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Millions of people in America with mistakes on their credit report- Credit Law Center

 

 

Believe it or not we live in an age where much of what goes on in our daily lives is monitored, collected and sold to interested parties. Our driving records, our medical history, our internet traffic and most importantly our credit information. Which can make you vulnerable to identity theft or a mistake on your credit report, that could cost you money. These mistakes can increase the interest you pay on your loans, prevent you from getting a mortgage, buy a car, landing a job or getting a security clearance. A government study indicates as many as 40 million Americans have a mistake on their credit report. Twenty million Americans have significant mistakes and the credit reporting industry shows that those mistakes can be nearly impossible to get removed from your record.

Consumer Credit Reporting

Consumer credit reporting is a four billion dollar a year industry dominated by three large companies Experian, TransUnion, Equifax. They keep files on 200 million Americans in traffic and our financial reputations. They make their money gathering information from people we do business with and sells it to banks, merchants, insurance companies and employers. These businesses use it to make judgments about our credit worthiness and reliability.

But now the reliability of the industry is being questioned by the Federal Trade Commission. John Liebowitz served as FTC chairman says “One out of five Americans has an error on their credit report and one out of ten has an error on their credit report and because of these mistakes Americans credit scores might be lower as a result”.

Close your eyes for a minute and trying to think of another industry where a 20 percent error rate would be acceptable. Maybe weather men and woman are the only ones that you were more than likely able to come up with. Even then, you want to make sure you remind them that they were wrong because they ruined your plans.  The same applies to your credit report.

Errors On Your Credit Report

These errors are clear violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act which performance based credit repair companies can take care of for you, that monthly credit repair companies just can’t. Performance based credit repair companies like Credit Law Center uses those mistakes as leverage to get their clients results faster, without dragging out the process to simply collect as much money as they can get.

These banks, merchants and debt collectors have a legal responsibility to make sure that the information is accurate. The federal law says that if you believe that there is a mistake you can go to them and they have an obligation to do a reasonable investigation. Let’s face it, they are not doing a reasonable investigation.

Disputing Your Credit Report

Eight million people a year file disputes about their credit report, which usually requires a visit to the Experian, TransUnion or Equifax websites. Those sites are primarily designed to sell you premium products, not resolve a dispute. There’s a toll free number you can call which is likely to connect you to someone on a faraway continent.

Besides the toll free number, they also give you a post office box address where you can send a letter and documents supporting your claim in each case. It’s extremely unlikely that anyone with the authority to resolve your dispute will ever actually see it. Usually if you challenge your credit report and mail your information to a post office box in the United States, the dispute will likely be investigated in India, Philippines or South America.

Then your dispute will be sent with a two or three line summary and no documentation back to the bank,merchant, or debt collector that furnished the original information. If there was a difference of opinion between the creditor and the person who was filing the complaint. The bureaus usually resolve it in favor of the creditor. You heard correctly, the creditor was always right.

The difference between monthly and performance based credit repair

Much of what’s known about the inner workings of the consumer credit agencies come out of lawsuits filed by performance based credit repair companies like Credit Law Center who have subpoenaed company records, deposed employees and executives and say under the current system there is no way for people to get these issues resolve.

Performance based companies like Credit Law Center can get a jury verdict for hundreds if not thousands of dollars for their clients.That’s chump change for these bureaus! They would rather pay a verdict in a hundreds to thousands of dollars, than to actually go in and change the policies and procedures that they have.

What most people don’t understand is that monthly credit repair companies are limited by what they can do. Basically you are paying $65 to $100 a month to send dispute letters that are going to India, Philippines, South America or filling out the dispute on the 3 big credit bureau sites on your behalf and keeping their fingers crossed. Very little if any fighting for consumers rights are going on.or people to get their problems solved. So clients who take the time to meticulously document their case that the bill isn’t theirs or the bill has been paid, have sometimes not only got the items deleted but also has received a check from the bank, merchant or collector for damages.

 

 

TOP 10 BLOGS 2018

CREDIT REPAIR2018 Top 10 Credit Repair Blogs


Thank you to all of our 2018 clients for giving us a fantastic year for Credit Law Center.  From our new facility to the thousands of lives we have made an impact on, we wanted to share what we learned last year in the same order that you liked the most.  So whether it be learning how to handle credit after the death of a loved one, handling collectors, understanding the myths that surround credit, or just understanding the mortgage process - we have you covered with our 2018’s most popular blogs written by our very own award-winning Credit Repair experts.  Be sure to check in with our Live Chat specialists to schedule your free credit repair consultation to see how quick, easy, and affordable credit repair can be with Credit Law Center!


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  1. The Mortage Process

Our most popular blog of 2018 was this blog that addresses what to do to be “Mortgage Ready”.  Short and simple to the point, but however a few checklists here to make sure the largest purchase of our lives has us ready to take on the big decisions that go along with it.

   2. Debt Negotiation

Don’t worry, debt collectors fear Credit Law Center!  However, knowing your options when a debt collector comes after you.  This debt negotiation will walk you through your options.

   3. Credit Rating Matter?

Here is a very powerful piece of writing that will walk you through not only how important Credit Law Center’s clients are to us, but how credit ratings are different than character ratings.  This is important information to know as to when you are applying for credit, these credit ratings are important and the better you understand the better you can navigate through your next purchase.  Better credit, better life!

   4. After The Death Of A Loved One…

This being the most difficult credit issue to face, however important to know what to do after the death of a loved one.  Knowing what to do to make sure thieves are at bay, debt is reported accurately, and understanding the laws behind it all is what makes this blog one of our most popular sources of learning for our clients.

   5. Harassment From Debt Collectors

Even though you may have debt that you have agreed to pay at one time, but that does not mean the debt collectors get to abuse and ignore the laws that they are required to follow.  So before you hang up or avoid that next collection call, read the information here so you know your rights. Credit Law Center is on your side.


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   6. Credit Myth On Divorce

Making the decision to end a marriage can profoundly affect lives and credit.  This article will walk you through the myths associated with credit and how the aftermaths divorces leave behind.  

   7. Credit Law Center Is Superior To All Other Credit Repair  Companies.

Yes, you read correctly.  This is probably our boldest claim, yet we have not found any evidence to other credit repair companies that have REAL attorneys that get REAL results, in as soon as 39 days, and with nothing to pay upfront.  Be sure to check out the graph on this blog that compares everything you need to know up front when deciding to sign up for credit repair.

8.  Credit Repair │ The Elephant In The Room

Throughout the years, there have been so many credit repair companies that took advantage of their clients, leaving a bad taste in their mouth the next time a real law firm that uses the law to delete negative items off credit reports.  Not to mention the personal anguish we go through when our credit scores are low and sometimes not everybody like to discuss openly about credit repair. Here is a great article that helps ease the conversation no matter who you want to share with.

9.  Credit Myth On Paying Collections

Our very own Jana Fox puts it perfectly on what happens when you pay a collection.  We all have a responsibility to pay our debt, however, we do what we have to do when things get tough - paying that collection isn't doing what you think it is doing to your credit report.

10.  Credit Myth On “It’s On The Credit Report, It Must Be True”

It is a fact that 80% of all credit reports contain errors.  Here is Jana Fox again setting the record straight on another myth of credit.  Great job Jana!


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Ballparks On A Budget

Ballparks On A Budget

Salvy

For once, feeling blue is good! (Royal blue that is) and dare I say it, but baseball season is finally here again! If you have looked at the ticket prices at Kauffman Stadium lately you’ll notice they have not gone down. In 2018, the average ticket price for a Cubs game at the highest end of the spectrum is nearly $60 while the KC Royals average about $34 a ticket. If you were hoping to spend a day at the K, you may be looking at a few hundred dollars between parking, tickets, and those fan food favorites. I fully believe that once in a while an experience at the stadium is worth it (wherever you call home) but there are a few other options in Kansas City that may have slid passed you.

Here are a few (alternate ways) to enjoy my favorite pastime, without striking out on all the fun:

Watch the game at one of the local bars

Power and Light, Chicken N Pickle, Westport or your local Johnny’s Tavern are just a few favorite spots of mine to enjoy a good game. With a great patio, some fun outdoor games, and a cold beer you’ll still be able to enjoy time out in the sun with your friends.

Buy tickets in the top section

Chances are, you will end up wandering around the stadium in-between innings and can hang out in the bar out in left or right field. At some point you may ask yourself “Why did I come to this game, and pay for those seats?” It was for the Dippin’ Dots or maybe that is just me! But, if you are adamant about going into the game, purchasing a ticket for $19.99 in the nosebleeds won’t break the bank.

 

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Pack a snack

Unopened plastic water bottles (limited to 1 per person) are acceptable as well as small bags (16×16) of snacks. These can be taken into the stadium with no trouble. For more information on what you are allowed to take into the stadium, check out the Royals website here. Tailgating is another great option to feed your friends and kids before going in and to avoid the high cost of the concession snacks.

 

Catch a T-Bones game

With free parking and fireworks every Saturday, this is a great alternative option for families that are wanting to take their kids out for a fun baseball experience. Select seats are $11 and there is entertainment just about every inning.

What I didn’t talk about is the one way I prefer to catch all of my baseball games-by radio. Although it may be old school (millennial’s cant be old school, or so I’ve heard) there is something fun about relaxing on the patio at home and listening to the announcer describe the scene. If you are a true fan of the game, it’s fun to imagine what the field looks like and the sound of my favorite guy walking through the isles of Kauffman Stadium yelling “Lemony, Lemony, Lemonade!” That is what this time of year is all about.

Whether you choose to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kauffman this year or decide to do something totally different, Kansas City offers many outdoor activities  for families on all budgets!

A note from the Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

Tax Procrastinator? Deadlines Approaching-Here’s What To Do Next

Are you a tax procrastinator?

For many, tax time is an inconvenience and quite frankly, a nuisance. Day to day life can be hectic. When you walk into your kitchen there is probably a corner stacked with bills, right? You know the one. Somewhere in there is some information about a very important day coming up.

April 17th, 2018

It is here once again and if you’ve been procrastinating up to this point, this is your ‘last call’ so, round up those documents and find a trusted resource to file for you. Haven’t even thought of it yet? No worries, you’ve got about one week left!

Here’s what you need in order to file:

1. Personal Info-social for yourself, spouse, and dependents
2. W2’s for 2017
3. Childcare expenses
4. Charitable contributions
5. Medical expenses

Additional:
1. Self employment info
2. Retirement info
3. Rental income
4. State and local taxes or sales tax
5. Educational expenses
6. Job expenses

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What happens if I don’t file my taxes? Well, I am glad you asked!

The serious consequences that can happen are as follows:

  • The IRS will penalize you (seizing money from your bank)
  • Late filing penalties
  • Put a lien on your property
  • Garnish wages
  • Take more money as well as wages

Not to mention the unnecessary stress all this can cause you or your family. For some, filing could mean a tax refund! For others, having to pay may be what is keeping them from filing. Should you be worried about the ability to pay the money or not, the IRS still wants you to file. In an effort to help with this, they conveniently have an option for a payment installment plan.  

If you have questions about reliable resources or could use help with tax liens or judgments, please reach out to an attorney at Credit Law Center, they would be happy to assist you!

 

 

A note from the author:The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

6 Common Credit Terms – Credit Law Center

We recently asked the question on social media, “What is one thing that should be taught in school?”, several came back with the answer “credit.” Unless you are a financial guru at understanding complex financial terms, the world of credit can be slightly confusing. Understanding the most common credit terms and credit score terms could help you save money.

 

6 Common Credit Terms

 

1.Credit Mix

The different types of credit that make up your credit report. Your credit mix makes up 10% of your credit score and can be a mixture of credit cards, a mortgage to student loans and auto loans. Having a good mixture of positive credit can impact your credit score.

2.Credit utilization

This is the amount of available credit you are using. To calculate your credit utilization, you would divide your total credit card balances by your total credit limits. Then multiply that number by 100 for the percentage. Keeping your credit utilization under 30 percentage is best, by keeping it under shows lenders that you are capable of managing debt.

3.Installment loan vs. Revolving credit

An installment loan is a cash loan that requires a fixed number of regular payments that are equal in amount. Payments on an installment loan are calculated over a set duration, home loan and a car loans are examples of installment loans.

Revolving credit is credit that can repeatedly be used and paid off without having to reapply each time. Credit cards and lines of credit are two forms of revolving credit. Revolving credit does not require a set payment plan, and you can borrow up to your limit. Revolving credit is riskier for lenders. Therefore the interest rates are higher.

4.Hard Inquiry

A hard inquiry happens when you have applied for credit, and a business or lender “pulls” your credit report to determine your creditworthiness. This type of inquiry can affect your credit score.

5.Soft Inquiry

A soft inquiry occurs when a consumer checks their credit file or when a lender sends you a pre-approval letter. This type of inquiry does not affect your FICO credit score.

6.Payment History

35 percent of your credit score is made up by your payment history. Therefore it is a crucial element in your credit score. Payment history is calculated on how well you pay your bills and if you pay them on time. With payment history being such a big portion of your credit score being late on a payment or defaulting on a loan could cause you to be denied credit or have high-interest rates.

Are You Getting Calls From Fake Debt Collectors? – Credit Law Center

Have you received a call from a debt collector and you don’t recognize the debt or loan that they are trying to collect? Consumers all over the U.S. are reporting that they are receiving calls like this. Fake debt collectors pretend to be lawyers, debt collectors and do anything to scare you into paying them, and occasionally, the imposters may have some of your personal information, and they are incredibly slick and will do anything to scam you into paying.

The FTC recently stopped imposters who pretended to be lawyers. These imposters threatened people with lawsuits and jail time to collect debts that didn’t exist.

Common Characteristics of Fake Debt Collectors

  • They use names of real small businesses or names that are similar to existing businesses.
  • Trying to collect on a debt you are not familiar with or do not owe.
  • High pressure to try and scare you into to paying, such as threatening jail time or calling and reporting you to the local law enforcement agency.
  • Fake debt collectors may threaten to sue you or tell you that they are suing you
  • Refusing to give you an address or telephone number
  • Asks you personal financial or sensitive information.

What to do if you think you are speaking to a fake debt collector

  • Ask the caller for his name, company, street address and telephone number. Advise the caller that you refuse to discuss the debt, asks them to provide you with a “validation notice.” A validation notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor, and your rights under the FDCPA. If they refuse to provide this information, DO NOT PAY!
  • Do not provide the caller with any financial or sensitive information. Never give out personal information or confirm personal information like bank account, credit card or social security number unless you are sure you are dealing with a legitimate debt collector. These imposters can use your information to commit identity theft, charging your credit cards, or open new credit.
  • Contact the creditor. It may be possible that they are calling on a legitimate debt that they have somehow accessed information on. If you believe the debt is legitimate, but you do not believe the caller is a real debt collector, contact the original creditor directly, be sure to share the information with them so they can keep track of the behavior.
  • Report the Call to the FTC. Contacting the FTC and your state Attorney General’s Office with the documented information about the suspicious callers, and most States have their own laws in addition to the FDCPA.

My Credit Card Statement Now Has a Credit Score – Credit Law Center

You may have recently noticed that your credit card statement has provided you with a credit score for free. Having this credit score on your credit card statement could potentially help you spot an error on your credit report. For example, if the score is lower than you expected, it may be a perfect time to request your credit reports, dispute any errors that you may find.

Things to consider about the scores provided on the credit card statement

Each credit card company uses a different formula for assessing your credit profile. The credit score you get from one credit card company may be slightly different from the credit score you receive from another credit card company. The score you receive on the credit card statements may also be different than the score you receive from a lender or a finance company. FICO scores are the credit scores used by 90% of the top lenders to determine your credit risk.

FICO Scores

You will have three FICO scores, one for each of the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. As well as the three different scores from each bureau, FICO has a total of 56 versions of FICO scoring. Just think of it like Microsoft word, every year a new version comes out updating the software. Each of the 56 versions old or new are tailored for different types of lending. One version may be used for mortgage lenders, while another may be used for a credit card company. With so many versions being the major reason the score on your credit card statement may differ from one a lender pulls.

 

Top 5 Credit Myths (1)_Page_03

No matter what version of FICO is being used your score is calculated by the information on your credit report. Therefore your credit score could differ from bureau to bureau as well. For example, you may have a loan from a small community bank; this bank may only report your activity to Transunion, and not report to Experian or Equifax, leaving your credit file with the other two bureaus thin.

Things to keep in mind

Each month when you receive your score on your credit card statement use it as a tool to help identify any possible errors. Focus on paying your bills on time, and not overextending your credit. If you notice your score has gone down, review your credit, and look for any errors in your credit report. Each bureau allows one free credit report per year and you can request at www.annualcreditreport.com

What is a Good FICO Score? Credit Law Center

One of the most well-known types of credit score is FICO Scores and used by many lenders. The average FICO score for Americans, as of April 2017 was 700. When you check your credit score, you’ll probably want to find out how you compare. What is a good FICO Score?

 

What is a Good FICO Score?

Think of your credit score like a grade. If you do not have any credit or tradelines, FICO has nothing to grade you on. FICO scores often range from 300 to 850, and a FICO about 700 is considered a good credit score. A FICO of 800 is an exceptional score, and approximately 19.9 % of Americans are in this range. Applicants in the excellent range are at the top of the list for the best rates from lenders. 17% of people range in the very poor range and these individuals may be required to pay a fee or a deposit, before getting approved.

Top 5 Credit Myths (1)

Why Do Credit Scores Matter

Lenders use credit scores to help them determine how likely you are to repay your loan on time. A Credit score allows lenders assess the risk that you won’t be able to pay your loan as agreed.

Establishing and maintaining a good credit score is important because it can determine whether you are approved for a loan or not. It will always determine what interest rates you qualify and potentially save you tons of money over the length of the loan. Every major financial goal you have, like owning a home, or purchasing a new car, your credit will be a part of the financing.

Common Credit Score Facts

Marriage: When you get married your credit score will not merge with your spouse’s

Joint Accounts: Joint accounts will show up on both individuals credit report, and both individuals are responsible for the debt. If a payment is missed both parties will see the delinquency on their credit report and it will affect both individual scores.

Checking your score: Checking your score will not hurt your credit report. Checking your score is considered a soft inquiry, and it allows you to review your score without harming it.

By law, credit reports are required to be timely, accurate and verifiable. Monitoring your credit is a great way to avoid any mishaps when it comes to your score. Depending on what type of reporting error you could have on your report it could significantly drop your score.

Why did my scores drop during credit repair?- Credit Law Center

You have decided to use Credit Law Center to help restore your credit, and during this process you watched your scores drop a little. The credit repair process takes time and works best if we work together as a team. Our credit analysts will give you goals and homework to do to help you reach your goals. Each situation is unique; it is possible at times while we are working on correcting and updating your credit report that your scores may drop.

Why are my scores going down?

There are a couple of different answers for this one.
First of all, you will want to determine if they are in the middle of a round. If they are, the best answer is to tell them that we are working diligently on their repair, it is not uncommon for the scores to fluctuate during this process. The things we need you to make sure you are doing along the way is to pay your credit cards down as close to zero as you can and pay all your bills on time!! Do not acquire any late payments on any accounts, and if they do not have four open trade lines, then they should work on obtaining those.

If we have finished around and their scores went down:
It could be some of the same answers, if their CC balances increased, they have a new late or collection account, or if we were able to get a judgment, bankruptcy, tax lien, or other negative item removed from their account, this could change the scorecard they are now on. Meaning that they are now being compared to members of the public with good credit and if their positive credit is not strong this could negatively affect their score. Either way more than likely they are not looking at the same score their lenders are or will be using. Most important thing is not to score watch during the repair process and focus on removing negative items and building the right mix of positive accounts.

Teeter Totter Analogies

Positive vs. Negative

On one side, you have your negative credit, and on the other, you have your positive credit. Right now your negative credit is outweighing your positive. What we want to achieve is to get rid of as much of the negative credit as possible while boosting up the positive side of your teeter totter. If you have one item on the positive side and 20 on the negative and I get rid of 10 does your teeter totter move. (Pause for dramatic effect) No. There is still not enough weight on the positive side to tilt the scales. The teeter-totter is your Fico Score. The more it Moves toward the positive side, the higher your score is going to be.

Length of History and Re-aging

New credit starts in the middle of the Teeter Totter. As you make your payments on time, it starts to move out toward the end of the teeter totter where it has more weight. So, at first good credit has virtually no weight then after a little time (6 months to a year) it starts moving out toward the edge. When it hits seven years, it is out there at the edge weighing a lot. Bad credit is the opposite. It starts on the full bad end of the Teeter Totter doing maximum damage. As time goes by it is moving to the center of the Teeter Totter. At 7 ½ years, it has hit the center where it virtually has no impact and therefore falls off the credit report. However, if you make a payment on that account, you essentially move it back to the end of the Teeter Totter letting it do maximum damage once again. It does not start your seven years all over again, but it maximizes its damage for the time it has left.

Credit Line Usage
Your debt to limit ratio on credit lines makes up 30% of your score. If you go over 50% of your credit line, it is on the downside of the teeter totter. The higher you go, the more it hurts. At 30-50% you are in the middle of the teeter-totter, virtually neutral. Under 30% of your credit line, you are on the positive side of the teeter totter. The lower you go, the better

What Makes Credit Law Center’s Credit Repair Process Stand Out

It’s no news to us that the word “credit repair” can have you feeling uneasy and unsure about the whole process of rebuilding your credit. Here at Credit Law Center, we want to provide every client with personal attention to their individual needs and leave you feeling educated and confident about the decision to start the credit repair process. So you have done your homework and researched the credit repair process and the many different repair companies out there. What makes Credit Law Center’s credit repair process different?

 

What Makes Credit Law Center’s Credit Repair Process Stand Out

The credit repair process at Credit Law Center is unique for several various reasons, and our company takes pride in the services that we offer.

We have 5 Attorneys on Staff

Yes, it is true that we are an actual law firm and have five attorneys on staff willing and eager to fight for our client’s rights. The FTC reports that 79 percent of American consumer’s credit reports contain errors. The FCRA, (Federal Credit Reporting Act), states that all credit reports must be accurate, verifiable and timely. Our attorneys assist consumers in disputing questionable items on their credit reports and demands that the reports are 100% accurate. The attorneys in our office have over 14 years of litigating consumer rights cases, and we have perfected the dispute process.

Credit Repair Pricing

 

Our credit repair process does not require a monthly fee.

Unlike other credit repair companies, we have a performance-based pay structure and do not require an upfront fee. You will only pay for items that we get deleted; however, we are similar to many other law firms and depending on the contract size you may pay a retainer. Credit repair pricing

We value our clients

Customer service is extremely important here at Credit Law Center and we are always looking for ways to achieve superior customer service and client satisfaction. Our staff takes great pride in educating our clients with the credit repair process and helping them continue down a path of financial stability. Each individual client has a unique circumstance and chain of events that have brought them to seek our services. With 79 percent of credit reports containing errors its quite possible to say that some of our employees or their family members have had some kind of incorrect reporting on their credit report.