The Credit Bureaus are a branch of the government, infallible, and above reproach. FICTION – The credit bureaus are publicly & privately traded companies in business to impress stockholders. They are not government agencies. They are one of the most heavily regulated industries. The strict regulations stem from a public outcry of abuses and mistakes.
A recent survey by an independent research group revealed more than 70% of credit reports contained mistakes or errors. The prevalence of errors has lead to consumer protection legislation that allows consumers to challenge the bureaus and force the removal of inaccurate, outdated or unverifiable information.
Is Credit Repair Legal? FACT – You bet it is! As a consumer you have rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) passed in 1970. Essentially this gives you the right to have the information about you reported accurately, the information can be verified and if you dispute an item they have 30-40 days to respond. The other law that protects you is CROA, the Credit Repair Organizations Act. If credit repair was illegal then there would not be a law governing Credit Repair Organizations!
When I pay off a past-due account, such as a charge off or a collection account, it will show “paid” and no longer be negative. FICTION – It is difficult to fully restore your credit without paying your outstanding debts. However, paying off a debt can actually hurt your credit. Negative items on your credit report are allowed to stay on your credit report for up to seven (7) years, except for bankruptcy that can stay for up to ten (10) years. This 7 or 10-year clock begins ticking at the date of last activity. When paying an outstanding debt, you will change the account status to paid collection, paid charge-off, satisfied judgment, so now it scores like a brand new paid collection, charge off or judgment and the 7 year reporting clock starts all over again!
It is illegal for creditors to take a negative trade line off my credit report. The law requires that these items remain on the credit report for at least seven (7) years. FICTION – There is no law that states negative information has to stay on your credit report for 7 or 10 years! The law sets an upper limit that negative information can’t stay on your report for UP TO 7-10 years. The credit grantor or credit bureau may choose to delete the item whenever they see fit.
It is almost always prudent to have a professional help so as to not further damage your credit by trying to do the right thing. Jim Hogle – “the credit expert” www.usccra.com.
SHANE GUILLORY orginally passed this article on to me. He is the Senior Loan Officer at Moncor Mortgage Bank on Tamina Road in Magnolia. You can reach Shane at 936-521-2773 wk (direct line).