It would be a great resource if we can keep it updated with new stuffs and of course, the stuffs I missed :shock:
MUST READS (more than once, a continuous reference for finding and confirming answers and information):
FTC's FACTA amended FCRA, effective 12/2004 (no difference in text): http://www.ftc.gov/o.../031224fcra.pdf
Jazkal's FACTA amended FCRA, amendments in blue, with a HUGE smooch to Marv:
Previous FCRA version (effective 1998): http://www.ftc.gov/o...atutes/fcra.htm
Credit Reports, What information furnishers need to know (mandated brochure distributed by CRA's to furnishers -- no excuses!): http://www.ftc.gov/b...ubs/infopro.htm
FCRA Staff Opinion letters: http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcra/
FDCPA Staff Opinion letters: http://www.ftc.gov/o...cpa/letters.htm
FDCPA Staff Commentary: http://www.ftc.gov/o.../commentary.htm
IF YOU'VE BEEN SUED:
Send a validation letter (if you've been sued by a CA) AND answer the complaint (by the timeframe imposed on the summons), show up -- don't allow a default judgment. YES, litigation IS a collection activity, see the FTC Staff Opinion letter on the same and the Heintz v Jenkins case.
Read this thread, BBee's story -- served with summons, from start to finish and all in one thread, from being served and not knowing what to do to resolution:
Find your local court rules here: http://www.searchlaw...rules/other.htm also out front in the consumer protection forum and tweak the following answer accordingly (mostly formatting, if anything, copy the format on the summons/complaint you were served with), file and serve it according to your local rules.
How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection: http://www.nwjustice.org/pdfs/205.pdf
Affirmative Defenses: http://creditboards....mative defenses
Gather all your reports and analyze what is reporting, how it should be reporting and the differences between the reports -- Get your reports directly from the bureaus for your disputes and consider privacy guard of a similar service for monitoring and tracking dispute results and progress.
Read all the threads in the newbie's forum, start with this one, Credit 101: http://www.creditboa...opic.php?t=1925
Overall explanation of the disputing process, CRA focus (ty Michael): http://www.mix6.com/credit/
Overall explanation of the validation process, CA's (ty Kristy): http://www.creditinf...alidation.shtml
Overall explanation of the verification process, OCs (Furnishers) What to do next: http://creditboards....s...asc&start=0
If you've not disputed before, dispute everything that is negative (get rid of the low-hanging fruit).
See what remains and prioritize them into similar categories.
Collection accounts -- validation letter
Charged-off accounts -- validation or verification letters, dispute with the CRA's once you know it's been received. Depending on response, if any, use it to confirm any reporting inaccuracies and follow-up with the furnisher and/or dispute the specific pieces of information w/i the TL that are inaccurate; request commencement of delinquency date and when it was furnished to the bureaus by the furnishers (required within 90 days of the collection/charge-off having been reported).
Consider Doc's nutcase series (see below) original authored for accurately reporting, paid in full, but negative information.
Why you should validate as a first step, thanks CramIt, Validation It's Your Savior: http://www.creditboa...showtopic=56494
Validation can be as simple as this:
Or, as detailed as this, Original validation letter #1: http://consumers.cre...85495#post85495
Or, anywhere in between, I personally think less is more, they by and large don't provide the basic information.
The purpose of validation is to address dunning the wrong person and/or the wrong dollar amount. If they can get that part right, and that's a big if, determine their ability to collect (why do you owe them and not the OC?)
Sample validation letters (first) from Breeze's briefcase: http://creditboards....showtopic=18802
Do NOT send a validation letter that alleges ID theft where there is none, there are possible criminal consequences for doing so as provided in the 2003 FACTA amendments to the FCRA.
Follow-up letter (optional), usually called the estoppel or a response to an attempt at validation (cough cough), and/or requesting additional information (state law stuff is good) and/or addressing what was provided and why it isn't sufficient; and/or request authority to collect. You've not responded to my letter of xx/xx/xx, shorten the time frame to 15 days.
Sample Validation #2 letters: http://www.creditboa...?showtopic=8806
Additional validation #2 follow-up letters, thanks CramIt:
Send all letters certified mail return receipt requested (include the number on the letter itself); once you receive the green card back, re-dispute with the CRA's and await dispute results.
If verified or updated, request the specific procedures used to verify the information (Procedural request) from the CRA's.
OC's -- send OC verification letters, follow-up letter (optional), re-dispute with the CRA's after green card received, if verified or updated, request the specific procedures used to verify: http://creditboards....s...asc&start=0
Mountainmommy's (Queen Mommy) bang-up procedural request letter with request for commencement of deliquency date:
Verification and Validation -- 1-2 punch explanation:
With MUST READ additional links: http://creditboards....t=sassy concise
Medical unpaid -- validation letter (see above) -- if they respond with an attempt at validation and it didn't come from the OC, ask for proof or confirmation of a business associate agreement -- no business associate agreement, under the Hipaa regulations, the information can't be shared.
Medical paid -- WhyChat hipaa letter/series: http://community-2.w...WhyChatsCredit/
However, consider this:
Ruling of OCR on Hipaa series, continued sharing of PMI after payment is NOT a Hipaa violation -- Hipaa OCR complaint closed, nothing done:
Send a validation letter for medical collections, if and when it is validated, consider a modified Hipaa letter based on the above and/or pay for delete (sample in the sample letter's forum)
Medical collection: http://creditboards....light=sassy ocr
Check all dates for SOL for enforcement -- out front in the Databases forum.
Gather up all documentation and send to the CRA's with either LKH's letter for CA's and/or his spawned letter for OC's:
CA's = http://creditboards....hp?showtopic=20
OC/Furnishers = http://creditboards....s...asc&start=0
Intent to file a complaint with the FTC, thanks Bree and CNet:
ITS (Intent to sue -- demand letter) Letter to creditors detailing violations and requesting deletion (demand/ITS), Christy's 48-hour fax and links to other successful demand/ITS: http://consumers.cre...ght=48 hour fax
Here are some sample ITS letters, but you'll need to reword them to fit your situation -- thanks LKH!!!!!!!
http://www.creditboa...tent sue letter
http://www.creditboa...tent sue letter
http://www.creditboa...tent sue letter
http://www.creditboa...tent sue letter
Letter to CRA's when you have documentation they verfied bogus information, radi8's 48 hours letter to TU:
Dixie's CYA manipulation letter -- for finding out who dropped the ball, the CRA's or the furnishers:
Doc's nutcase series -- for accurately reporting negative information:
Marci's goodwill letter -- for admitting your difficulties and requesting another chance:
For disputed TL's that are reporting differently between the bureaus:
Dixie's How to deal with Experian's previously investigated:
Enigma's CA permissable purpose letters: http://www.creditboa...ighlight=enigma
Christine's permissable purpose letter: http://creditboards....p?showtopic=386
Mortgage reporting, foreclosures, erroneous lates = itemized accounting via HUD's RESPA provisions (with sample letter):
Housebuyer's mortgage reporting letters: http://www.creditboa...p...asc&start=0
Billing Errors: Open ended accounts -- pre-collection and charge off,
Fair Credit Billing Act -- FCBA FTC Summary (with sample letter): http://www.ftc.gov/b.../credit/fcb.htm
CRA's and dates reported: http://consumers.cre...mp;pagenumber=1
http://consumers.cre...ssy and kbanger
When does the reporting period begin?
DanceRat letters -- Reporting is wrong, remove it: http://consumers.cre...?threadid=26689
TL's reinserted without notice, reinsertion letter, Erik, Pam and WhyChat: http://www.creditboa...ht=sassy jovick
Public records -- CRA's as furnishers of information: http://creditboards....mp;#entry667797
Nutshell version of the above:
BK reporting. In general the BK itself or the listing of having been included in BK is incidental to the reporting requirements of the FCRA.
The FCRA requires reporting be complete and accurate; updated and verifiable -- always. If even all of those it cannot be misleading.
So, to the above you can add the teeth of the BK Code itself:
BK Code, effect of discharge:
BK 101 site: http://www.moranlaw.net/contents.htm
For BK accounts, letters to the OCC have been particulary successful, First USA must be stopped:
BK and mortgage errors, more RESPA: http://consumers.cre...isamc and sassy
BK letter to OC's:
BK TL's, IIB tradelines and what to do about them: http://creditboards....?showtopic=9440
For BK TL's: Dispute everything with a dollar amount reporting as due, dance if it's verified, that's a huge violation.
For BK TL's: Dispute everything with a date reporting later than the filing date, dance again.
BK Public record listing, CRA's as furnishers of information: http://creditboards....?showtopic=8136
Can a CRA sell information to another CRA: http://creditboards....showtopic=10338
It is important to rebuild credit while you are repairing your credit, do them together and have a plan for both -- they go hand in hand after BK.
Re-building -- Nana's BK Friendly creditors:
And, I have to include this update from Marie, as of today, from this thread, for CA's, validation strategy: http://consumers.cre...mp;pagenumber=3
As for current strategy, it�s pretty boring and completely from the FDCPA and FCRA:
*** Don�t bother calling the CA. Keep a log of your actions and conversations***
1.Send a standard validation request of CA in writing (sent certified rr of course)
2.Give 31 days after receipt of letter
3.If no validation is given from CA�(or if bogus validation is given)
4.At 31 days after CA receipt, dispute with the credit bureaus if a trade line is on the report (the idea being if the CA verifies the trade line to the bureau without validating the debt to the consumer it can be construed as continued collection activity without validation: FDCPA violation. And if they can't validate the debt, why are they verifying the trade line: FCRA violation compete and accurate info)
5.See if dumb CA verifies the trade line without validating first
6.See if dumb CA continues collection activity without validating (letters, calls etc)
7.Sometime in that process, apply for local credit and get actual damages (in either denied credit or higher cost of credit/ lesser credit line)� why local credit? You want to easily be able to subpoena a bank employee in case you actually go to court. Also your file must be seen by someone other than you to count as a definition of �file� under the FCRA. Look it up if you don�t believe me or read the Cousins appeal.
8.Sometime in that process, read the FDCPA and FCRA many times. Get adventurous. Read a bit of case law. Find an attorney in case you later need one (good luck finding a good one who knows consumer law)
9.Look up your state laws; you may have better state laws (Go Texas!)
10.Send CA and now possibly original creditor and credit bureau a demand letter detailing all FCRA and FDCPA (and State law) violations for actual, statutory, and punitive damages, court costs, mental and emotional anguish (you get the idea). Request a full deletion of all trade lines and inquiries and an affidavit from a company officer that all the sensitive info (ssn etc) will be purged from their system in full (with the idea that, if there�s no validation there�s a reasonable consumer assumption that there�s no debt. no debt equals no PP under FCRA, etc) and why should they then have your info on file for all to see� wait 31 days after receipt of demand letter.
11.File lawsuit if necessary
12.Settle or go to court (keeping in mind most cases are settled but be prepared to fight in case yours is not)
Boring, isn�t it. The real point is to learn the FDCPA and FCRA and your state laws and hold them accountable when they violate the law. We�ve just learned that there are some sequences that tend to generate a few more violations than others.
Edited by radi8, 07 October 2007 - 03:16 PM.