Cleaning Your Credit Up
By Ed Jeffry and Luke Currier
| One of the biggest challenges that people encounter after discharging a bankruptcy is the cleaning up of their credit report. The challenge is one of communication. The credit bureaus only report that which they are told to report from creditors. They don t discriminate one way or the other. They take the information that is given to them and put it on a credit report. From that reported information your credit score is derived. |
If the information they are reporting is incorrect or inaccurate then of course your score reflects those inaccuracies. So, the first challenge that you have after your bankruptcy has been discharged is
correct your credit report, making sure that the information that the credit bureaus have is 100% accurate.
|So, let me go through the steps. You will need to assemble your Social Security card, drivers license and your Schedule F from your bankruptcy. Then you are going to make three copies of each; one for each of the credit bureaus. The three credit bureaus are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You are going to go to those particular websites; any of those above mentioned names .com. Each of the bureaus offers a dispute resolution online, by telephone or through the mail. I recommend that you conduct a dispute by mail so that you have everything in writing and also establish a timeline. |
When you do it in writing, send your disputes registered mail or registered receipt required so that you actually get a time stamp as to when it was received. The law says that the creditors must respond within 30 days of receipt of your dispute or they must remove the item you disputed from your credit report regardless if the disputed item was accurate or not. You are going to send a copy of your dispute on their form to the appropriate address. Explain that each creditor listed as active or derogatory was included in your petition and should, therefore, be removed from your credit report. The next step is where this gets difficult.
The basic follow through here is going to be that time stamp that you received from the post office. You need that date so you can follow up on the 30th day. If you have no response by that date, whatever you disputed must come off your credit report. That s the law.
After bankruptcy, you NEED to, right?
|There is another option to doing all this and that is hiring a credit restoration company or an attorney to do all this for you. There are a number of different scams in that particular business. Here are my suggestions to decide if the restoration company you are speaking to is reputable. They should have at least 10 years in the business, offer classes in understanding credit, use top of the line technology, and most importantly offer a guarantee. Lastly, I would want to be able to do a face to face interview with them. This is not something you want to trust to someone you cannot see.|
I would give you one more piece of advice. Decide what your time is worth. If you must spend 2-3 months of effort devoted to cleaning up your credit, is it worth it? Most people would say no. That is why you choose to employ one of these companies. You should get a referral to a credit repair company from someone that you trust. Call your mortgage lender or realtor for a referral.
All this information may be somewhat overwhelming. Don t be discouraged. You must decide that you want to be free from this burden. If you do it yourself then commit to 90 days of hard work. If you hire someone to do it for you, be prepared to pay a professional. Don t hire some fly by night company that only specializes in taking your money. Be smart about your time and your money and good things will happen to you.
About the Authors: Luke Currier and Ed Jeffry are experts in the mortgage industry and they specialize in working with homeowners who have had a bankruptcy or other credit challenge. Visit their website at http://www.bayarealoanadvisor.com for more information or call them direct at 1-800-215-5683 to ask a question.
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