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  1. Glad to hear that this was helpful. The answer to working with a CA or the OC isn't always cut and dry. Sometimes you have no choice, it depends on whether the debt was sold to a CA or assigned to CA. If sold, the OC might not work with you at all. If assigned, they may work with you once they've recalled the debt back from the CA. In my case, Chase must have (I can't remember if it was assigned out to a CA) pulled my debt back and made me a settlement offer of 10% of the amount due. These things will develop over time, just make sure to save the letters that get sent to you so that you can keep tabs until you're ready to pay. When/if you get ready to pay, pull the paper reports again to make sure you know what needs to be addressed and with whom. If you get served with a lawsuit for any of these accounts , DO NOT ignore it even if it is more than 5 years . You need to file an answer timely. Please come back here to get help if you need it as soon as it occurs. As for not relying on credit, your sentiment is normal and common among us who have had trouble in the past. But swearing it off isn't necessarily the wisest position to take. Credit and debt is a useful tool when applied properly. You, like the rest of us never learned how to use it properly, subsequently crashed and burned or ran into some kind of unavoidable life trouble. Unfortunately, our ego gets hurt in the process and we just want to pick up our toys and go home. But if we do, we don't learn how to make it work for us and our families. A BK attorney once told me to not take this credit and debt stuff so personally, that a bad score wasn't a measure of who I was and that it was just a game that I needed to get better at playing. The advice applies to you too. Managing credit isn't rocket science, but our consumerist economy literally depends on our ignorance. Unless you're going to go off the grid, it can be hard to avoid it. Everyone wants to look at our credit, jobs, insurance companies, landlords etc. So the best cure is to learn all that you can about it and learn how to play the game effectively. Learn when it makes sense to use it and when not to use it. Decide to be strategic about the use of credit and debt to ensure your family is well taken care of. You don't have to use it, but keeping it ready for use it is part of the game. This forum is a great resource for learning, but I'd like to suggest looking into Facebook groups, Youtube and books about credit, debt and finances as well. It will help educate and encourage you as you rebuild. Obviously, you have a young family and are embarking on one of the biggest purchases of your life. You need to expand your knowledge about finances, credit and debt for those reasons alone. This pandemic and every decade recessionary crises are proof that you'll need to know how to at least dog paddle in the deep end for long periods of time. Credit and debt can sometimes be the life jacket you need to hang on to weather a minor storm or two and it is always fixable.
  2. So get your paper reports and double check the dates. Your date of first delinquency (DOFD) is the first missed payment on each account and this is when the clock begins to tick for SOL and when the account drops off your report. So this date is very important. You mentioned that your state (IL) SOL is 5 years. You can be sued even after 5 years , but you can get it dismissed on the grounds that the account is outside the statute of limitations. Again, the DOFD is important to know when SOL expires. These chargeoffs are going to remain on your credit report for 7 years from the DOFD, whether you pay them off or not. It is rare for these to be removed unless you can find some discrepancy with the reporting on your CR. It is worth trying to dispute based on your paper reports, but don't get your hopes up. They are less impactful to your credit score over time anyway. **With that in mind, one strategy might be to potentially wait to pay these off until a couple months before applying for a mortgage (allow for time to update on credit report) or wait until instructed to do so by a mortgage underwriter. In the meantime, focus on saving for a down payment, improving your score and overall profile first. One risk is that you could be sued while you wait, if you are within the 5 year SOL. (This is why DOFD is critical to determining a course of action because waiting several years to pay it off might be too risky) As others have stated, it can make sense to pay them back, so that you can get accounts in the future. You might want to take advantage of their programs at some point. Both Chase and Amex maintain strong blacklists with long memories. Your credit report might be clear in the future but they never forget that you still owe them. You could still pay them off after they fall off your credit report in order to get back in with them. If and when you pay these chargeoffs, pay the original creditors back directly. You will need to contact them (Amex or Chase etc) and I believe someone provided backdoor numbers earlier. If you can reinstate your payment plan with Amex and/or get into the Optima program, this would be a good way to kill two birds with one stone, pay them off, get a new account with them and use it to rebuild your credit. Buying a house with your wife in the next year or two might be ambitious, the middle score for the co-applicant with the lowest scores is one of the hurdles you must clear. So if that is you, you've got plenty of work ahead. But this is only one factor. Your employment history and overall credit profile is important too. Ideally, your credit profile has 3-5 credit cards/revolving , a couple installment loans (auto, student, OneMain/SpringLeaf etc) that are in positive standing. Adding these accounts will help increase your scores and counteract the negative information while it ages off. Your credit profile should look like you've regained your footing, achieved some stability and managing credit well since your 2016 troubles. But don't go crazy with credit applications and hard inquiries. the inquiries also impact your credit. You need to be thoughtful about the credit that you apply for. Don't apply for garbage credit accounts, i.e. recommendations from Credit Karma etc. Join a local medium/large size credit union. They often have secured cards and loans for rebuilding that are far better than Fingerhut or a Victoria Secret's card etc. The banking relationship you are establishing might also prove useful when it's time to get a mortgage. Mortgage lenders look at 2 years of employment history and tax returns, try to stay in the same field when you get another job. If you change fields/industries, it can set you back and you may need to wait to obtain the 2 years employment/income history. This can depend on the lender/underwriter. However, do what you need to do for yourself and your family first, worry about the mortgage approval later Make sure your DTI (Debt to Income ratio) is 43% or less, so you will need to pay down your active credit card(s) and lower the utilization. The high utilization is impacting your scores as well. You need to be at 30% or less, preferably 10% or less of your credit lines, both at an individual credit line and overall revolving credit. (I.e. having 1 maxed card out of 5 can still depress your score.) Monitor your scores with MyFICO.com. Anything other than a FICO score (Vantage etc.) is a fool's errand. Lenders use FICO scores and the like. Wash, rinse and repeat as necessary for your wife's credit. When you've tackled/made some progress on all of this stuff, then go talk to a mortgage broker, not any random bank loan officer unless it is your credit union and you've established a relationship. Brokers are great because they can shop around and find the right loan program for your situation. If you do this stuff before applying, you'll save yourself a lot of frustration and heartache and have an easier time getting approved. If you don't, they deny you and if you're lucky, they send you away with a to-do list that looks like this post. Once you have better data, you can make strategic decisions about how to address your credit, debt and plans for the future. Hope this helps
  3. I was only eligible for BK13. I had too much home equity for BK7 and selling wasn't an option. But as time went on, I realized that the BK would have affected much more than my credit. The question about having ever filed BK has appeared a few times (employment, lending, associations etc.) as I was going along. So I am glad that I did not file, so that I could truthfully answer that question as NO. I knew the scores would heal with time regardless. My scores are now in the low 600s and I have a path forward to boost them a bit higher in the short term. I can maneuver, albeit more expensively for the next 2-3 years until all of this stuff comes off. (My debts went delinquent as a single event rather than over a period of time.) And thanks, surviving was exactly what it was. I wouldn't wish what I went through on my worst enemy. I lost a lot of sleep during this time.
  4. Here's an update almost 3 years later. I think my lawsuit days are behind me finally as of today. With the help of an attorney and some missteps on the debt collector side, I was able to avoid a judgment although I was sued about 6 times. Presumably because my accounts were in the low 4-5 figure range and I appeared to be highly collectible as mentioned above. Call it luck, god or the universe.. whatever "it" was... I had those blessings the entire time. My attorney remarked at least once that he was in disbelief at how some of this played out.. Anyhoo, now I can wait out the remainder of my 7 years, rebuild my credit in relative peace and hope that I can get off any of the blacklists that I may have found myself on. Whew!
  5. Thank you for this clarification. I’ve been lurking around looking for rebuilding strategies/dos and don’ts etc. but it’s been hard to find info/posts for beginners. Do you have any favorite posts or threads that you can recommend? I want to avoid wasting time on accounts or programs that don’t help. As an example, I just got a NFCU account but not sure if I should apply for any of their stuff yet. Can’t find good guidance of when to implement certain steps or programs. I also couldn’t open the earlier link that you posted to see if I could understand why OP was utilizing the loan versus the card and figure out if any of it would apply to my situation Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. Why not do the secured card instead of the loan? Are you addressing credit mix at the same time? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. Thank you for this! I’ll stop worrying about them and keep working on improving the rest of my profile. Just worried that it would set my scores back. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Hey, I just realized I overlooked your mention of 4 bureaus. Who is the 4th? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Ok here’s an update. My family got a paper report from Experian. We sent a dispute letter last month for other accounts so EX sent an updated report once they finished the dispute. So her mortgage is definitely missing from her EX report. Not a bad thing, just wondering if it will come back and report (old negative payment history and foreclosure initiation) because the account is still active and she’s currently making payments (May 1st will be 3rd on-time payment) If it stays gone, it will be good news, just wondering if it is likely that it comes back. I’m still waiting for my paper reports to make sure my students loans are reporting. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. Ok, I'll get some paper copies ordered for both of us to compare to see if the accounts show closed there or not.
  11. Hello - I have two similar scenarios. One is mine and the other is a family members'. My scenario: I have 3 student loans that are currently in forbearance. However, they are showing closed on EX. They are active on TU & EQ. Can these be disputed to get them reporting as open on Experian, will making on-time payments when out of forbearance fix this or should I just leave it alone? (They are older accounts and help the average age of my accounts). Note these accounts have a long positive payment history. Family member scenario: Family member's home was in foreclosure, but they reinstated it right before the auction. They are now current and have made two on-time payments. The account is now closed on EQ and EX, only open on TU. Will this account eventually report correctly now that they are making on-time payments? Should they do anything to get it to report accurately as open, on-time payments and not in foreclosure?
  12. What are you gonna to say on the phone? Are you making payment arrangements? Have the accounts charged off yet? Whether they sue you depends on more than amount. Do you appear to be collectible? I’m assuming you are within SOL because you’re asking the question. How much time is left? Cap One is aggressive and will sue for small amounts. Citi and Barclays will probably sell to debt buyers who will attempt to sue. Chase, not sure, may depend on amount. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Ok, so based on the soft copy reports I have, the following credit cards/accounts are still reporting balance dues with each of the OCs. I don't have my reports in front of me, but I think only Calvary & Caine Webber shows up on the CRs right now. CitiBank BOA Kabbage Barclays Cap One Discover Chase * Lending Club - only shows on TU, $ 0 balance on EX & EQ So if I understand correctly, it is suggested that I contact the OC to settle, make payment arrangements? Note that I can't provide a large lump sum at the moment, but might be able to in January at the earliest. I could work on the small ones now, but decided against this because didn't want to wake the larger debts up by stirring the pot until I could afford to settle with them. So I figured in January or so, I would start with larger debts and work my way down the list to the lower balances. If I can finagle payments with two largest ones now, I'd be open to that too but, it might restrict how much is left for the smaller balances depending on how much they want me to pay. If they want PIF, that could take years and I figured they wouldn't be open to waiting very long to get the full amount. Any insight into how they might approach my payment arrangement requests is very helpful
  14. I don't think any are still with the OC. They are all charged off and are assigned/sold to CAs and JDBs now. I noted each CA/JDB on the screenshot in case it might need a specific strategy. Unfortunately, none of them seem to be the messy ones like LVNV. Do you mean try to have the OC call the debts back and pay directly?

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