This 60 Minutes report -“Is your credit report accurate?” explains some of the problems with the three major credit reporting agencies.
When consumers with credit card debt unpaid for over six months check their credit score, they will notice that in addition to each original credit card bank there are one or more debt collectors reporting a negative listing on their credit report for that same bank’s credit card debt. These multiple listings for each credit card debt are what really ruin their credit score. Each debt collector places a bad mark on their credit score to motivate them to pay or settle the debt. Unless they do something about it, that bad mark could stay there for seven years from the date of first delinquency of that debt.
If there are several overdue credit cards, the multiplier effect will trash the consumer’s credit score. Two or three bad debts could mushroom into eight or twelve negative listings, counting each bank, that bank’s debt collector, one or more junk debt buyers who buy then sell each debt, as well as the debt collection agencies and/or collection law firms working for the junk debt buyer(s).
Consumers with overdue credit card debt and the resulting damage to their credit scores are susceptible to credit repair scams. They need to be careful because they should not pay self-proclaimed experts any money on the promise of better credit in the future.
It is important to understand how the credit reporting agencies work, as well as to access your credit reports regularly to find who is reporting negative information about you.
It would also be a good idea to have access to the Fair Credit Reporting Act to learn the protections it affords you.
Despite credit-repair scam artists claims to the contrary, getting the original credit card bank’s negative listing off of a credit report is difficult. However, debt collectors and collection attorneys, as well as junk debt buyers are covered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Negative credit listings by all these debt collectors are considered collection activity by the FDCPA, and as such, must be removed from a consumer’s credit report, if the consumer tells the debt collector in writing to cease all collection activity.
With the right letter, a consumer can protect their credit and at the same time defeat credit card debt collectors and collection attorneys. That letter should be sent to each debt collector CMRRR within 30 days of receipt of the first written collection notice. In addition to the instruction to cease all collection activity, that letter show deny and dispute the alleged debt. It should request specific, detailed documentation of the contract, a detailed accounting of the alleged amount owed, and proof of ownership, if it is from a junk debt buyer or their debt collector.
I, Mel Thompson, owed over $63,000 in credit card debt I could not afford to pay. I got rid of the debt collectors and collection attorneys and protected my credit score without paying what I could not afford to pay. Since then I have been helping others to help themselves defeat debt collectors and collection attorneys and protect their credit scores. You are welcome to read my posts and educate yourself about how non-payment of credit card debt works. You can read my credit card debt story here.