Fast Answers to Your Most Pressing Debt Collection and Credit Reporting Questions
Can a collection company call multiple times per day? Can a creditor really increase your interest rate if you cannot pay your bills? If you have a question about debt collection, credit reporting, or any other issues related to consumer law, our FAQ section might provide the answer you need right now. If it doesn't, contact us using the contact form or the toll-free number and we'll answer it for you within 24 hours!
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I've got collection calls coming in for someone that's NOT ME - how do I make them STOP?
Federal Debt Collection laws protect you - whether you owe a debt, OR NOT!
It's true - it's like one of those weird nature facts like "Wild dolphins call each other by name." Wow. I can see that once you mention it.
You can make these stop completely (and perhaps get paid) in these: Three Easy Steps
My credit report dispute was denied - now what?
It's not over:
You may be entitled to sue for correction of your report and for compensation!
Let me tell you why and how.
First, don't feel bummed out about it. In my experience, about 50% of all legitimate credit reporting disputes are denied. Why? It's usually because:
the dispute wasn't appropriately worded and documented or
because the credit burueas don't do the investigation that they're supposed to do.
So, here's the checklist of what to do next:
1. If your dispute didn't go by mail or include supporting documentation, do that right now.*
2. Next, if your dispute from #1 above gets denied, get a Free Case Evaluation to see if you're entitled to sue in court for correction of your report and possibly for compensation.
I practice exactly this type of law and, in virtually all of these cases, will represent you for no-money down (sometimes a client pays for costs).
* Do you want step-by-step instructions, forms, language, and letter templates delivered to you by email - exactly when you need them - by me? Sign up for The Ultimate Credit Clean-Up Machine because it's 100% FREE and I built it for you!
Should I Pay a Credit Repair Company?
Here are some things you should know before you do:
1. Credit repair companies have a financial incentive to keep you on their "plan" for as long as possible.
These companies often charge an up-front "set up" fee and then a monthly fee that can range from $90 to over $300. Since they essentially get paid for making an effort every month - and not by the results they get you - their incentive is to keep "trying" for as many months as possible. This is known in the business as doing multiple "rounds" of disputing.
2. Credit repair companies often send blanket generic disputes about anything remotely "negative" on your report in the hopes that something will stick.
And most of the time, it doesnt. At worst, "your" disputes get classified as "frivolous" by the credit bureaus and they stop paying attention - even if you have a legitimate complaint!
3. Many times, your opportunity to find and corrrect a legitimate error on your report is lost in the churning snowstorm of one-size-fits-all disputes filed on your behalf by the credit repair company.
And once your dispute is classified as frivolous, it's much harder to get a credit bureau to pay attention to your legitmate complaint.
Here's an alternative:
Get help with your legitimate credit reporting errors for free - from a proven attorney-designed process that not only creates the Killer Disputes most likely to get your error corrected or deleted, it sets up what could be a GREAT legal case against the credit bureaus should they fail to do the right thing!
I built The Ultimate Credit Clean-Up Machine so that you do exactly that. I will deliver to you all of the best forms, language and letter templates - right exactly when you need them by email - that you need to fire off The Killer Dispute that will get your credit reporting problem fixed one way or another. Sign up right now - it's totally FREE and you owe it to yourself!
How Do I Improve My Credit Score After Bankruptcy?
Do everything your Bankruptcy Attorney recommends PLUS do this one "Secret" thing:
Ok, it's not a "Secret" but it is the most overlooked method of improving your Credit Score after a Bankruptcy Discharge...
Credit Reporting Errors. That's right, your former creditors, lenders, and debt collectors are NOT updating your Credit Reports after your Bankruptcy. Really! There are credit reporting errors in as many as 50% of the post-bankruptcy discharge Credit Reports that are HURTING you, the consumer! Sounds crazy, but it's true.
For more information on how this happens, check out this video (which includes the other recommendations) AND to find out if you have Credit Reporting errors that are hurting your Credit Score, enroll in The Ultimate Credit Clean-Up Machine. For Free!
How do I fix a billing error that won't seem to go away?!
Step 1: Put it down in writing with proof, 2: Send in a copy by FAX or mail, 3: If it's not totally fixed WITHIN 15 DAYS, you send that proof to me for a free case evaluation.
Here in California, Billing "Errors" (or whatever the company who is torturing you wants to call it) may subject that company to legal liability and entitle you to compensation if you can prove that you gave them notice (that's why you write it down and include the proof) and they don't fix it within 15 days.
I contacted a consumer protection attorney but they said they don't deal with medical debt.
That's too bad because medical debt are one of the most error-prone areas of collections!
Do you have issues with a whole bunch of letters, phone calls from who-knows, and weird credit report entries?
Great! There are often illegal errors in there that may entitle you to elimination of that debt and payment of compensation. Seriously.
I’m a military servicemember, can debt collectors threaten to call my command?
No. Making threats to disclose your debt to another person is illegal (and could entitle you to compensation). Debt collectors know all about UCMJ Article 134 and how it’s supposedly illegal for you under military law not to pay them. That’s why they try so hard to get you to borrow from them in the first place! Check out this video which explains why you have nothing to fear.
When I send a debt validation letter directly to the creditor and get a response that might be useful in the dispute, do I do anything with that information on my 2nd dispute to the credit bureau?
Yes. Use it. Sometimes you'll request validation from the collector or creditor and they'll admit that you don't owe the debt or that they can't or won't validate it.
Put that admission in as an enclosure to your credit report dispute (do it in paper and use the mail so you can sue later if need be!) as more evidence that either a) the collector/creditor investigated your debt and it isn't valid or b) that the collector/creditor didn't investigate your debt even though you provided some reason to dispute it.
What is "Arbitration" and What Does it Mean For Me?
Arbitration is where you don't get to go to court and have your case decided by a judge. Instead, you pay a fee to an arbitration company and they hire arbitrators (some of whom are retired judges) to decide your case instead. Here's the catch, the contract you have to sign in order to get phone services, a credit card, etc. usually specifies a particular company, AND, the business pays the larger portion of the arbitration fee (but you still have to pay some). So guess who the arbitrator is more likely to find in favor of?
Be sure to look for arbitration clauses in all of the contracts you sign (or click) and find out how to opt-out.
Can Debt Collectors Call My Friends?!
(They can call a third party one time only and only for "location information" which means your home address, home telephone number, and place of employment)
The reason why this answer is "No" is because the collector already has your "location information" because your account went through an electronic batch skip tracing protocol prior to it being assigned to the collection phone floor! They're just trying to pressure you (illegally) to pay.
This is one of the most common illegal collection tactics, and making matters worse for themselves, collectors will often tell that aunt, cousin, neighbor, or friend "I need to get an important message to ..." without even asking for any location information.
If this is happening to you, don't get embarrassed - get justice.