Credit Repair Help

Repairing Your Credit Report
The process for repairing your report is straight forward. To get the best results keep copies all correspondence. Send all correspondence registered mail, return-receipt requested. Always retain your cash receipt and file a copy of the registered mail receipt. In this manner, you will have documented your correspondence. Do not expect immediate results, by patiently following these steps most credit report errors can be removed within 90 days.

Step #1 Order your report.

Step #2 Review your report thoroughly. Make sure you understand EVERY item before proceeding to the next step.

Step #3 Your report may contain items that are damaging to your ability to obtain credit. On a sheet of paper, rank each item in order of severity. Example: If you had a bankruptcy, it would be listed above a late payment. Look for duplicated information. Pay special attention to the Identification section. The order of priority should be as follows:

  1. Bankruptcies
  2. Foreclosures
  3. Repossessions
  4. Defaults
  5. Judgments
  6. Collections
  7. Past due notations
  8. Late payments
  9. Inquiries

Step #4 Complete a dispute letter to the creditor using the "Creditor Letter" text as a guideline. Your dispute should ask for one of two results;

  1. Removal of incorrect information
  2. Correction of information reported

Be prepared to provide written proof to creditors when asking for credit reporting corrections. This may be provided with receipts, cancelled checks, or third party statements. If you obtain a written response from the creditor that validates your dispute please include it with all correspondence for steps 5, 6, and 7.

Creditor Letter

Date

Name of Creditor
Address of Creditor
Address of Creditor
Account Number with Creditor



Re: Request to remove negative information from credit file


Dear Creditor:

A recent examination of my credit report shows that you reported (type and number of late payments) to (name of credit bureau reported to). I respectfully request that these negative items be removed. Although the payments were indeed late, I paid off the account in full.

The payments were late for the following reason(s):

Detail here the reason(s) the payments were late.

I am attempting to qualify for a mortgage loan to purchase a home. You assistance by removing these negative items from my credit report is sincerely appreciated.

Sincerely,

Name
Full Address
Account number with creditor

Step #5 Complete the dispute form "Bureau Letter 1" for each of the three bureaus. Remember to send each dispute form return receipt requested. The following are the names and address's for each of the three credit report bureaus:

Equifax
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta GA 30374-0241
(800) 685-1111
(770) 612-3200
(800) 548-4548 residents of Georgia, Vermont or Massachusetts
(800) 233-7654 residents of Maryland
http://www.equifax.com/consumer/

Experian (Formerly TRW)
P.O. Box 949
Allen TX 75013-0949
(800) 643-3334
(214) 390-9191
http://www.experian.com

Trans Union Corporation
Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 390
Springfield PA 19064-0390
(800) 916-8800
(800) 682-7654
(714) 680-7292
http://www.transunion.com

It is not uncommon for a bureau to return your disputes without researching or making the necessary corrections to your report. The reason? Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, they have the right to deny requests that are "frivolous" in nature. Since this is a subjective measurement, DO NOT let them get away with this! To safeguard your efforts, we recommend that you only dispute a maximum of 3 or 4 items at a time. Make sure that you can explain and substantiate the inaccuracy of each reported item. Your explanations should be drafted in a manner that communicates clearly the reason behind the dispute. Do not give the bureau a reason to reject your dispute! Remember, under the United States Code, Title 15, Chapter 41, Subchapter III, Section 1681I, entitled "Procedure in case of disputed accuracy", the burden is on the bureau to satisfy legitimate requests. You should expect a response back from each bureau within 10-30 days informing you that an investigation is now in progress. Remember to mark your calendar, if you have not received an updated copy of your report within 40 days, with the necessary changes made, your are ready for the next step.

Bureau Letter 1

Date

Equifax
PO Box 1058130
Atlanta, GA 30348


Re: Letter of Complaint, Inaccurate information in credit report


Dear Equifax:

The attached copy of my credit report contains several errors. The errors are annotated on the attached report and listed below with an explanation.

Section 1681i of the 15 USC provides that inaccurate information must be deleted from my credit report. I demand these items be reinvestigated and removed. In addition, I request the names, addresses and phone numbers of those persons you contacted so that I may follow up with them.

As per FTC guidelines, 30 days shall constitute "reasonable time" for the purpose of this request.

Additionally, section 1681i (d) provides that you send me an updated copy of my credit report once the investigation is complete. Section 1681j states there should be no charge for this updated report.


Sincerely,

Name
Full Address
Social Security Number

Step #5 If the items you have disputed have not been removed, or you have not received a letter back from each bureau after 30 days, you will need to prepare and send a follow-up letter to each of the three bureaus using "Bureau Letter 2". Mark your calendar for 30 days to start step 6 if no response is completed.

Bureau Letter 2

Date

Equifax
PO Box 1058130
Atlanta, GA 30348


Re: Notice of Failure to Respond


Dear Equifax:

Thirty days ago you were notified of my dispute of several items of inaccurate and misleading information in my credit report. I also notified you that 30 days, per FTC guidelines, shall constitute reasonable time for the purposes of this request. Please find attached the original letter

Without your prompt notification that 30 days would not be realistic for this effort, I demand that, according to provisions of 15 USC 1681i (a), these items be immediately deleted. Your further failure to respond will cause me to pursue my legal rights according to 15 USC section 1681n/1681o, which require you to comply with the law.

Please send me immediate notification that the disputed items have been deleted, as per 15 USC secion 1681(d). Also, send me an updated copy of my credit report, and an updated copy to any person or company that has requested my credit information within the last six months. There is no charge for this service as per 15 USC section 1681j.


Sincerely,

Name
Full Address
Social Security Number

Step #6 If you have not received confirmation that your disputed items have been removed within 30 days of Step #5, or if the bureaus are dragging their feet and are slow responding, you must send a Demand letter reminding the bureaus of their obligations under the law. This is the last attempt you will make at the bureau level so it is imperative that this letter get the response you are expecting.

Bureau Letter 3

Date

Equifax
PO Box 1058130
Atlanta, GA 30348


Re: Notice of Failure to Respond


Dear Equifax:

Sixty days ago you were notified of my dispute of several items of inaccurate and misleading information in my credit report. I also followed up with a reminder letter thirty days ago. I also notified you that 30 days, per FTC guidelines, shall constitute reasonable time for the purposes of this request. Please find attached the original letters.

Without your prompt notification that 30 days would not be realistic for this effort, I demand that, according to provisions of 15 USC 1681i (a), these items be immediately deleted. Your further failure to respond will cause me to pursue my legal rights according to 15 USC section 1681n/1681o, which require you to comply with the law.

Please send me immediate notification that the disputed items have been deleted, as per 15 USC section 1681(d). Also, send me an updated copy of my credit report, and an updated copy to any person or company that has requested my credit information within the last six months. There is no charge for this service as per 15 USC section 168(j).

I expect a written response within seven days, or I will contact the Federal Trade Commission, Subcommittee on Banking, Credit and Insurance, and your state regulatory agency.

Sincerely,

Name
Full Address
Social Security Number

Step #7 At this point, you must make some tough decisions. The bureau has ignored you and has not performed their obligations under the law. You then, have two options. The first is to write a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, and ask for their assistance in forcing the bureaus compliance. If a bureau is in contempt of the law, and does not remove items that have caused you economic hardship, a civil suit could be brought against them for damages. If you are to pursue this option, you must have shown due diligence in contacting the bureau AS WELL as the regulatory body that oversees their compliance under the law.

Step #8 If negative items remain on your report at this step in the process, you are still able to add a consumer statement next to EACH ITEM on your report. This statement should be written in a clear and concise manner and cannot exceed 100 words! Poorly constructed statements can, and often are, rewritten at the bureau level. You should prepare this statement carefully as future creditors will evaluate your response and make a determination about your credit worthiness.

NOTE:
Remember to keep copies of all correspondence. Often times credit disputes may appear to have been fully resolved only to appear again at a later date on your credit report. Typically, if errors have been correctly documented and removed then future errors for that creditor may be resolved quickly.


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