So to start off a little background on me….I have been in the credit repair business now for over 17 years. You can go to the part of my website that gives you a breakdown of my credentials listed under Credentials to learn more about my background to know there is a good amount of experience speaking behind these blogs.
So what has changed since Covid in our industry? Nothing but tons and tons of illegal things…. allow me to elaborate.
Obviously at the onset of this situation a majority of Americans started working from home due to the craziness and unknown factor of this issue if they were lucky enough to keep their job and while people are slowly going back to work now many are still working from home and companies are seeing the financial benefit of not having an office and all the overhead it encompasses.
The government issued a press release awhile back at the onset of the 2nd quarter of 2020 I believe which effectively said that due to everyone starting to work from home and that the Fair Credit Reporting Act states that the credit bureaus have 30 days to conduct an investigation, HOWEVER as long as the bureaus are acting in “good faith”. There will be no government action taken against them.
EVER since that happened it has been crazy in our industry so allow me to elaborate, in the past 17 years I would tell clients or future ones the “credit repair process” typically works in 45 day increments. 7 days for the credit bureaus to receive our investigation then 30 days allowed by law and then another 7 days on average to get the reports back.
Typically 8 out of ten people will get 2 or more of the 3 reports, why not all 3? Hard to say but ultimately realize these are BILLON dollar companies so you are the ant looking up at the giant.
And while you could sue them in small claims court for state violations ( easier than federal ) if you have documented proof the main issue you run into is 99% of people are either not equipped to go in front of a judge or they do not want to.
So NOW what I unfortunately have to prepare clients (new and old) for is now 2 out of 10 people will get reports and the other 8 will not.
NOTE: and if you are trying to fix your credit yourself be prepared for this to occur even with certified return receipt mail. (It should greatly increase the odds of a response, may not be the one you want or if they will send you what you ask but it will increase the odds sad to say).
I have noticed this pattern now for a little over a year. I even reached out to a few credit repair companies across the states told them who I was and asked them that question and got the SAME answer. Only a small percentage of their clients are getting the reports they requested from the credit bureaus.
So why is this happening? You may be asking yourself this question if you have tried repairing your credit yourself.
So let’s break it down with logic and an educated opinion (that’s me).
ANYONE with any experience will NEVER tell you to dispute things online. The credit bureaus have designed their system to be a mirror image so they do not have to do anything other than confirm what is reporting on your credit report from the creditor.
Not exactly the definition of an “investigation” is it?
This was reported in a 2005 subcommittee hearing report with the senate and a Capital One Manager.
NOTE: I am currently looking for it in my office but after 17 years I have collected A LOT of articles so bear with me, I tried a quick good search and that did not help me. (If I can find it somewhere in all my docs I will attach it at a later point).
Back to it!
Disputing anything online places your problems/challenges/disputes/ investigations in a box, and they are sending it through a system called E-Oscar which if you say you were “not late” for example the E-Oscar system sends it electronic basically says “ hey mike says he wasn’t late, and the system talks back to the same system that is saying you were late and says sure he was it says so right here”.
Reponses: we investigated your dispute and it came back as verified, our investigation is now complete”.
So that is why it is always suggested you send letters, this way you can document everything. Many times it is a back and forth process (with different entities) which is tiresome and just part of the game of what they do to you.
So let me focus back….
So since most people now work from home, people multi task you work from home you can vacuum, do laundry go online to blog sites and because one person said I did this on a blog and it worked for me and you said sure let me try this and send it to the credit bureaus their overheard costs most likely have tripled if not quadrupled since Covid.
For example, if you send a letter request they are supposed to response with paper (a letter request), which means they pay for the paper, the ink, the stamp and the envelope.
Multiple that my hundreds of thousands of disputes monthly if not millions and that’s A LOT of money they are paying out.
I have personally sent letters certified and even with return receipt and NO RESPONSE from the credit bureaus.
When we logged into consumer monitoring sites majority of the time we could clearly see work was done, coding was changed and deletions have been made, only a minor portion were ignored.
So then since no one will actually say why this is being done we need to apply logic and finances to figure out this little mystery.
The government said to them as long as you’re acting in good faith we won’t penalize you if it takes longer to conduct your business.
So, if they are not going to get penalized financially, and their overheard financially to response to disputes have tripled or quadrupled then what reason do they have to comply?
It’s the law is a great response to that question and I’m guessing you’re not that naive if your reading this.
But if their system has a “hiccup” and it shows it was sent out but it wasn’t then it’s easy to blame the post office since we all know how competent they are at delivering the mail (sorry to any postal employees reading this but you know what I mean since I have had several clients that worked for the post office and they agree).
Ex: how many times have you spoken to customer service for something and when you call back they have no notes or records that you called or notes about what you are claiming.
Now since this is part of my job I can tell you IT’S A LOT.
Recent example…. I had a power of attorney for a client and was dealing with Chase Bank, I was transferred 7 times and each time I gave them the specific department I needed and not one of those idiots got it right.
Each time they said they don’t see the power of attorney & I sent certified mail a month prior & confirmed they received it and it was in process of being applied. I then got the supervisor department and one of them said its right here as well as the faxed copy you sent a few days ago but since I didn’t have the full account number they couldn’t help.
So I had to call back that same department (different person next time of course) could not see the power of attorney which I was then sent to the office of the president and they finally fixed the issue.
This kind of thing is what credit repair companies and I deal with. Now you always want to make sure you choose a company that doesn’t ask you when you want to get started after every question to grab your money and you should be able to sniff out a sales pitch (I hope).
But the easiest way to do that is see if they speak to you and not at you. If they seem like the hardest thing you need to do is pay them then …. They could care less about you and just want your money for their bottom line.
I know this was a lot but I hope it was an enjoyable read and the point was to understand that ultimately while there technically is nothing a credit repair company can do for you that you cannot do yourself hopefully this is a little peak into what we have to deal (maybe 15 %) with and basically your average consumer who doesn’t deal with it daily has not clue how to handle it, especially when the bureaus do not comply.
Just like the quote mentioned in that 2005 subcommittee hearing report it was said “the general public does not know how to deal with a creditor or collection agencies as these industries have the money and the lawyers to work those laws to their full benefit and consumers do not.
Have specific questions? Reach out to me at:
wayne@ wayne the credit guy.com
(no spaces in email, done to prevent spam)