Primer on Disputing Credit Report Negatives
Primer on Disputing Credit Report Negatives
If you have been reading my book available at http://onhomebuyingandcreditrepair.com and following my column you know that “pay for delete” is the way to go. Instant gratification…no fuss, no muss. The negative record disappears as if it never existed. Who could ask for more? But what if they won’t play ball? Here is a primer on disputing for best results.
No Disputing Credit Report Negatives Online
You will not even think about disputing via the online process because that involves waiving some precious and valuable rights. Roll up your sleeves. Go to the good old fashioned post office and get the materials you need for sending mail by the process of certified mail, return receipt requested. If you can’t be bothered with the certified return receipt requested route don’t let that slow you down. I’ve never had a problem using regular first class mail.
Disputing Borderline Credit Report Negatives as an Obsessive Compulsive
Now you are ready to get started. Write a simple letter addressed to the debtor whose entry you are disputing stating that you are disputing the validity of that entry and demanding that they verify it.
The “Return Receipt Requested” part of this process is a little green card which is attached to the envelope which they must sign proving that they got the letter. This will come back to you. Simultaneously send a copy of the letter to the credit reporting agency that is publishing the negative entry. This will force them to take it off, at least temporarily, at this point.
In a few days you will get the green card back with a signature of some agent of the alleged creditor.
If you haven’t already started a file, start one now. Save everything you receive and a copy of everything you send. You will now have a Certified Mail receipt, a Return Receipt Requested green card with a signature and a US Postal Service receipt (which will have the Certified Mail # on it).
Every letter you send out from this point will have a reference on the top saying USPS Certified Mail xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx.
Wait about 4 weeks until after the Collection agency received your letter as per the Return Receipt Requested green card. If they have not validated your alleged debt and are still reporting it’s time to file a simple follow up letter.
“On 1/1/12 your company received my letter requesting validation of a debt you claim I owe. In accordance with 809FDCPA you are required to either validate this debt or cease all efforts at collection. You must delete and cease any credit bureau reporting. Continued reporting to the credit bureaus constitutes a violation of the FDCPA.”
This letter will go to both the alleged creditor and to the Credit Reporting Agency. You will send a separate letter along with it to the Credit Reporting Agency as follows:
“On 1/1/12 the collection agency received my dispute of account number xxxxxxxxxxxxxx which they claim I owe to xxxxxx. They have not validated their claim in accordance with 809 FDCPA. Delete this disputed account.”
With the follow up letters include a copy of your original dispute and verify letter along with a copy of all the evidence (Certified Mail receipt, Return Receipt Requested signed green card, USPS receipt.)
With double sided copying it is easy to get copies of these 3 documents on the back of the dispute and verify letter. This will allow you a single page enclosure with your written dispute and follow up letter.
In 4 more weeks, rinse and repeat.
Whew! I hope that covers it for you! I know the process of disputing credit report negatives is tedious but there is some pleasure involved in taming the beast. Success means an instant substantial and permanent jump in your score. That’s what we’re after.
Appeal to the CFPB in Disputing Credit Report Negatives
If your efforts at disputing credit report negatives as outlined above result in failure press on with an appeal to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Their web site will tell you all you need to know. Their procedure is simple, fast and fair. Most of the time credit reporting agencies and creditors do not like to be involved with federal agencies. Get rid of your negative attitude about the unfairness of “the system.” This avenue of appeal has leveled the playing field. Be scrupulous about including all your proof with your appeal.