Repairing Your Credit – Get The Edge Above Your Creditors
- Contact the Attorney General’s Office in the city of the creditor who is damaging your credit. Get the phone number through directory assistance. Tell them that you have a creditor who is damaging your credit by reporting an account that is not yours. You have requested proof that the account belongs to you and they do not have it. They will contact the creditor and have the account removed from your credit file. This is free legal service and almost guarantees they will get the item removed.
- If you want to make some money off of the creditor then take them to Small Claims Court. To do this, you will need to call your county courthouse and ask about the proper procedure to follow to get a court date. It’s very easy and you can do it all yourself. You’ll be asked to fill out one or two simple forms stating your complaint. You may want to write that you wish to remove the item from your credit file since it is not yours and the creditor has no proof that it is your account. After you receive a court date, mark it in your calendar and make sure to attend at the proper time, place and date. Bring in the receipts from the registered mail you used for your disputes along with your phone bill and sue the creditor for your expenses and emotional stress. Remember, if they do not have proof that this is your account you will win and the account will be removed from your credit file! Also, if the creditor is out of state and does not show in court, you win by their default.
So far, we have not yet heard of any creditor showing up in court. They are simply far too busy to waste time on one person when they have thousands of other people to be concerned with. You may contact an attorney in your area for a free consultation about what your rights are concerning your particular situation.
Step 4: If the creditor is able to supply the written proof you request, offer to settle the debt for 10 cents on the dollar provided that you have the money. If you don’t have the money go to Step 5. If you owe $1,000, offer the creditor $100. If they refuse, tell them that you will file Bankruptcy and they will get nothing. This will certainly open them up to negotiating with you. Whatever you agree to pay them, it should be a lot less than you originally owed them. Do not agree to pay interest charges or penalties on past due or collection accounts.
Step 5: If you don’t have the money to make payment arrangements, start back at Step 1 of this section. Remember that the laws are in your favor and you are legally allowed by Federal Law to dispute the negative items on your credit file every 30 days. You are allowed to repeat this process as many times as you wish until the Credit Bureaus cannot verify the item and must remove it. As you already know, the creditors do not have the staff to handle all the disputes they receive, so if you persist, eventually the items may be removed.
Sometimes the Credit Bureaus may sometimes reply telling you that they already verified the information as correct. If this happens, write back telling them that it’s a Federal Law that they must verify your disputes and that you’ll sue them for $5,000 for each dispute that they do not handle properly. Once they know that you are aware of your rights, they’ll become very cooperative.
If you agree to make payment arrangements with any creditor, do so only under one condition. The condition is that before you pay any money, the creditor must mail you a written agreement that they will report the account to the Credit Bureaus as current, paid off and never late! Otherwise, it may still remain on your credit file and may not be worth paying.