Credit Repair Operations

Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA)

BEWARE: Consumers frequently find themselves in a bind finding one or more derogatory credit references on their consumer report; especially, when they are in the process of seeking credit to refinance their home or for some other important purpose. We encourage consumers to immediately dispute any inaccurate or incomplete information on any of their reports directly with the credit reporting agency that is reporting inaccuratelyor incompletely. However, it is critical to point-out that the consumer should only dispute information that is actually inaccurate or incomplete. There are many unscrupulous Credit Repair Organizations which represent that they can repair your credit merely by submitting a dispute. It’s like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if any of it sticks. It’s not a good idea. The theory behind this is that possibly the furnisher to whom a dispute is submitted may fail to respond and this will possibly result in the credit reporting agency having to delete the account or information. Stay away from any Organization which suggests this as an approach. The CROA prohibits such conduct on the part of any Credit Repair Organization or any person. In fact, the following written disclosure must be provided to you before signing any contract with a Credit Repair Organization:

Consumer Credit File Rights Under State and Federal Law

You have a right to dispute inaccurate information in your credit report by contacting the credit bureau directly. However, neither you nor any ”credit repair” company or credit repair organization has the right to have accurate, current, and verifiable information removed from your credit report. The credit bureau must remove accurate, negative information from your report only if it is over 7 years old. Bankruptcy information can be reported for 10 years. You have a right to obtain a copy of your credit report from a credit bureau. You may be charged a reasonable fee. There is no fee, however, if you have been turned down for credit, employment, insurance, or a rental dwelling because of information in your credit report within the preceding 60 days. The credit bureau must provide someone to help you interpret the information in your credit file. You are entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report if you are unemployed and intend to apply for employment in the next 60 days, if you are a recipient of public welfare assistance, or if you have reason to believe that there is inaccurate information in your credit report due to fraud.  You have a right to sue a credit repair organization that violates the Credit Repair Organization Act. This law prohibits deceptive practices by credit repair organizations.

You have the right to cancel your contract with any credit repair organization for any reason within 3 business days from the date you signed it. Credit bureaus are required to follow reasonable procedures to ensure that the information they report is accurate. However, mistakes may occur.

You may, on your own, notify a credit bureau in writing that you dispute the accuracy of information in your credit file. The credit bureau must then reinvestigate and modify or remove inaccurate or incomplete information. The credit bureau may not charge any fee for this service. Any pertinent information and copies of all documents you have concerning an error should be given to the credit bureau. If the credit bureau’s reinvestigation does not resolve the dispute to your satisfaction, you may send a brief statement to the credit bureau, to be kept in your file, explaining why you think the record is inaccurate. The credit bureau must include a summary of your statement about disputed information with any report it issues about you. The Federal Trade Commission regulates credit bureaus and credit repair organizations.

For more information contact:
The Public Reference Branch
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580

Our Office Is Not A Credit Repair Organization

We do not repair your credit and do not consider ourselves a credit repair operation.If you have a legitimate dispute based on what we consider to be an objectively demonstrable inaccuracy, we will assist you in making a dispute to the appropriate credit reporting agency. We do not charge you for this service. If our efforts result in the correction of the information disputed we will happily send you on your way without any financial obligation. However, if the information disputed is not appropriately corrected, we expect to be able to bring an action on your behalf against the credit furnisher and/or credit reporting agency for failing to take the remedial steps requested. With few exceptions, our services in connection with any such action will be on a contingency fee basis.

Ask Steve.