“My credit report shows several negative accounts that I need to dispute. Can I include them all in one letter?”
This is a common question, and I go into detail about how the professional credit repair specialists handle it in Repair Your Credit Like the Pros. But let’s talk about common sense.
If your credit is mixed up with another person’s credit, such as your name is Charles Moon, Jr. and Charles Moon Sr.’s credit is showing up on your report, then you should include all of Sr.’s credit accounts that do not belong to you in one letter. Also include two pieces of ID showing you are Jr.
If you were in the hospital getting an appendectomy and some of the bills went into collections because your insurance company messed up, then include all of those collection accounts in one letter, because they are all related to one event.
So, if the erroneous negative accounts are all related, include them in one letter — and if possible, send verification along with it.
On the other hand, if your report shows a collection account from Comcast dated 2013, and a collection account from Sears dated 2016, then it’s clear that those two accounts are not related to one another. Therefore, you must dispute them separately. For each, explain why it is incorrect and request that it be removed from your credit report. You can use a handy Credit Investigation Request Form that goes with the book if you like. It’s a good idea to hand write a short explanation in the white space. Or, if more appropriate, you can use a letter.
Some people have asked me what I think about the 609 template letters. I know a lot of people use them, and that’s one problem. They are over-used. Another problem is that they sound like legalese, not like something an honest citizen would write about his/her situation.
What’s more, the top credit repair experts that I interviewed and have worked with do not use those letters. The book is called Repair Your Credit Like the Pros.
Credit repair is a big topic and it is both simple and complex. It’s too much for a blog post, but I hope that using common sense will make sense to you for your situation. For more detailed instruction, please see the book.
For the record, I do not do credit repair, nor do I give credit advice by email. I am a licensed mortgage loan officer in California and Washington; and as all mortgage professionals do, I have helped my clients get approved for a home loan.
Written by Mr. F. McGehee Woolf, mortgage loan manager, licensed in Louisiana and North Carolina (NMLS 89625):
As a client of ours over the years you may recall the importance of having acceptable credit as a primary consideration in the home buying process. Many fall below the acceptable ranges to be approved. This can be very demoralizing, and they typically consider some unattractive options, such as:
- Listen to a friend and dispute all the negative credit information.
- Pay a company or an attorney to rehabilitate the credit which often delivers mixed results.
- Do nothing and keep renting.
Since people look to me for guidance I wanted to learn more about how someone could help himself or herself in this frustrating circumstance. I recently read the book by Carolyn Warren titled Repair Your Credit Like the Pros. It’s an easy read loaded with excellent direction on what to do in almost every conceivable circumstance. Ms. Warren will even provide you with the letter templates you need to be successful.
I contacted Ms. Warren asking for her permission for me to notify you of the availability of her book, and she
graciously granted it. I wholeheartedly endorse it. You can click on the link below and it will take you to the Amazon page where you can purchase her book for $13.49. With her book and some focused effort, most people will be able to get their credit in order.
Best of luck and let me know if I can help you in any way.
F McGehee Woolf, Loan Production Manager NMLS No. 89625
For loans in North Carolina and Louisiana, visit website here. Office: 225.767.5355
“Chase not only removed all my late payments but also refunded over $350 in fees!” ~~ Sarah S., Florida
Sarah had moved several times and in the process, she’d unintentionally forgotten about the Chase account. Easy to do when no billing statement comes! By the time she checked her credit report, late payments had already posted and her score had been docked.
Time to spring into action! Sarah picked up a copy of Repair Your Credit Like the Pros: How credit attorneys and certified consultants legally delete bad credit and restore your good name. See here.
After reading Chapter 15, she called Chase and asked to speak with a supervisor in charge. She opened the line of communication in a professional manner. She explained that her credit is very important to her, and she would not have missed a payment had she received a bill. She told the truth. By the end of the conversation, the supervisor said:
“I have determined that you were not receiving your statements”; and therefore, you “couldn’t have known you had a bill.”
As a result, both the late payment record and the late fees were removed.
In a follow-up email, Sarah wrote (and gave me permission to use on my blog):
I wanted to write to you with a heart of gratitude! Thank you so much for writing your credit repair book. Within two
months of starting the credit repair process and sending out first letters, my husband and I have raised our score over 100 points! We are pre-approved to buy our first home. God is good.
Thank you again,
Help is coming for people who are drowning in collections and debt. And for people working on fixing their credit.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is going through certain proposals to overhaul the debt collection industry. The idea is to stop abuse and make sure collectors are following proper protocol. But in this overhaul, there is good news for folks who are suffering from charge offs or collections on their credit.
First, the CFPB is going to put a new limit on how often the collector can contact the person owing money. They want to stop the harassment that sometimes happens.
Second, they will be required to disclose more details, which will make it easier for people to dispute inaccuracies.
Third — and this is a big one — collectors will not be able to pursue collecting money during the dispute process without providing sufficient evidence.
Furthermore, these rules also apply if the account is sold or transferred to another collection company.
As I said, this is all being reviewed by the CFPB now. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available by subscribing to this blog (on the right side). And please pass on this information to others who are struggling with debt, imperfect credit, or who are professionals in the mortgage or real estate industry.
Many thanks to photographer Ian Espinosa for the free use of his photo.
If you have a tax lien or civil judgment that does not contain the proper and correct identifiers, then Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion will remove it from your credit report this month, beginning July 10th. The identifiers are name, address, and either social security number or date of birth.
There is no need to send a letter requesting the deletions. If your lien or judgment does not include the identifiers, the account will be removed. It doesn’t matter if it is paid or has a balance. This is about proper identification, not about money owed. The expectation is that about 50% to 60% of tax liens will be deleted, and about 95% of civil judgments will be deleted.
If you are fortunate to have one of these derogatory accounts removed, you should see your credit score go up. This, in turn, could qualify you for a better interest rate or a better loan program when borrowing money or getting a mortgage.
How Much Will Your Credit Score Increase?
How many credit points you might gain depends on the rest of your credit report. If you have a clean report with one lien that gets removed, you could see an improvement of 40 to 50 points, which would make a significant difference. On the other hand, if your report is scattered with late payments and collections, your score will probably increase by only 10 points or so.
Getting the Credit Deletion Does Not Mean You Don’t Still Owe Money
Let’s say you hired a contractor to replace your roof, then due to hardship, you did not pay. The contractor then filed a civil judgment that went on your credit report. This judgment contains your name and address, but is missing your social security number and date of birth. This judgment will be removed from your credit report, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still owe the contractor for the work he performed. This is not a license to steal from the contractor. What’s more, the next time a title report is pulled, this lien is going to show up, so when you sell the home or refinance, this lien must be paid.
If you owe on back taxes, you can expect that to stick like glue to your social security number, even if it gets removed from your report for not having your address.
Checking On Your Credit
To find out if your lien or judgment was removed, order your free annual credit report by mail from http://www.annualcreditreport.com. Don’t be lazy and order online for the many, important reasons stated in Repair Your Credit Like the Pros. Or, you can call 877-322-8228.
Please share this information via social media, because it affects a lot of people. Thank you.
The credit bureaus (also called credit reporting agencies or CRAs) have adopted a new policy: tax liens and judgments will be removed from credit reports if they do not include the proper information identifying them to the individual.
It is estimated that 60% of tax lien information will be removed from credit reports and ALL civil judgment records will be removed!
A release from TransUnion gives some insight about what to expect:
- Based on feedback, most Bankruptcy information will meet the minimum reporting requirements, so don’t expect those to go away.
- The new standards will apply to both new and existing public record data.
- Minimum identifier data required: Name, Address, Social Security # and/or Date of Birth
- Minimum frequency courthouse visits to obtain newly filed data: 90 Days
When it will roll out: During the week of July 10, 2017, the CRAs will remove from their databases previously collected public record data that does not meet the enhanced standards.
Please pass on/share this news, because it will give a lot of folks new hope that they are not forever stuck in bad credit.
Many thanks to Credit Repair Resources, Inc. for this information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Does credit repair work? YES
Is credit repair a scam? NO, not when you do it legally like the certified, licensed, credit repair specialists.
One of my book readers recently sent me this, showing her success.
Previously, her credit report had a charge-off from Verizon that she did not agree with. She challenged it and won! This letter from Experian shows the results and outcome: “Deleted – This item was removed from your credit report. Please review your report for the details.”
She was so happy, because having this negative item removed from her credit will boost her score. I cannot predict how many points her score will go up, because it varies depending on the person’s overall credit report. That said, having a charge-off removed is a major success!
Congratulations, dear book reader, and thank you for giving me permission to post this as an encouragement to others that DIY credit repair works.
All the steps on how she did this are in Repair Your Credit Like the Pros: How credit attorneys and certified consultants legally delete bad credit and restore your good name. You can check it out here.
Please share this encouragement with others who either need to restore their credit and/or who want to know how the credit system works. I appreciate it so much, and they will too!
The Date of Last Activity (DLA) listed on your credit report is important to understand. This date is updated when one of three things happens on any active account:
- You make a payment,
- You miss a payment, or
- Your balance increases.
The Date of Last Activity used to include the “drop off” date, or the date the item will be removed from the report, but this is no longer the case. The “drop off date” is now a separate item and often not on the report at all.
Who sets the Date of Last Activity?
Creditors and debt collectors are responsible for reporting this information to the bureaus who then update the DLA accordingly.
Is a debt collector messing with your Date of Last Activity?
Some debt collectors sneakily make regular changes to consumers’ accounts, which triggers a balance increase to be sent to the bureaus and changes the DLA. This can hurt your credit score. Some unscrupulous creditors do this to intimidate people in hopes of pressuring them to pay.
What should you do about the Date of Last Activity?
When reviewing your credit report, pay special attention to the Date of Last Activity–especially on delinquent accounts. Make sure that the DLA reflects the actual date that a payment was made, missed, or the balance increased. If it is not, begin the basic dispute process to have the item changed or (better yet) deleted.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act (FACTA) protects you from having erroneous or false derogatory information be posted on your credit report.
Does the DLA determine when an item will fall off your credit report?
No. The original delinquency date determines when the item will be deleted from your report. However, the DLA does influence your credit score. (This is crucial to know and a whole topic in itself. Don’t shoot down your score by updating an old derogatory DLA!)
Collection accounts are deleted seven years from the original delinquency date of the original account. Collections accounts are always associated with the original account so they must be deleted at the same time.
For more information on how credit scoring works and how to take control of your own credit, see Repair Your Credit Like the Pros here.
Book reader Paige Bellamy wrote: “This is the best credit repair book I have ever read. This book is filled with tons of useful information.”
Ashton Ammons, Senior Credit Consultant wrote: “Carolyn did a fantastic job writing this book, I’ve been in the credit repair industry for many years and through these chapters she’s provided our team with new insight, strategies and ideas to be able to produce even better results for our clients. I like a lot of the lingo and terminology she uses throughout the book. It’s true we use a lot of the same words and jargon around here at the office. She’s explains the content in very understandable step by step manner and I believe she truly wants to help the reader better understand how credit works. This book is one of the best investments I’ve made in a long time.”
I received this excellent information from Credit Repair Resources, and I know many of you will be interested in this news:
So another bombshell hit the credit reporting and lending world this week. This time it is potentially big news for millions of Americans and thousands of lenders. In the ongoing effort to provide accurate credit reporting to consumers, the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion have announced that in July, 2017 many tax liens and judgments will be removed from consumer credit files.
I thought I would add insight into why this move was made by the CRA’s. The key reason is, wait for it…. identifiers.
You see as part of the ongoing overhaul of the credit reporting system, entities that report information to our credit report, otherwise know as furnishers must provide specific information that accurately ties the account to the consumers credit file.
Public records like tax liens and judgments often do not contain the required identifiers that permit those accounts to be reported. After July of this year, any lien or judgment that does not contain the proper information will be purged from consumer files.
Now in the near term this is excellent news, but it is not all puppy dogs and ice cream. There is always a caveat. We must consider that government agencies and lien holders are not going to take lightly to this. I hate to make assumptions, but I will make the assumption that there will be pressure applied to court houses and Lexis Nexis to improve their record keeping.
It is also important to know that this will not affect all Americans with these items. If the lien or judgment does contain the proper identifiers, it can remain on the consumer’s credit file.
It will be interesting to see how this impacts the mortgage world, but at first glance, Summer 2017 is looking to a very busy one for the mortgage industry!
~ Written by Chad Kusner, President, Credit Repair Resources (Posted here with permission.)
Please help share this information via social media, because a lot of good folks need this intel.
Repair Your Credit Like the Pros,
available now at Amazon.
96% of readers rated it 5 or 4 stars.
If you think you know what your credit card company charges for a late payment, take another look. You might be shocked!
Capital One posts their interest rate as 27.24%. But look at this statement. Because this consumer was late, Capital One is charging over 70%!
Top line shows the balance was $41.17.
Sixth line (underlined) shows the fee charged is $29.00.
$29 = 70.4% of $41.17
I think that is outrageous, and I hope this goes viral.
It means the consumer is paying $70.17 for an item that cost $41.17. That is a terrible deal, no matter how you look at it!
I suggested that the consumer call Capital One and ask not to be posted 30 days late to the credit bureaus, because she has never been late before and has a perfect credit history. Getting docked 100+ points on her FICO score would hurt more than $29.
Here is the Conversation with Capital One
Cap One Rep: Sorry, we have to report it as late to the credit bureaus.
Consumer: I have a perfect credit history with you. Could I have this one grace?
Cap One Rep: No, we can’t do that.
Consumer: I would like to talk with a Supervisor (following the script in Repair Your Credit Like the Pros).
Cap One Rep: It won’t do you any good. She’ll just tell you the same thing.
Consumer: Nevertheless, I want to talk with a Supervisor.
Supervisor comes to the phone and Consumer asks again.
Cap One Supervisor: We won’t report you late to the credit bureaus. I apologize for what our customer service representative told you.
As a bonus, she waived the late fee. It seems the Supervisor was more interested in good customer service than the representative. It is a good thing she asked! Doing so saved her money and grief.
Scripts for how to negotiate with creditors are in the book. They are based on my own experience in negotiating for my mortgage clients in the past. I do not negotiate for consumers now, but there’s no reason why you cannot D.I.Y.
Setting up automatic payment to pay off your balance in full each month is a good practice. Don’t waste your hard-earned money on outrageous credit card interest. It’s not even tax deductible.
Don’t worry about the credit card companies making a profit. Even if you don’t pay them a single cent, they make money by charging the merchant or seller.
Please help get this education out to good folks: If you don’t pay your balance in full each month, you are paying too much! And if you accidentally go late one month, call immediately and get it resolved before it gets reported to the credit bureaus.