Anyone Have Advice on How to Successfully Dispute a Negitive Mark/s on Credit Report?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Mansure, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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    My wife and I both have a "troubled" credit history and are finally in a position to start repairing our credit, learning from our mistakes and moving ahead.
    Recently we gathered our individual reports from the 3 major credit bureaus and have found legitimate marks but there were also some incorrect and inaccurate marks that need to be removed on all 3 reports.
    Has anyone had direct experience with disputing such marks themselves and being successful?
    I've researched on sites like www.creditnet.com which seem to help but in the end they warn against trying to take on such a task yourself and point you toward a paid credit repair service which on a large scale have been described as a waste of time and money and some of them have even been labeled scams.
    We're not looking for a quick fix or anything like that just a point in the right direction in dealing with creditors and disputing marks with the major credit bureaus.
    If anybody can give experience, suggestions or assistance I would appreciate greatly.
    Thanks in advance,
    Brian
     
  2. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    Check out www.equifax.com (one of the credit reporters). You can dispute stuff online and they have info on how to do it.
     
  3. Chris Lanni

    Chris Lanni Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,

    Number one, don't give any more thought to the repair services you mentioned. They are a scam. They promise to get your report "repaired" when in fact the only people that can do that is you and your wife. My wife and I were married three weeks ago this Saturday. We bought a house two months ago. Six months before we bought the house I sent in for all three of my reports because my ex-girlfriend had opened a credit card in my name without my consent. Because of the issue of fraud I was able to obtain all three of my reports for free. That was nice. Once you get your reports all you really have to do to start the ball rolling is send each one a letter stating what the mistakes are. The credit reporting agencies are the ones who go through all of the investigation for you. They are supposed to contact the companies which you refer to in your letter as being "inaccurate". The companies that are contacted are then required to prove to the credit agency that their info on you and your credit is accurate. You can just sit back and relax at first and see what the credit bureaus tell you. If the companies that have reported an error say that you are in the wrong then you will have to send copies, or whatever info you have, to the credit bureaus stating your case. First thing first, just send them a letter explaining what the errors are. It's really not that bad, you'll get through it. By the way if one credit bureaus finds out that there are errors on your report they are required to let the other two bureaus know.

    Chris
     
  4. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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    Thanks Mike and Chris.

    We've actually started disputing the inaccurate marks with 2 of the three major credit bureaus by phone.
    Basically I wanted to make sure of the wording or the way we phrased things as I've heard you can actually end up validating debts with "key" words or by giving too much detail. This could all be hearsay but it does make sense if you think about it. A few discussion boards I was reading said to never validate or say that you actually owe any debt when having correspondence with a credit bureau.
    The members went on to say that the credit bureaus will simply "flag" your account for a number of things, including using the discrepancy forms from "credit repair" sources which will keep your account standing with the same negative and damaging remarks for years to come.
    I think we have a long road ahead of us but it will be well worth it to re-establish our good credit.

    Any more suggestions are encouraged and welcomed

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    To actually get innacurate items removed permanently from your report, you must contact the original creditor directly. Putting an item in dispute with the credit bureau will get it dropped for one or two reporting cycles, but if the original creditor is still reporting a problem, it will eventually return.

    It took me over a year of frustration and correspodance to finally eliminate a notation that showed I had an open balance on a cancelled credit card from a major bank (a very large bank) because there were multiple references to it in different computer systems in different offices, and it kept being re-reported. I finally got a letter from the bank which I sent to the three major credit bureaus instructing them to disregard any future reports on that particular account.

    Nothing short of going to the source will solve a problem like this. And that's the most a so-called "credit repair" services can do - contact the creditors on your behalf and try to get the information corrected. But since they rely on information from you, they are essentially charging you big bucks to make phone calls and send letters that you make and send youself. The very worst of them don't even do that much. They just send you the mailing address and phone number of the creditor you need to contact - information readily available on the 'web in most cases. (At worst you might start one number or address away from the one you really need, in which case the creditor itself will give you the correct information.)

    And, of course, no one can remove derogatory information from a credit report that is accurate, no matter what some services claim. But you're dealing with a few items that are wrong, and I'm sure you have documentation to prove it, so you should be able to deal with the creditors. Then (once you've ascertained that the information won't be re-reported) you can go to TRW, Equifax and whomever and get the item dropped from your report.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    My experience happened 7 years ago, so I'm sure you can do a lot of this online nowadays.

    Anyway I applied for a credit card and got rejected. I called the 800# for the credit reporting companies they used (which were TRW which became something else, and TransUnion I think) and got copies mailed to me for free, which I was entitled to since I had been rejected credit based on their reports.

    In about a week I got both reports and there were numerous credit cards and loans attributed which weren't mine (but weren't past due, just a lot of money outstanding) which is why a credit card company wouldn't approve me. I marked up the items (they had a procedure where you could check boxes saying "This isn't mine" or "Inaccurate" IIRC) and mailed it back. I got a notice from both saying they were investigating my claims. A few weeks later I got new reports from both saying they couldn't prove that those disputed items were mine and deleted them from my record. A week later I reapplied for the credit card and got it!

    Best of luck!
     
  7. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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    Thanks Joseph and Carlo for sharing your experiences.

    We have already made slight progress and ended up having to call the FTC for assistance with one uncooperative company.
    It's slow going right now and nothing has actually been removed/updated on our credit report yet but I expect cleaning all the inaccurate marks off both our reports will take at least a full year to show up.

    Brian
     
  8. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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