Posts

How The Pandemic is Affecting Credit Scores

has almost been a full year since we heard the phrase “Two weeks to slow the flatten the curve” and the effects of the current pandemic had reached everyones lives in one way or another. For many Americans, this past year has tested the metal of their financial practices; providing questions without answer to their current credit state.

 

A Fractured System

A study done by the Federal Trade Commission in late 2012, found that 1 in 4 consumers had at least one error listed on their credit report. Now, the  COVID-19 crisis has worsened the situation, raising that number to almost a 50/50 ratio. We all have the right to dispute these discrepancies with the bureaus to attempt to right these wrongs for an accurate credit report. With Covid 19 taking a toll on many businesses, the credit bureaus have taken a heavy hit to their work practices and processes. With an increase in disputes, the 30 day response regulation being lifted along with a limited support team has left the bureaus over inundated. Where receiving responses to disputes would take 35-45 days, now customers are waiting anywhere from 50-70 days  for a response that may not have even led to the investigation of the items.

How Does This Affect Me?

Credit affects many aspect of your life besides making it easier to aaquire financing or a loan. Landlords, cell phone, cable, car insurance and even potential employers will look into your credit when deciphering eleigiblilty and rates. Even minor errors in your report can have a substantial impact on your report and in turn, your livelyhood. These errors can be anything from an incorrect date, to adress errors to even the manner of payment being false. It is beneficial to have access to your reports and to keep a vigilant eye over the items being reported. Sites like Credit Armor allow anyone to access all three bureau reports, provide monitoring, payment alerts, budgeting plans and constant updates to better control their reports!

What Is Being Done To Fix These Issues?

As the pandemic wears on, many creditors and lenders have opened up ways to provide assistance to the average consumer and have provided options to assist in managing accounts. Anything from providing a consumer statement on your report to explain your current situation, payment negotations and financial forgivness tactics all have been implimented to lighten the credit stain.

Over 20 states along witrt Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have reached out to the CFPB to discuess reconcideration of the relaxed 30 day response regulation. Thought the CEO of the CPFB has stated that the deadline has been made, many states have disputed otherwise. This dispute along with muliple bills situated by Congress could provide relief to these hardships we consumers are currently facing. One bill passed states that athe full social security number must match the number on the creditors claim and the the second deals with disputing decisions, CFPB accountability and credit restoration to victims of identity fraud.

At this time, the best way to adress these issues would be general credit monitoring and alerts to catch these errors as soon as they appear on the report. This is especially important for those who have negotiated special terms  and arrangements with lenders or collectors.

 

 

Are you making mistakes on your Credit Report? Check out our blog; 5 Common Credit Mistakes You Could Be Making

Do you have questions about your credit report? If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys or credit advisors  and complete a free consultation please give us a call at 1-800-994-3070 we would be happy to help.

If you are hoping to dispute and work on your credit report on your own, here is a link that provides you with a few ideas on how to go about DIY Credit Repair.

Check out Credit Law Center Reviews:
Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews
This entry was posted in Credit Repair Blogs and tagged credit law, Credit Repair Companies, kansas city, Kansas City Credit Repair, National Credit Repair. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
« Credit Repair Kansas City – Credit Law Center • Fast Credit Repair Kansas City

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 Joe Peters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit Repair named fastest growing company

Credit Law Center No. 1,578 on Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company List

Here at Credit Law Center, we believe in being a team of individuals who are all working for the higher cause and greater good of the company. Our focus and efforts have paid off, and we are honored to rank number 1,578 on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America. Over the last three years, Credit Law Center has had a 249% rise in revenue. The soaring growth has allowed us to expand our team, move into a new building to accommodate our needs in a way that will help us continue down the path of expansion and improve the buying power of so many clients.

 

Who is Credit Law Center?

In 2009 Credit Law Center was established, by a few guys with a vision and a passion for helping consumers improve their buying power, as well as holding the credit reporting agencies and debt collectors accountable. As CEO, Bo Thomas would say, “I’m a recovering mortgage Banker, and I enjoyed doing mortgages and had some pretty great success there. Every year I kept seeing more and more of the common sense of lending just keep getting distracted. It used to be based on how much money you made how you paid your bills, but it rolled itself into or manifested into now it is about what’s your credit score before you can make a decision.”  About 90 days into this new adventure Bo realized that for Credit Law Center to be successful and to do more than what an average consumer can do on their own, Credit Law Center needed an attorney needed an attorney to join forces. That is when he reached out to Attorney and friend Tom Addleman. Tom reviewed the information and immediately said, ” let’s go get these guys they are making mistakes!” Since that day in 2009 Credit Law Center has grown to a staff of about 75 employees, including five full-time attorneys on staff.

What Does Credit Law Center Do?

Our core Mission as the company is to help consumers improve their buying power, so whether you can or can’t get approved, but even if you are approved, but you want to improve your situation to where you can get a better rate or the best rate. Credit scores will continue to have a more relevant impact in all areas of consumers lives. Credit reports are required by law to be 100% verifiable and accurate we work to get the information corrected or deleted. When our staff finds errors or violations, our attorneys pursue them and fight for your rights.

Our growth has also allowed us to take on many new referral partners that are coming alongside us because they see the value of what we can do for our clients. We see and believe in the dreams of each of our customers as well as our employees, and we seek to communicate that in the work that we do each day. As one of the nations fastest growing companies, we have the motivation to run a smart, successful business that is well-known for our generosity and ability to change the lives of our clients.  Credit Law Center as a whole would like to extend a huge thank you to each dedicated individual that has played a part in our expansion and growth. Each and every one of you made it possible for us to receive this honor. We look forward to the years to come and the many lives we will help restore in the future.

Debt Collectors

Debt Collectors Are Required to Follow the Rules

 

Carrying outstanding debt is stressful enough, but when you add aggressive debt collectors to the equation, it can be a bit overwhelming. Have you ever sat back and wondered if what they are doing is legal? Debt collectors do have limits, and they are required by law to follow certain guidelines.

Debt collectors must comply with the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act, FDCPA; this act prohibits abusive, deceptive and unfair debt practices

 

Debt Collectors

The FDCPA defines a debt collector as a company or agency that is in the business of recovering outstanding money that is owed on a delinquent account. Debtors will hire debt collectors to collect money that owed to them, and in return give them a percentage of the portion that is collected.

 

Typical Debt Collector Violations

  1. Calling Before 8 AM
  2. Calling After 9 PM
  3. Using abusive or vulgar language
  4. Calling third parties, (debt collectors may contact your spouse)
  5. Communicate to anyone else that the collector is trying to collect
  6. Contacting you after you have submitted a written request to cease contact
  7. Continuously call you
  8. Use or threaten violence
  9. Threaten action they cannot take
  10. Failing to send a written statement validating the debt
  11. Continues to Collect before sending validation letter
  12. Contacting your employer if your employer prohibits it
  13. Debt collectors may often use false statements.
  14. Threatening to have you arrested or that you are being sued when no action has been taken
  15. Giving false information to the credit reporting agencies.
  16. Sending a letter that looks like an official court document if it isn’t
  17. Collecting interest, fees, or other charges on top of what you owe, unless it is in the contract
  18. Contacting by using a postcard.
  19. Repeatedly call you to harras you.

What to Do If You Believe A Debt Collector is in Violation of the FDCPA

If you feel a debt collector has violated the FDCPA you have the right to take action.
You may report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney Generals Office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You may also reach out to an attorney that practices law in these areas, you have the right to sue a collector within in one year from the date the law was violated. If you win, the judge can require the collector to pay you for any damages you can prove you suffered. The judge may also grant you up to $1000 even if you can’t prove that you suffered any damages.

If you feel you have been violated in the last year, Credit Law Center isn’t just a credit repair company. We have five attorneys on staff that handle situations like this every day. These laws are here for to help protect you.

Credit Invisible and the Catch-22

“Credit Invisible and the “Catch-22” – Credit Law Center

Establishing good credit in this day and age plays a significant role in becoming financially secure. However, there are still 26 million Americans that are still “credit invisible” under the traditional FICO scoring model.If you are one of the 26 million Americans that are “credit invisible” you may already know the challenges that this credit status may bring.

“Credit-Invisible and the “Catch-22.”

“Credit-invisible” can be looked at one of two ways, one you have the ability to start building your credit and establishing an excellent credit history. The “catch-22” finding lenders who will extend a credit card or loan to you may be difficult. Many lenders will consider you a risk because you don’t have a history to prove you are credit worthy. With the extraordinary amount of Americans in this current situation, there is a significant focus in this area and research being done to look into to alternative data, (rent, utilities, and cell phone bills) to prove a consumers credit worthiness.

In a recent study by the CFPB, states that consumers who transition out of being “credit Invisible” most consumers do it before the age of 25. However, statistics have shown individuals that achieve visibility after 25 reside in low to moderate income neighborhoods. Out of all the age groups and income levels, credit cards seem to be the fastest way to start creating a credit visibility.

It’s not a secret that the more money we make, the easier it is to pay our bills, but did you know that your salary could be making you “Credit Invisible?” Low-income consumers are 240 percent more likely to start your credit profile with a debt collection or a public record. In the CFPB’s most recent study they found that the consumers residing in lower-income areas are more prone to become credit visible due to negative items reporting on the consumer’s reports.“Today’s study shows that even at the beginning of their financial lives, they are faced with higher hurdles to gain access to credit, which hinders them from turning their version of the American dream into reality,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

 

Ways to Become Visible

1. Obtain a secured credit card
2. Apply for a CD Credit building Loan.
3. Have someone add as an authorized user.
4. Make all your payments on time.

If you are looking for a credit card that fits your needs check out FREECREDITHUB.COM

medical Debt and Credit reports

Medical Debt and Credit Reporting – Credit Law Center

With social media so present in our lives now we see the amount of GoFundMe pages for medical bills, it is validating the statistics.  According to a recent report, by the CFPB 43 million Americans have overdue medical debt on their credit reports. Approximately 2 million Americans are affected annually by medical debt and remains the leading cause of personal bankruptcy. Medical debt can stem from a routine medical examine being billed improperly to the insurance company, a tragic accident or a sudden illness.

Medical Debt and Third-Party Collections.

Hospitals and doctor’s offices do not have an active association with the credit bureaus. However, they do have a relationship with third-party debt collectors. Third-party debt collectors do have a connection with credit bureaus, and they will report the negative items to the bureaus. Every medical facility has their set of rules and regulations on how long they will keep a debt before they transfer it to the third-party debt collector. Some medical facilities may move it one day after the due date and others it may be after 60 days past due.

Medical And Credit Scores

When a negative collection item hits the consumer’s report, it may drastically lower your credit score. Having one medical debt on a credit report can lower your score anywhere from 50 to 100 points. There are two different scoring models used, FICO and VantageScore. FICO and VantageScore may be utilized for various reasons, and there are several different variations of both, each industry may use a different version to determine your credit score. For example, the FICO 8, the most commonly used when applying for a loan or a new job until recently, as they just started using the FICO 9. The significant difference between FICO 8 and FICO 9 is that FICO 8 does not separate medical debt from other unpaid debt, so if a lender is using a FICO 9 your score has the potential of being a few points higher.

Things to do to avoid medical debt

The best possible scenario is to pay all bills on time on the due date, in some cases, you may be paying them before the insurance has paid, and the medical facility may reimburse you. That will avoid collections on your report. It is always good advice to know your healthcare plan and understand what your co-pays are as well as your co-insurance, make sure to be familiar with your Explanation-of-Benefits. Being familiar, with your healthcare benefits and knowing what your responsibilities are, and paying the co-pays and coinsurance in advance will help will collections items later. You may always call the healthcare plan and ask them to go over the benefits with you, and you may also ask the medical provider for an itemized statement. Don’t ever be afraid to verify the have billed you correctly.  Last but not least call to make arrangements, you may try this first with the provider or if it has been transferred try working with the collection agency before it is sent to a credit bureau.

 

 

Credit Law Center Teaching Credit and Money to Our Children

Teaching Credit and Money to Our Children – Credit Law Center

From the day we bring home our children from the hospital all we want to be the best at guiding them and teaching them. It’s a no brainer we will be the one teaching them to tie their shoes, brush their teeth, and most of us will be that one parent waiting up for them until curfew. Did you ever think of how important it would be to teach them about credit scores and cards?

Honestly, I can say I didn’t realize I would be worthy of teaching them! After a failed marriage and adjusting to the daily financial struggles of being a one income single parent family, I finally feel I have the knowledge to teach about credit. Recently my teen daughters had a discussion about my job and the importance of Credit, to my amazement they knew more than I imagined.

As a rule, children are like sponges, they sit back and observe their parents daily as they deal with finances, they witness the emotional effects money can have on their parents. This explains why my girls knew so much. My children have watched me go from the bottom not owning a home, not financing a car, having past due utilities to finally succeeding.

In addition to our daily interactions, there is some key some key tips to help guide them into being financially stable adults.

Set the Example

Your kids are already watching and sensing your emotions when it comes to finances, it never hurts to have open communication with them. Explain to them why you want to save your money, instead of the fancy vacation or the shiny new car. Children will pick up their habits from you, it is natural for them to be products of their environment. If we want to make them financially productive adults, we should do our best to show them we are as well.

Tell Your Kids No and Make them Earn it

As a parent we all know that children can be demanding at times and want unecessary items, however telling them no is an important lesson. This could be a hard lesson as we live in a society with so much instant gratification, however making them save thier allowances, birthday money or even do extra chores to reach obtain the item is teaching them to be self-sufficient.  As the child gets older encourage them to seek out other opportunities to earn money for them, like babysitting, mowing lawns, or tutoring.

Teach them about Cash

Teach them the value of cash and to keep it safe. Younger children you may want to keep it in a bank at home and count it regularly, so they will value the dollar amount and see it as a tangible item. The older they get you may want to start a children’s share account at the bank or credit union you bank at, this will also teach them about interest and the value of saving.

Never overextend or forgive a loan

If you loan your child money it is important to never loan them more than they can pay you back, just like credit limits over extending sets them up for failure. Keep their goals realistic for their financial means. Create a contract, make them sign it and stick with it, include interest, late fees, find creative ways to make it fun for them.

 

As Children mature there are many different financial institutions that have programs that encourage and help parents and caregivers raise financially stable adults. The CFPB has a Money as You Grow book club for children ages 4 to 10, to help assist families to learn key money concepts by reading, play, and quiet one-on-one talks. They also have a great chart on the ages kids develop different money skills.