The FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) allows you several vital things to fix bad credit and to improve your credit rating. Many people are NOT aware of their legal rights and how to use them to put their financial state back in order, for example:
(1) Your legal right to know what your credit history and credit records reveal (2) your right to be informed by a credit bureau of the type, substance and areas (excepting for medical and investigative sources) of information that has been collected and kept on file about you (3) your right to know the name and address of . . . "the credit agency which is responsible for preparing a credit report used to deny you credit." This also applies to refusing you insurance or employment and/or to dramatically lift the cost of your insurance rate or credit (4) your right to a free copy of your credit report if you were denied available credit, and usually this refusal is due (or, at least in part) to your credit record information.
Important . . . "Requests For A Free Copy Should Be Within 1 Month Of Receipt Of The Notice Of Refusal" (5) Your right to review your credit report at the credit bureau in person, by telephone or by first class mail (6) Your right to take somebody along with you to investigate and review your personal file when you visit a credit bureau personally (7) Your right to have investigated within a specific time period any and ALL details on file regarding your credit record that you wish to dispute. (8) Your right to have false details wiped off your credit record in the event a credit bureau investigation discovers any information about you or your credit history inaccurate. (9) Your right to have all negative marks deleted if the credit bureau is unable to verify it through its internal investigation. (10) Your right to have the credit bureau inform you at NO cost to you individuals you have named who had in the past reviewed the "incorrect or incomplete" details in your credit file, and that these remarks have been removed or changed (11) Your right to know who likely has a copy of your credit report for credit-granting purposes. (12) Your right to know the names of everybody who has viewed your credit record (over the last 14 months) for employment purposes (13) Your right to include a brief written statement to become a positive notation of your credit record telling your side of any difference of opinion that cannot be resolved.
The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides the consumer with a legal avenue to prevent collection agencies from continual harassment. It's your legal right to STOP a collection agency from writing or constantly calling you. Here is what you need to do. In accord with federal law (public laws 95-109 and 99-361), a collection agency must stop contacting you after they receive a letter clearly telling them to discontinue contact. The contents of the letter should essentially say: You are hereby notified in writing under the provision of public laws 95-109 and 99-361, also known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices act, that your company services are no longer required. You are to immediately "CEASE & DESIST" all efforts and attempts to collect money owing. I/We will not recognize any collection agency and will communicate only with the original finance creditor (insert the name of the financial institution).
Look over any debts your creditors claim you owe, and "make certain the amounts are correct" and that you indeed owe them that amount(s). If there's any doubt whatsoever that the amount(s) stated to you are incorrect, make direct contact with the creditor to resolve your questions. If you're still in doubt about the amount of the debt owed by you, contact your state or local consumer protection office or state Attorney General. You should ALWAYS first contact your creditors and let them know that you're experiencing hardship in making your payments.
Let them know why this is, and that you cannot make payments. Don't forget to mention the reason(s) that you're having trouble. It could be that you recently lost your job or have received some unexpected medical bills. Do your best to work out "an acceptable payment schedule" with your creditors. Usually, most creditors are usually willing to work with you if you've been up front and honest with them. Creditors appreciate honesty and directness. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Law prohibits a debt collector from (1) revealing what you owe other than to your lawyer (2) threatening or harassing you (3) making false statements (4) providing false information about you to anybody (5) misrepresenting the actual legal status of your debts. Remember that under other federal laws to collect an outstanding debt, creditors cannot seize your assets or personal belongings, and can ONLY garnish a small portion of wages to make good on the debt.
In the year 1938, a federal law (which is still in effect!) was passed called the "Wage Earner Plan" It is controlled by the same branch of our courts that handle personal bankruptcy and corporation insolvency. You genuinely have be a wage-earner to make use of this law. It is the primary requirement under this law. The Wage Earner Plan does not eliminate debts, but it is a little-known provision of your official filing, and it requires your creditors that they must appear to verify your indebtedness to them.
Statistics show that upwards of 47% of creditors fail to appear, in which case, incurred debts are in MOST cases automatically 'wiped out'. In some instances, almost 100% of the creditors fail to appear, which enables you to eliminate ALL your debts without filing for bankruptcy. But if some of the creditors do make an appearance, then the court allows you to spread your payments out over a three year period in less significant amounts so that you can afford to pay without any undue stress or anxiety. After you have filed in accord with the Wage Earner Plan, you can stop bill collectors, financial lawsuits, judgments, assignments, even seized bank accounts, and other actions brought against you.
And the best thing of all is your credit rating in many cases, actually improves because you made an honest effort to work with the lending authorities. Furthermore, if the seller used deceptive trade practices to induce your purchase... your debt may be wiped out in accord with the legal provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code. Also, in accord with the Homestead Act, your home could be exempted from any type of levy to the extent determined by local law. You can find out more about this at your local courthouse.
When a loan provider sees a recent and/or old bankruptcy on your credit file he or she will generally reject your application for new credit. Why? Because when they spot a notation in your credit file it's a "Warning Sign" and they simply stamp a big DENIAL on your application. Many people today firmly believe that it is not possible to delete a negative mark once it's part of your credit file. But the truth is: it's really NOT that clear-cut. However, it's entirely possible to dispute say a bankruptcy using a similar method as you would to voice a difference of opinion and/or dispute a negative mark on your credit file. Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that if and when a need ever does arise where your circumstances require you dispute a bankruptcy the prime item is whether or not your account which is in question is yours beyond any doubt. Remember that the credit agency by law MUST be able to substantiate this fact completely. If there is some doubt that the account in question is actually somebody else's and NOT yours, then the credit agency is obligated under the law to immediately delete the bankruptcy from their credit file. What's really important is...
"The Burden Of Proof falls
wholly On The Credit agency"
A WORD OF WARNING: When you do communicate with a credit and/or collection agency NEVER lie or stretch the truth about you, the information you are offering or any statement you may provide. Remember that, under law, the "Burden of Proof" falls wholly on the credit agency so there's NO need to be untruthful. Contesting the bankruptcy is truly possible without the need to make-up stories and/or adds any additional information. In the majority of cases, collection and credit agencies generally will NOT harass or investigate the matter further. Why? It's because the courts have a rule of ONLY verifying records directly with the person only. Collection agencies may tell you that they have a foolproof system in place to verify everything about you and your finances but this simply isn't true. Credit and collection agencies are fully aware that if a disputer takes them to court especially if that person is seeking financial reimbursement because they retained the bankruptcy on-record (without actually verifying the disputers account) would create more trouble for them than its actually worth not to mention costing the agency additional time and money.