Late Payment forgiveness in Credit Repair Books

DISCLAIMER: you are not going to like reading this blog ( just a forewarning)

You may have seen an internet advertisement on this, you may have seen this statement in a Facebook ad. Many times its labeled as “the Hidden Secret the creditors don’t want you to know about!”.

I even saw this “technique” listed in a “Legal credit repair” book written by “attorneys. What it basically says is that if you have good history with a bank/creditor then you can ask them for a one-time late payment forgiveness since you have been such a good client prior to the one little mishap.

They may tell you to say you were out of town during this or had a family emergency and have been out of town.

I checked several credit repair books in the stores before writing this blog and it seems they are all in there.

NOW FOR THE PROBLEM…..

IT DOES NOT WORK!

Perhaps about 10-20 years ago it worked and companies allowed it but now and for quite a while now they do not. This is the problem with the “credit repair” books out there. So much of it is what is called “fluff” or “filler content”. Designed to make the book bigger and give the impression there is more to it.

HOWEVER, there is a simple test for this. I assume if you’re reading this you are doing some research on credit due to you having some credit challenges currently or have in the past.

OR

You’re another credit repair company/agent trying to learn how credit actually works (actually got a call one time from a credit sales person who said their boss said to read my site and info on my website). While im not crazy about that part I commend you on wanting to do the right thing by your clients.

Contact the lenders if you do not believe I am correct in this statement about this blog.
HOWEVER…

Most likely what will happen is the late payment will not be removed and you will get a letter from the creditor stating that after careful research it has been identified that the current reporting is correct and the Fair Credit Reporting Act Law will not allow them to change that information as it would be incorrect and thus against the law.

And then most likely in 30 days the late payment will still be there is you have a credit monitoring service but then get notified that your credit score increased!

Again…however this is what would or can be called a false positive in the credit world.

Check to see if the lender/bank now has your account marked as disputed.

Now for people out there thinking where there is a will there is a way there unfortunately isn’t.

So I do not mean to burst your bubble with this blog but more so I do not want you to waste your valuable time.

NOW, if you are reading this and you have a relationship with your bank and it is one of the really small/very local banks then there is a possibility of them doing that favor for you.

HERE is the little trick (so to speak) there is no law that requires the people reporting to the credit bureaus to actually report to them. They can choose not to report they just can’t report something that is incorrect.

Now if you are dealing with a really small lender or as mentioned before a really small community bank where you are on a first named basis with the president of the bank. You can sit down with them and ask them to omit the data for a few months that correlates to the bad reporting on your credit file.

Ex: A late payment in 4/2016 ask them to post no data from 1/2016 thru 6/2016.

Now they are in compliance with the law as well as you problem is solved.

The issue is this will work for maybe 2% of people who are lucky enough to be in the position I described above.

So while you can always try just understand that a good 98% of the time it will not work and the “secrets” in the books and advertisements are designed to get you to buy the product. It never hurts to try just be ready to undo the problem to your credit file that you caused by trying it.

And as a recap the problem it will cause is the bank marking their credit account with you as “disputed” which you will need to then go through the steps of having it removed.

Want to learn more about how the world of credit works? Contact me today and get my book in full blown color. No nonsense direct and easy to understand how the “Real world of credit” works. wayne@waynethecreditguy.com

How to leave an Apartment Complex & NOT get Screwed

If you have the future goal of home ownership (short term or long term) then this is one account that can definitely cause you some issues for several reasons.

FIRST thing is to understand is other than your credit score which may qualify you what is IN your report will affect the amount of money they want you for security deposits and other things (ex: utility deposits).

Each underwriting criteria for different industries will always pay more attention to delinquencies in their own industry, so while for example a 640 credit score may allow you to buy a car if there is repossession in that credit report then instead of perhaps an 8% interest rate it is now 10%.

But let’s get back on track here. When you move into an apartment complex there are many things the leasing agent tells you. While it is VERY possible they don’t tell you everything they are supposed to tell you the odds are they did and you just do not remember the full conversation.

Here are some of the highpoints of what they must tell you and you NEED to PAY ATTENTION TO:

  1. Notify you that you MUST give WRITTEN 30 or 60 day notice if you are leaving. (get a copy to keep for proof!)
  2. Provide you a MOVE –IN check list to go over any damage already in the apartment so you are not charged for it on your move out.
  3. Explain to you how you can break your lease by paying what is typically called a “re-letting fee” and how that works.
  4. How to schedule a “walk through” upon leaving the apartment with the manager and be provided a letter on site of the walk thorough with the MOVE-OUT check list.

The first two and the last one are in my opinion the ABSOLUTE most important as this is what will sneak up on you and kill your credit score and your credit report.

What you need to know mostly about all of the above as well as in general, in life and in relation to your credit report and credit score. This of course controls your financial life in majority of people is PROVE IT. If you don’t have any WRITTEN PROOF then YOU LOSE!

That is what you will be told; in credit you are guilty until you prove your innocence within the 7 year time frame of most items allowed to report on your credit report.

SOME STATEMENTS THEY WILL SAY TO YOU (bill collectors):

Did you pay that last utility or cable bill when you left the service”? We have no record of you paying so if you don’t have a receipt then tough luck, you need to pay it or it will haunt you on your credit.

Oh you say you returned those cable boxes to the company, they do not show that as true so unless you have a copy of the shipping tracking label you owe the money”.

Oh, you say when you left the apartment you gave your 60 days written notice per your lease agreement? Our records show you didn’t so if you did just provide us the letter you sent the apartment complex along with the managers signature we will correct it. OH you don’t have that? Well then you owe the money and we will mark it on your credit report”.

The apartment’s report that you left your apartment in disarray with several holes in wall as well as garbage. Oh you say that information is not correct? Well do you have your move out checklist with the manager signature and any pictures? Oh you don’t then according to terms of lease you signed you owe this money”.

These are just a few things that will most likely come back to haunt you unless you abide by the terms of the lease you signed and KEEP YOUR PROOF! Save it in a box and when you need it you can always look through the box.

If you don’t they will ALWAYS get you and if you want to move into another apartment then think about it, why would they let you into their apartment when history shows you don’t pay the previous places you have lived in?

You may be required to give a double security deposit in order for them to take a risk on you IF they want to.

Many times they will sue you for loss of rent and as legally unless you notify them of your new location and you can DOCUMENT and PROVE they know your current address then they will send notices to “LAST KNOWN ADDRESS” which of course you will never get as if you were smart enough to forward your mail with the post office you have to hope these dim wits do their job which is unlikely since LITTERALLY as we speak I took a call and a client who mailed me 3 letters I received last week got one important document back and they post office said the address does not exist? (INSERT confused look).

If you get sued? WELL then if you EVER want to purchase a home then you will have to pay it REGARDLESS of how unfair it is as NO BANK will loan you money for a home with a judgment, even if that judgment is $100.00

NOTE: many bank lenders look unfavorably on consumers who have a judgment on their credit.

I hope this is an eye opener for my readers and hope that this helps limit the damage to their credit from this apartment scam as I did not mention it before but I have interviewed several apartment complex managers over the years and they said corporate tells them to try to keep as much of the security deposit as they can.

One of my former employees told me when she was moving out that only the regional manager can schedule the walk thorough when moving out as the manager cannot do it and she said, you mean the guy behind that door that won’t come out to speak to me? ( true story )

NOTE: He refused to come out so we had to threaten a lawsuit while recording everything for a judge to view.

I hope this helps you, we live in a world with systems in place and with those systems ALWAYS hurt the little guy. So if you don’t keep track of things then you are the one who is going to get hurt.

Need to get your credit fixed or need just a few more points to qualify for what your goals are? I have been doing this for over 11 years now and have reviewed over 16,000 credit reports.

As long as you’re willing to hear the truth about the condition of where your credit file is today and the potential of where it can be then I believe it is worth your time to send me your credit report to review and go over with you the one thing I can promise is I will tell you what you NEED to hear, not what you WANT to hear.

Want to learn more about the credit system? Email me about getting my book as currently having an issue with the website page.

wayne@waynethecreditguy.com

Talk with you all soon!

Wayne

Medical debt, your Credit and a home – Oh My!

Medical bills and the medical industry/business, it’s a tricky thing for majority of consumers who do not have a clue how it works. You go to the hospital and it seems you get 15 people sending you bills. It works like that a lot depending on what happen to you.

Have insurance? Fantastic! Except don’t for one second think they cover everything, when going to the hospital or doctor in this day and age you need to look at this from a business standpoint. Don’t think that people are competent at their job so if you didn’t get a bill then it’s not your problem.

It is! Non-paid bills, even one that forgot to be sent out will go to collections, go on your credit and the moment it does drops your credit score.

One time I saw a $3.00 medical collection drop a score 43 points, I can only assume it was an aspirin but the point of that story is it’s not the amount majority of the time but a new negative account hitting your credit.

When you try to buy a home (or refinance one) you may hear the loan officer tell you “I don’t care about the medical accounts”. The mistake you make is that what the loan officer is actually saying is he/she does not care about the medical “debt” as mortgage lenders do not count medical debt against you but if the accounts are on your credit then from a secondary standpoint it is a factor that may or can be affecting you and your credit score.

Typically a bill will not be sent to collections until it has not been paid for the standard 90-120 days. There are medical facilities that send them to collections after 60 days as they do not have the staff or department to do that or that it’s just easier to outsource that part of their business.

Here is the kicker, if it hits your credit then your score drops, let’s say it drops your credit 70 points which is very realistic, paying it may bump it up 40-50 points. Hopefully those are the amount of points you need to get the home. If it’s not and you need all 70 points then you need to put your detective hat on. When was the services performed? What is the medical centers procedure for billing services and when do they send bills and then when do they send the follow up round? Do they have your correct address? If you’re lucky and they have the wrong address you have a strong case to get them to delete the account if it’s paid. Threatening a lawsuit in small claims court is a smart move but make sure you’re not yelling when you say that.

The old days of “pay for deletion” unfortunately are gone by most accounts. While some companies do them, most do not unless you can prove that a mistake was made and then leverage that to get a deletion letter.

Any good sized debt you acquire you should ask about financial assistance, depending on the income you make if you do not make much they can write off a good portion of that debt for charity purposes and then establish a payment program with you.

An article I recently read about this gave some inaccurate information so want to clarify if you read it. Most likely it was just a mis-print but here is how medical debt and lawsuits work.

If you get sued due to a medical debt then if you are going to buy a home then that lawsuit MUST be paid. There are no options. If you own a home and you are selling it and there is profit in the sale of the home the judgment gets paid before you get your profit. The judgment will show up on a public records search the banks do.

If you’re aiming for a discount from the collection agency they will not give you a deletion letter also. It’s either one or the other IF they are will to delete the account.

If your trying to buy a card most car lenders do not care about judgments, but credit card companies do seem to care about it especially lenders that offer secured credit cards. While information is limited when applying for this card speak to a manager and ask if a judgment disqualifies you for the card. They will hopefully be able to answer your question.

So in summary, medical debt is a double edge sword. Mortgage lenders do care about the medical accounts on your credit as they affect your score, they just do not have to worry about the medical debt attached to the account.

NOTE: a 30 day recent late payment can drop your credit score anywhere typically from 60-90 points depending on the rest of your credit file.

*** Want to learn more about how the credit system works? Buy my book for easy to understand concepts of how credit works and how lenders look at you at you. Contact me at wayne@waynethecreditguy.com

Hire a Credit Repair Company or D.I.Y – PART II

So it’s funny that if you follow what the credit bureaus ask you to do which is do your dispute online they have designed their system to mirror what the creditors (their paying clients) tell them to report.

How is that an investigation you ask? Simple, it is not.

What it actually is a verification system designed to do nothing but confirm the data they are currently reporting.

While many of you reading this consider yourselves educated understand that these systems have been created by companies who PROFIT off of mis -information as typically mis-information or incomplete information is usually related to lower credit scores.

And lower credit scores does not stop consumers from applying for credit it actually INCREASES consumers applying for credit.

Don’t believe my opinion? Listen to all commercials (radio, TV, newspaper & internet). When you see these advertisements it seems credit is a non-issue, bad credit, no credit no problem.

These advertisements are designed to get people in the door and then throw them at the wall ( in a credit application way so to speak) and see who sticks.

Think of all the people who know they can’t qualify hope they can by applying at these places. AND GUESS WHAT?

All of these lenders pay the credit bureaus to pull their credit and assess them.

Starting to get the picture?

So while I firmly believe it’s in a consumer’s best interest to hire a company that knows how these crooked systems work in favor of the lenders and know how to turn the tables on them choosing the right company is essential so research on them is key.

This industry like all industries have snakes in them and they look to take your money and make it seem like they want to help you, it’s what sales people do.

Then you also have companies (usually the smaller companies) who truly do want to help you accomplish your future financial goals after having some life challenges.

It’ actually pretty simple to identify these types:

  1. Did they ask to see your credit report and ask you questions on the accounts on it?
  2. Did they ask you what your goals are?
  3. Did they make it sound like all you have to do to make your troubles go away is write them a check?

The above are typically major red flags for you to hold onto your money. While it doesn’t negate them from being helpful as I tell people ( my opinion of course ) if it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck…. Its probably a duck.

NOW

Some easy ways where it is not in your interest to hire a credit repair company and “Do It Yourself” are below. As I always say a credit report is like a thumbprint and everyone is different. I could not list all types that you can do it yourself but here are a few major/common ones:

  • You have literally no credit

If you have a zero credit score and NOTHING on your credit report except maybe for 2 small dollar collections then you need to build credit. Getting 2 secured credit cards and using them very little for over 6 months should put your credit file into the 600 credit score arena.

  • The collections on your credit file are approximately 7 years old from the last time you paid on them or utilized their services.

Many times companies make “mistakes” and keep the negative account on your credit longer than legally allowed. If you know these accounts are over the age mentioned sending a certified letter pointing this out should be able to in one shot remove those accounts. Many times it will take more than one letter.

Why you ask? Welcome to the world of credit where the consumer is a by-product.

I hope this article helped articulate some of the differences between hiring someone and doing it yourself. While of course I am more slighted to hiring someone who deals with this kind of corrupt system on a day to day basis there are many people who will read this and fit into the category where they can do this themselves and not pay a credit company.

Feel free to contact me at wayne@waynethecreditguy.com and ask about my book “The Real World of Credit” to learn A LOT more of how the system works if you are thinking of fixing your own credit.

Understanding how the system works is half the job!

Hire a Credit Repair company or DIY, that’s the question – PART I

I was asked to write an article about should a consumer try to fix their credit themselves or hire a credit company to help them.

While at first glance an article on this subject from someone who has a company where consumers pay them to help their credit seems like an article like this would be very one sided. However as a small company we advise many clients’ different avenues to pursue depending on their unique situation.

Many times I have told clients they do not need my help and give them some free advice or there situation is so dire based on circumstances that they need give consideration towards filing bankruptcy. So please understand that this will be part one of an article that will review both sides of the argument and as an adult you can take in this information and make an educated decision that benefits only you and your family. This article will also teach you what to look out for when choosing a company to help you with your situation.

While I will try to get as specific as possible in pointing out the pros and cons for both sides understand that everyone’s credit file is unique so ultimately your file would need to be reviewed individually for the most detailed assessment. But let’s lay some groundwork for the best way to absorb and understand this article and material.

Federal and state law requires a credit company to tell you in writing that this is a service and there is nothing a credit company can do that you cannot do yourself. A good company should also verbally tell you this during your conversation with them.

An ETHICAL credit company will also tell you this verbally so if you are shopping around for a company to help you and this is not mentioned remember this can be a tell-tale sign of a company that only wants your money and may not have your best interest in mind.

A standard statement that is added on while yes it is part of a sales pitch it is 100% truthful which is, “just like you can fix your own car or represent yourself in court it is your right to do so, but be wary as doing it yourself can cause more problems than help if you do not know all the steps and complications that can arise from trying to fix it yourself” . However both examples are dealing with complicated machinery or steps where it is very possible you can do more harm than good.

To generalize the legality of what credit companies have to say, let’s understand what that means. Whether it is an account on your credit that is not yours, an account that should not be on your credit as it is over the 7 year mark or something as simple as your named is spelled incorrectly. All of the above is considered and labeled as a “dispute” or considered “Credit Repair”.

A bankruptcy (generally speaking chapter 7 )stays on your credit report for 10 years, however the negative accounts that are included in the bankruptcy stay on the 7 year timeline. So for example, you haven’t paid many bills for 4 years, you get sued by a car lender who repossessed your car 1 year ago. By Filing bankruptcy chapter 7 if approved if the negative accounts have not been paid in 4 years then they fall off your credit report in 3 more years and you are totally absolved on that debt and it goes away and you do not have to repay it.

The car lender who sued you, that account/judgment which also can get put under bankruptcy where you do not have to pay it and it gets dismissed would fall off in 7 years as it is labeled as a new account.

A tax lien (state of federal) or any student loans as majority are backed by the federal government are the two things that cannot be placed in bankruptcy, everything else can which includes medical bills, apartment fees, credit cards, car repossessions, cell phones etc.

So that is some of the basic credit issues and their timelines.

When it comes to the decision of do it myself or hire someone what I typically have seen in my 11 + years in this industry is when a consumer tries “doing it themselves” then end up making my job harder thus me adding an additional fee for the extra work.

For example the people I come across who contact me saying they tried credit repair on their own typically go online and “click a button” on the preset boxes in the dispute section on the website.

CLARIFICATION:

The credit bureaus said to them and the public, “oh you’re disputing something on your credit use our electronic system that confirms the data you are disputing with what we have on file so we can confirm it electronically and not expend ANY money on actual humans that can conduct an investigation since our system just verifies the information you are disputing with the data that we are reporting.

SO while ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES are saying there is nothing a credit company you hire can do that you cannot do yourself. BUT then why are consumers being pushed to work in a system that is designed to verify and not investigate? And what if one of their “box disputes” isn’t your issue?

To be continued…