Juan T.* had filed for Bankruptcy in Los Angeles.
After his debts were discharged, he began rebuilding his credit by getting secured credit cards and using and paying them off each month. Juan's goal was to improve his Credit Score as much as possible so he could qualify for a mortgage and a car loan. Despite the measures he took, Juan's Credit Score wasn't going up as much as it seemed like it should according to everyone else on the internet!
Fortunately, one of his friends asked about his Credit Reports and what was on them. Juan didn't exactly know. So Juan got his reports, and lo and behold - there were errors on his Credit Report. Errors that were probably the cause of his poor score!
One lender - whose debt had been discharged in Juan's Bankruptcy - was still reporting the debt as open and active, with a large balance! Another creditor, a major national bank, (whose credit card balance had also been wiped clean by the Bankruptcy), continued to perform "hard-pull" credit inquiries on Juan's report, every single month. Even though, since the Bankruptcy, they no longer had the legal authority to do so!
Juan, with my help, crafted simple but devastating disputes to the Credit Bureaus and attached the simple proof that what they were doing was wrong - his Bankruptcy discharge certificate.
This story could have a happier ending if the Credit Bureaus did what they were supposed to do right - which is investigate Juan's dispute and correct the errors, but they didn't (as is the case in about 50% of legitimate disputes). Instead, Juan filed a lawsuit in Federal Court and got his Credit Report fixed that way. He didn't have to pay anything because the Fair Credit Reporting Act required the defendants to pay the costs of filing the lawsuit.
But, it was a happy ending nonetheless, because Juan got his Credit Report fixed for good - for free. And that wouldn't have happened if he hadn't contacted a California Consumer Financial Protection Attorney like me!