”. Your credit file is the file kept on you by each credit bureau. The “credit report” is what you and the companies investigating your credit actually see. If you get a credit bureau to take off a trade line, it comes off your report, but not our file. If you get the original creditor or collection company to take-off or modify a tradeline, it changes your credit report AND your credit file. Thus it is preferable to use the OC or CA to change your credit report than the CRA (credit bureau or credit reporting agency).
To alter your credit report, you must challenge it. Items can be changed if:
- A recorded late payment is more than seven years and 180 days old. Sometimes accounts are “mysteriously re-aged” when they are sold, or are “re-aged” every time a payment is made
- Wrong person. This happens most often when two people with similar names reside at the same location (John Doe Sr. & John Doe Jr.). Information from both people can get merged.
- No contract. Yes, some unethical companies will try to collect a debt that doesn’t exist.The credit card or loan account listed isn’t yours (and you aren’t a co-signer)
- Identity Theft. It happens, and it is hard to clear-up.
- You closed the account, but it’s listed as closed by the data furnisher
- It has been more than seven years since a tax lien was paid off.
- An unpaid collections account is paid
Derogatory Mark Errors
Someone else’s’ name, not yours, is on the account
Personal Information Errors
***Note: If a credit report is missing information, that is NOT an error. There is no law saying a creditor needs to report credit information. Many creditors don’t report credit, many only report bad credit, and many don’t report to all the credit bureaus.
To challenge an item in a credit report with the credit bureaus, it must be for one of the above nine reasons. The dispute is best written in your own words, and one must be sent to each credit bureau that has lists the faulty information. I recommend a snail mail certified, return receipt letter, and not to dispute more than three items at a time or they could be seen as “frivolous” and your account locked.
- Clearly identify each item in your report you dispute.
- State the facts and explain why you dispute the information.
- Request deletion or correction.
- provide a copy of your report with items circled
Inability to buy a car or house
- high insurance rates
- Explain how the error is hurting you
- hindering finding a job
- Send the dispute letters by certified mail, return receipt requested. This is so you can document that the credit bureau received your dispute. Keep copies of all your dispute letters.
- When an item is disputed, The credit bureau must investigate the dispute within 30-45 days, with the average investigation lasting 14 days. If the “error” involves personal information or public records, the credit bureau looks into it themselves. If not, the credit bureau furnishes the dispute to the provider who furnished the data. At that time, the data furnisher will investigate the “error”.
If it is shown to be an error, the credit bureau is required to provide you with a new copy of your credit report and at your request, send notices of corrections to anyone who pulled your credit report in the last six months and any employer who pulled it in the last two years.
If you still feel it is an error, and the credit bureau does not agree with you, provide each credit bureau with a brief summary of your dispute which can explain what happened. While this may not change your credit score, it will explain the negative reporting to potential creditors, and also, will help you should you challenge it later. Potential creditors WILL see this, and it can work in your favor.
Also, report the error to the data furnishers (directly with your creditors) at the same time you are disputing it with the credit bureaus. It is the same information as disputing it with a credit bureau, and can be faster and there is no reason not to do both at the same time. It will get their attention when you list how their error is hurting you. Is reporting this worth losing a lawsuit? Doubtful.
****Many credit furnishers have a specific address to send disputes, so do your research. Please note: the creditors can only change the data they submit, so anything in public records can only be changed by the credit bureaus.
You can also file a complaint with the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), NC state’s attorney general’s office or other North Carolina Consumer Agencies.
PLEASE! Refer your friends to Cameron Bankruptcy Law or write a brief online review!