HELPING GOOD PEOPLE THROUGH HARD TIMES
Free Credit Report
In addition to locating creditors by looking through your records and papers you can supplement that search by ordering a credit report. You are entitled to one free report per year.
Under federal law, you're also entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you, such as denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment, based on information in your report. You must ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company.
You're also entitled to one free report a year if you're unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you're on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.
Otherwise, a consumer reporting company may charge you for another copy of your report within a 12-month period.
You don't need to have that report to meet with me and we can order it when we are at my office.
If you wish to order it yourself use the website below. This is the best website to use as some others you might find on the internet try to sign you up for a credit reporting service after a 30 day trial period.
Alternatively, you can mail in a credit report form. You need to be sure to include a legible copy of your driver’s license or similar document and your social security card so something like a pay stub or W2 which has your social security number included.
To obtain the form click here
Time Limits for Information
No one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report. But the law does allow you to request a reinvestigation of information in your file that you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete. Accurate negative information generally can be reported for seven years, but there are exceptions:
Chapter bankruptcy information can be reported for 10 years (7 years for a chapter 13);
Information reported because of an application for a job with a salary of more than $75,000.00 has no time limitation;
Information reported because of an application for more than $150,000.00 worth of credit or life insurance has no time limitation;
Information concerning a lawsuit or a judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer. For lawsuits, the date of entry is the date the lawsuit was initiated. For judgments, the date of entry is the date the judgment was entered; and
Default information concerning U.S. Government insured or guaranteed student loans can be reported for seven years after certain guarantor actions.
Paid Tax Liens - Seven years from the date of payment.
Accounts Placed for Collection or Charged Off - Seven years from the date of delinquency itself until 180 days following the delinquency, depending on when the debt was placed for collection or charged off.
Records Relating to Arrest - Records of arrest are treated like lawsuits and judgments and can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations expires, whichever is longer.
Criminal Convictions - No limit applies.
"Any Other Adverse Item" - Generally, with the exception of the items listed above, any adverse item cannot be reported for more than seven years.
Credit report errors are very common. In fact, the majority of people have some sort of error on their credit reports - errors that are as simple as an incorrect middle initial or prior home address all the way up to major problems such as accounts that belong to other people.
It's simple to dispute errors on your credit report. All you need to do is provide each credit reporting agency with a letter outlining your dispute and providing the necessary proof. Send your letter by certified mail to each credit reporting agency.
The three addresses where you need to mail your disputes are:
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30348
Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
Your dispute letter should include your full legal name, social security number, date of birth, and copy of your driver's license or other government-issued photo identification.
Remember to sign and date the letter, and keep a copy of the letter as well as all back-up information you send. This may be important in the event that the credit reports are not properly updated with correct information.
Checking Account Issues
If you have NSF checks, doing nothing after bankruptcy with respect to Chex Systems will mean the NSF checks are reported incorrectly for 5 years. By following some easy steps, it is not uncommon to get a new bank account within 60 days after a bankruptcy discharge, whereas without a bankruptcy, opening a new account would have been impossible.
After Bankruptcy, Chex Systems is not required to remove an accurate report previously submitted. Nevertheless, the reporting banks/members are obligated to update their reports with accurate information. Just like a member is obligated to update its reports with a paid in full or settled in full when applicable, a similar updating is required for bankruptcy discharges.
Since the Chex Systems report concerns the obligations owed by the debtor and not the collectibility of receivables on the banks’ books, if a debt is discharged in bankruptcy, a member must report that account as “$0.00 owed, discharged in bankruptcy.” If you still continue to have difficulty with getting a bank account after receiving a Bankruptcy Discharge, you may want to follow these steps.
1) You should order your free copy of the Chex Systems report. You are entitled to a free copy of your consumer report, at your request, once every 12-months.
2) Once you obtain your report, you should review the report for accuracy. Any accounts reporting a balance that were discharged need to be corrected. These accounts should be reported as “$0.00 balance, discharged in bankruptcy.”
3) Dispute an item. Disputing an item is relatively easy. Simply send Chex Systems a copy of the free report you received with the improper information circled or otherwise flagged, your discharge notice you received from the Bankruptcy Court, Bankruptcy Schedules D, E, or F (which ever ones lists the disputed item) and a letter explaining that the new balance is now “$0.00 after being discharged in Bankruptcy.”
It is wise to provide your complete identification, including your driver’s license number and social security number. Y
The Chex Systems mailing address for disputes is Chex Systems, Inc., 7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100, Woodbury, MN 55125.
4) Chex Systems then has 30 days to investigate. If it fails to investigate and respond, then the item must be deleted.
5) If the bank responds back that the account was not discharged in bankruptcy, or continues to report a balance, then both the bank and Chex Systems are liable under the FCRA for false reporting.