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  1. 2 points
    Make sure it is an attorney who specializes in consumer debt. Consult 2 or 3 to find the right one if need be. They should be able to do it for you on contingency.....they get paid when you win. It is 1 k to you, but I bet he can run those charges for his services up. They would probably want to settle, and I would make sure in that stipulation they included any rights to the alleged account so they can't sell it or sue you on it.
  2. 2 points
    It angers me reading about it. Hopefully you can find an attorney thru NACA or elsewhere. Also, I recommend not speaking to Midland or Midland's attorney any more, not to let them know you'll be looking into filing a complaint, or anything else. From here, just speak to your own attorney
  3. 2 points
    @littlebuddha2 If you've never filed suit as a Pro Se litigant against anyone before, I'd contact a consumer attorney. See if there's a NACA attorney in your area. http://www.naca.net
  4. 2 points
    Other that a debtor's exam, I don't see how you will get the bank account information. .................Unless someone on this board has been paid by Midland and has a copy of the check. Anyone????
  5. 2 points
    I Won!!! It went different then I thought but this is it... Met the lawyer he tried to settle, No thank you, he asked why I said its not my debt. He asked for more details for when we go in front of the judge I said ill give you more details when we are in front of him. We are called Philadelphia SC court the judge explained how it works, plaintiff talks then I talk then he makes a decision he said its pretty simple. JDB introduces the cc statement with his other paperwork and I object that the Plantiff has no legal standing that the statement is not notarized and that the acct number is blacked out, there is no foundation for it and that the affidavits are heresay. Quite pause...... judge looks at the lawyer as if to say " well what are you going to say?" JDB says it has my name on it the acct is blacked out for privacy issues and that is his foundation. judge says he will allow it? so now im like WTF? I argue it for a min and the judge stops the convo and askd the jdb if he has questions for me. He asks do I live there at the address, Yes have I ever seen this statement before NO, do I have an acct with OC NO could this be my acct? I asked the judge does he want me to speculate if I had an acct that I have already denied having? Judge--Is this your acct Sir --No your honor Judge-- I pay my bills sir and I hope this is not your acct!! Judge-- to jdb (throws paperwork on desk) guess what? you have nothing!! nothing signed by the defendant, no admittance by him, you have nothing! I see so much of this Junk Debt in front of me and you guys need to get your act together! case dismissed. I wanted to ask for it to be dismissed with prejudice so I said excuse me your honor. Judge--Sir don't say a word, not one word! He was mad that I won but whatever. So thank you to all the people who have helped me directly and indirectly. I have read a lot on this site and it gave me the basic knowledge to fight and represent myself accordingly. Next step? who knows?
  6. 1 point
    Hello everyone, First off, I'd like to say thank you to the magic of the internet, but also this site in particular. I'm a long-time lurker, and this is my first post. I was brought to court by Velocity Investments, LLC for old, junk, credit card debt. I believe I made some good decisions as well as some bad decisions along the way, and I'd like to share my story here. I found a lot of other people's stories helpful to me in my case, so I feel I should return the favor and write a very detailed account of my case. If I feel I have helped even one person, I'd have done my job here. I appreciated all of the help these forums gave me in preparation to my case. So, In February of 2014 I was mailed a summons to appear in court in June. The Plaintiff was Velocity Investments, LLC, being represented by a somewhat local law firm who is located closer to Boston than central Massachusetts (where I live). I had never heard of Velocity Investments, LLC. If they had tried to contact me, they had failed. I also am in the habit of never picking up my phone if I am unfamiliar with the phone number. If they had spoken to me on the phone though, I would have never admitted that I owed them anything. The one regret I have pre-summons is that I never sent them a debt validation letter. If I had been contacted by them via mail, or through a voicemail, before the summons was delivered to me, perhaps this would never had to have gone to court. A couple of wonky things I noticed about Massachusetts Small Claims courts...The summons does not have to be delivered by Certified Mail. If you've moved around and the debt in question is old, they are probably sending you a summons to your old address. Thankfully I still reside at the same place and I did receive the summons. In Massachusetts, I also noticed that the instructions for filing an answer might as well be hidden in one of those Magic Eye hologram books. The front of the summons simply stated who was suing me, and when my court date was. It did NOT allude to anything about sending in an answer on the front of the document. There were no attached files from the Plaintiff. the only thing in the Claims section was a small typed paragraph showing the last 4 digits of an account number, an amount of $6,621 being owed, and a date sometime in 2010 as being the date of last payment received. Immediately I took to the internet for advice. This is how I learned that I had to submit an answer. On the back of the summons, a few paragraphs down, in tiny type, were the instructions on how to submit an answer to both the court and the Plaintiff's attorney. I did type up an answer to the summons as follows: "I, the Defendant in the above referred-to Small Claims Action, understand that in this answer, I must state fully and specifically what facts set out in the Plaintiff's Statement of Claim I deny, and what facts I admit, and I do so as follows: I deny each of the Plaintiff's allegations int he claim. Affirmative Defenses: I do not owe this debt, I dispute the amount claimed to be owed, I have not entered into a contract with the Plaintiff, I have not received adequate documentation to show that the Plaintiff has standing." I sent one to the court and one to the lawfirm of the Plaintiff via Certified Mail. Shortly thereafter, I received a letter from the law firm offering to settle for a lesser amount. I laughed and ripped it into pieces and threw it away. So, here comes the hearing, which was exceptionally unconventional. It's a small, rinky-dink court house in my home town, but I saw about 20 other people who I assumed were here for the same thing. The odd part, I thought, was that I only picked out 3 or 4 people who looked like lawyers. I thought, "Good! Maybe they didn't bother to show!" The small claims defendants and plaintiffs were called into the courtroom together. The magistrate presiding over the hearings started calling out names on a list to account for attendance. It's true. A LOT of people didn't even show. Each time a name was called, and the defendant was not in court, you would hear the magistrate say "default judgment for the Plaintiff." as if he has said this same thing over and over again thousands of times. I was paying attention to everything and I was starting to get very confused and upset. Those 3-4 lawyers up front seemed to be representing ALL of the Plaintiffs from all of the cases. how could this small handful of lawyers be representing all of the different companies who were suing people today? It didn't make any sense and I was starting to get really angry, quite frankly. If I have to show up or else face a default judment against me, it doesn't seem fair that the Plaintiff and the specific team of lawyers they hired don't have to be there. Instead this handful of lawyers were just picking up the cases. How does that make sense? I was fuming! After attendance was recorded and default judgments were placed against all of the no-show defendants, the magistrate called into a recess, and said that we could "have our discussions outside" and then come back in. We left the courtroom and the lawyers scattered to talk to people about payment plans. I noticed one lawyer in particular who had a very large file binder. This poor dude was trying to settle and have talks with just about all of the defendants one by one. Yeah, I actually did feel bad for him. He was running around like a chicken, and with no real private place to talk a midst all of his paperwork, he was taking people over to a small hallway and using the top of a garbage can as a work desk. That stinks for him. (No pun intended) Eventually, 20 minutes later he called my name. I went over to his dumpster desk and introduced myself. I also asked him..."What's the deal with Kream and Kream? (the Plaintiff's lawyer team) Did they just up and decide to not show up today?" He gave a nervous laugh and just said "Well, I am the Plaintiff today." No further explanation. At this point, with my suspicions verified that neither the Plaintiff, nor the lawers representing them on my paperwork were present, I was very, very upset. The lawyer pulled out a file folder on my case that seemed quite large. He asked me questions concerning a Citibank Sears card and asked me if this was the debt I was being sued for. I said "Well, supposedly. That's what it says on my summons. But I don't owe this money, so, I'm sorry, but, I'm not going to pay a debt that is not mine." He recited a date of last payment with the amount paid, along with the remaining amount due. He told me I still owed the amount due to the new company who owns the debt. I told him that I had previously paid off this debt in full, and that, even though I am sorry to make his job a little harder today, that I will of course not pay a debt that has already been paid off in full. He then asked if I had any paperwork that showed that I paid the debt off, as he pulled out a copy of the last statement that was on file from 2010. I'll admit, at this point I started feeling a little scared. He had a file folder full of papers on this. My file folder only contained two things; a copy of my Small Claims answer, and my actual summons. I had nothing else with me and no proof at all that the original debt was actually paid. I told him that I do not have any proof on me, but that the debt had been paid through Sears' collections dept years ago and I had no record of it. He seemed frustrated for a second, but then polite and friendly and just said "Okay. We'll be taking this to the magistrate then. I do have a couple more people I need to speak with, but once that's over we'll go in for your hearing, okay?" Me and my boyfriend sat back down on a bench and waited for him to finish up with the rest of the defendants. I had a surge of thoughts and emotions running through me. Regret that all I had on me was court documents...but confusion on what else I could have brought with me. I had nothing to show for myself, and who knows what else was in that large stack of papers he had with him. Regret that i didn't ask for Discovery as the laws in my state had me confused about it so I just didn't bother. Anger at the fact that the Plaintiff and lawyer team representing them didn't even show. Mixed feelings about the lawyer who was going against me. He seemed friendly enough. He was polite and courteous as I had been with him. And I did feel bad that THIS was what he was doing today. I imagined that he hated his life. My thoughts towards him could be summed up by saying "You're a nice enough guy. Sorry this has been dumped on you. But I want to destroy you in the court room." I heard him talk to the magistrate in the hallway. He told him that everyone was being taken care of, and that he had one hearing he was going to be bringing in. WHAT?! All of those other defendants made arrangements to pay. I was the only one fighting today. At this point, I felt incredibly unprepared, but also READY. It's a strange feeling. In the court room I stood by the answer I had given to the court. I desperately wanted to bring up the fact that technically, the plaintiff nor the lawyer's representing them were not here, and question the practice of this one lawyer picking up all of the cases in court today, but I was honestly unsure on how to properly address this issue in court. I stood by my answer that the plaintiff had no standing to sue me for this debt, that I had not received any AUTHENTICATED (yes, I emphasized that word) documents to show that I owe this debt, and that I owe it to them, and that i had previously paid this debt off. The magistrate asked me for documentation for the payoff. I told him I do not have it. The magistrate seemed frustrated by my audacity to come in with my proof of payment. I explained to him that the payment was made years ago, when I had a different bank account at a different bank. the debt in question had gone to Sears card collections, and as a last-ditch effort, they offered me a settlement about of $3,000, about half of the amount of the original debt. I paid them the money, and then didn't concern myself with it. I also told him that I tried to contact Sears collections and that they would not speak to me about it at all, saying that they do not have record of anything and they cannot help me. The magistrate then tried to explain to me that if the debt was sold, they would no longer HAVE record of it. That the debt was sold to X-company, who then sold it to X-company, who then sold it to the Plaintiff, who is suing me today. I acknowledged that I understood how debt can be bought from companies, but that they may have sold a debt that was actually paid for, and now Sears won't talk to me about it because it was sold and they no longer have record of it. The magistrate again seemed....frustrated. defeated by how fragmented and uneasy this case was. He explained to me that the Plaintiff did have a bill of sale. I expressed that the bill of sale is not authenticated nor an original document. The magistrate seemed disinterested in what I had to say. The lawyer seemed upset and stressed. He scoffed and started hurriedly going through his papers. He seemed defensive. At this point I began to think that I was going to lose. Period. The magistrate then asked the plaintiff (if you can call him that) how much of the amount owed was interest. The lawyer was scrambling through his paperwork some more and finally said "$300." The magistrate looked at him like he was nuts and said "That can't be right. Not with $6,000 owed. At such a high interest rate. How can that be right?" the lawyer repeated that the interest included in the amount due was listed as $300. The magistrate had his head in his hands. He was officially not having a good day at this point. "You can't tell me that the amount of interest in that debt is only $300. It's simply not right. There's something really not right with this." There was an uneasy silence. The magistrate then said "It's not my job to do this, but it looks like I am going to have to. I'm going to need to take some time to go over these numbers and figure this out. Because the amount of that debt that is interest you're telling me is not right and it cannot be right. It just doesn't make sense. And now I have to be the one to make sense of it." He looked at me and told me that I would receive the judgment in the mail within 5 days. And then it was all over. I left the courthouse feeling very confused and definitely feeling like things did not go my way. I was expecting to see a judgment in the mail in a few days that told me I owed $x amount of money and I would have to appeal the decision. I left upset that I was unable to put this behind me. Who has a hearing and then leaves not knowing the outcome? It didn't take 5 days. It took about a week and a half. All the judgment said was that the judgment was found in favor of the defendant, and the plaintiff had no right to appeal the decision. I am SO happy! Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing what exact details led to this decision, as I wasn't expecting this outcome at all after appearing in court. If I had to guess, the numbers didn't sit right with the magistrate. If he didn't trust the numbers, how can he even trust the entire case? He certainly didn't seem to care (or show that he cared) about original documentation. He was very dismissive of the things I was questioning. I certainly didn't play all of my cards the way I probably should have. I did some things right, and I did some things wrong. But I wasn't afraid to fight anyway. The biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone, although it seems small, is to bring someone with you. If I had been waiting in that courthouse hallway all alone, I may have not had all of the confidence that I did that day. Just simply having my boyfriend with me for moral support gave me comic relief while we sat around doing nothing while waiting for everything. If I was alone I would have been stressed and more worried. Having that one person there who is 100% behind you puts a whole new spring in your step. I was amazed at how unafraid I felt while discussing things with the lawyer and then again while addressing the magistrate. Even if you have one person who is behind you, waving a flag in support of you, it can add a whole new level of self confidence you didn't know you had. Good luck fellow debt-fighters. I wish you all the best of luck in your fight!
  7. 1 point
    I'd say your next move would be to speak to an attorney. Don't bother with that answer, since there's no complaint Gather up any other items they have sent you, have them handy. Did they send you an initial letter? Or was this false summons the first communication?
  8. 1 point
    ok after reading that [thanks so much @RyanEX] I am going to file a suit on them. Is there anyone here who can help/guide me to what i need to do? i will research this and try my best to sift through this but i'm definitely going to make sure they didn't do that with no reprocussions and i did read something where i can collect money from them for doing something like this. it's not about the money to me but that was really horrible what they did.
  9. 1 point
    They most certainly can't pull this kind of tactic. Are you familiar with the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act? Here's a link if not, FDCPA - if you're in a position where you'll be dealing with debt collectors, I recommend getting to know it well. In this case, see Section 807 False or misleading representations - in particular #s 9, 10, & 13. They can't fake a court summons.
  10. 1 point
    Co. has some very generous bk exemptions. Doesn't look like the home is at risk. http://www.thebankruptcysite.org/exemptions/colorado.html Most bk lawyers will give a free or lowcost initial consultation. Speak with a couple and see what they suggest.
  11. 1 point
    Thanks Willing, I meant to word it as such or along those lines, but, I was in a hurry to get to the casino for all you could eat sea food night. Prime ribe and crab legs....lol
  12. 1 point
    You don't say what state you're in, but your mom's pension and SS should be safe from garnishee. And, even if the CCs sue and get a judgment the worst that might happen is a lien on the house...they can't force her to sell. So...its possible she can just stop paying and the only damage that will be done is she won't be able to borrow more money. But, many states have STATE sponsored credit counselors for senior citizen. You might check...
  13. 1 point
    @ldc12 Read your rules of civil procedure on Admissions to prepare yourself for tomorrow. Good luck. http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/source/mass/rules/civil/mrcp36.html "Each matter of which an admission is requested shall be separately set forth. The matter is admitted unless, within 30 days after service of the request, or within such shorter or longer time as the court may allow, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission either (1) a written statement signed by the party under the penalties of perjury specifically (i) denying the matter or (ii) setting forth in detail why the answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter; or (2) a written objection addressed to the matter, signed by the party or his attorney, but, unless the court shortens the time, a defendant shall not be required to serve answers or objections before the expiration of 45 days after service of the summons and complaint upon him. . . (b) Effect of Admission. Any matter admitted under this rule is conclusively established unless the court on motion permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission. . . "
  14. 1 point
    The judgments are not showing because the web crawling programs that search court dockets are only looking in her current state of residence not anywhere she lived before. If the California address she lived at is not on her credit report they won't search the dockets there. Public records can report for the duration they are good for. i.e. BK for 10 years. Judgments for the SOL of 10 years on a CA one. If they renew it AND domesticate it in FL it will appear on her CR faster than she can blink. Another issue is that often a creditor will have the names of those they have judgments against flagged in the credit reporting agencies files. When the consumer apps for a mortgage the creditor gets a notification and then can move to collect. They do this because they KNOW if that judgment is reporting she cannot get a mortgage until she pays it off. THIS is their leverage.
  15. 1 point
    @ shellieh98 - Thanks! To be honest, there was no reason to post b/c all the answers (and doc examples) were already here. First, the part probably of most interest to others. JDB used a new (at least to me) argument to try and get their CCP98 dec and exhs admitted: they've gone to the legislative history in an attempt to divine the "legislative intent" behind CCP98. Apparently, the language to the proposed statute at one time included: "and the affiant is subject to subpoena for trial." This language was removed from the final/current version of CCP98, so JDB argued that therefore there must be no subpoena, i.e., personal service, requirement under CCP98. This argument (which I think is completely bogus) was made in opposition to my mil to exclude the 98 dec and exhibits. Plaintiff also requested judicial notice of the legislative history of CCP98. I'll post the opposition and request for judicial notice so others can see them. I was pretty confident that I had a very good counter-argument to that bs, and happy to share my $0.02 if anyone is interested, but it never got to that as I'll explain shortly. I have to thank everyone who's posted to this thread, and a bunch of people who didn't but who shared great information on other threads. You guys/gals make it almost TOO easy. But I also have to thank JDB, for truly making the trial a fun experience. My only nervousness came as a result of an exchange I had with JDB law firm earlier this week; 2 days ago I get a call from them asking if I'm interested in negotiating a settlement: Me: Sure JDB: What's your offer? Me: Dismissal with prejudice; remove all trade lines; check for $1,000 made out to String. JDB: I'll get back to you. Yesterday they called back with a "counter": JDB: client agrees to dismiss with prejudice, and to remove all JDB (but not OC) trade lines. Me: What about the $1k? JDB: No, we think we have a strong case Me: See you tomorrow. My Wife: "You're an idiot" That's when I got a little nervous. She would have killed me if I'd proceeded to lose. Quick background, aka Gifts From JDB: JDB filed suit with massively bogus proof of summons. I answered with General Denial and Cross-Complaint for Rosenthal violation (with some excellent strategy advice from CAlawyer). JDB didn't file or serve a response to the cross, tsk, tsk. Kinda half-@$$ed my way thru discovery: BOP led to threat of MTC, but never filed. Some last-minute discovery to give 'em something to do, but too late to follow thru with any MTC on that. Basically, I was waiting for the CCP98 strategy. I also filed for default judgment on the cross, but it was denied - essentially by mistake (can't elaborate just yet). JDB served no discovery (yawn). Fast-forward to last month: JDB sends ccp98 dec on the same day that I sent my ccp96 request. Deadline passes for ccp96 response from JDB. It's never served (or filed). Meanwhile, I have the sheriff subpoena the declarant at JDB atty office. Surprise: not there, declarant works in Colorado. Sheriff refused to do substitute service (I knew they'd refuse, but put an instruction to do so anyway - to show I tried). I filed and served a mil to preclude ccp98 dec and exhibits, and a mil to preclude ALL evidence and witnesses under ccp96 and 97, along with a trial brief. JDB filed and served briefs already mentioned and trial brief, but NO opposition to my mil re ccp96 and 97. We get to court (I arrived early - suggest it to get comfortable in the courtroom. I was the first and only one there for awhile and exchanged some friendly banter with court staff. Feeling very comfortable and confident, and loaded for bear, but expecting things to be fairly simple given JDB's gifts). JDB (lawyer) looked fresh out of law school - almost felt sorry for her. (Not) Judge called us up and began by asking JDB why no opposition to my ccp96/97 MIL. JDB feigned surprise then pulled out a ccp96 response that she says was "mailed." Judge asked me if I had received a copy. No. Judge couldn't find one attached to anything and asked JDB for the proof of service. JDB flopped around - like a fish out of water - and offered up some lame nonsense. Judge asked her if she was done, and said: Motion In Limine to preclude witnesses and evidence is granted. JDB had only one option: call me as a witness (not gonna go well). JDB wants to use alleged statements to impeach me: Me: Objection your Honor, lacks foundation. I don't know what she's going to impeach me on, I haven't testified to anything. Judge: Sustained. It went like that for a short time, but the judge seemed to take a little pity on her and ultimately allowed her to show me the statements and ask some questions. I honestly had never seen those statements prior to discovery, so it went nowhere and JDB atty got frustrated and quit. Judge asked her if she was done, then looked at me: Me: Defense requests judgment in favor of defendant. Judge: Granted. Then he went to the cross-complaint and asked JDB why no answer. JDB went fish-on-the dock and offered up more nonsense. Judge: Court-entered default. Cross-complainant to submit 585 packet "prove-up" in 30 days. I'm not sure the judge understood that I'm after statutory damages, not actual, and I'm not sure what else to say in a prove-up(?). Any advice greatly appreciated. I can post my docs if anyone wants to see them, but they're really just my twist on docs posted by homelessinca, astmedic, and others. I will post JDB docs soon. Also, please let me know if anyone has other questions - more than happy to help out. Best trial advice has already been given in this forum: 1) be prepared, know the key statutes and cases (there aren't that many that you need to know well) 2) every time JDB attorney opens her pie hole, you say "Objection" ... in my case almost always followed by "Foundation." JDB too lazy, or lacking in skill, to lay a proper foundation for anything. String
  16. 1 point
    redacted memoppomottocompel.zipredacted request for admissions response 4-26-10.zipredacted Motion to preclude 1.docredacted Argument for preclusion markrev.docredacted opposition to summaray AZ WITH BEERGOGGLES OPPOSITION.docredacted opposition to summaray AZ WITH BEERGOGGLES OPPOSITION.docredacted argument for if the dog ate the insert paper name here.docMich. opposition to summary judgment.zipOpposition to MSJ Chase page 2.zipredacted opposition to summaray AZ WITH BEERGOGGLES OPPOSITION.docOpposition to summary judgement.docEffective_Oppositions_to_Motions_for_Summary_Judgment.pdfredacted opposition to summaray AZ WITH BEERGOGGLES OPPOSITION.docredacted opposition to summaray AZ.doc let me know if you need more
  17. 1 point
    I figured it's about time to sticky a thread listing some of the goofy things that can make your credit score drop and some tricks to correct it. Companies not listing (or incorrectly listing) your credit limit on revolving accounts. Major offenders here are CapitalOne and American Express. Amex falls into this category because there is no preset limit on their charge-card. CapitalOne simply refuses to report limits because it is their policy to keep it secret. The bureaus just use your high balance for the preceeding 12 months as a "proxy" for your credit limit because they have nothing else to work with. With the exception of Amex, you can flip your limit by taking a cash advance 1 day before the billing cycle ends to bring your account up to limit, then use that money to pay the bill in a day or two. Your cost is only 1 day of interest on the cash advance. Having online account access makes this pretty easy to arrange. Switching scorecards. I can hear the questions already..."scorecards? What the hell is a scorecard?" So lets start there. A scorecard is a category that the consumer is classified into for determining your FICO score. It is based upon grouping your report with others with similar problems. The scorecards I know of in order of severity are: bankruptcy, unpaid judgment, chargeoff/paid judgment, collection and late-pay, recent account opened, and aged accounts. So consumers with a bankrupcy on their reports is on a different scorecard than consumers who do not have a bankruptcy on their reports. When you move from one scorecard to another, the formula used to determine your FICO score changes. This is why a person with a score of 720 with a bk on their reports suddenly has a score of 640 when the bk falls off. When the bk was present the rest of the report looked really good compared to others with a bk; but once compared to consumers with no bk on their report, it doesn't look so good. So what can you do about being put on another scorecard? Not a lot. Dealing with it is mostly planning. The best thing you can do is make sure you do not have a high balance to credit limit ratio a few months before an item is ready to drop that will move you into another scorecard. If all other things are equal, that will keep you from a major score plunge. Balance transfer bombing This is a combination of scorecards and ratios that usually is the reason why a person doing a blance transfer gets hammered on their score. First off, opening the account will throw you onto another scorecard if you haven't opened an account in more than 18 months - you get moved from the aged account scorecard to the new account scorecard. Secondly, since most card companies won't tell you your limit until after you have applied and agreed to the balance transfer, you may inadvertantly max out a new card account which kills your limit ratio (and socks your score). How to cope? Do balance transfers only when you are not getting ready for a major purchase and be disciplined about paying the balance down with the money you are saving on the introductory rate. Don't squander the opportunity to pay the debt down. Also keep in mind that closing a good old account can lead to score drops later when that account falls off. Paying off old debt for less than full balance Yes, it is great to get a proverbial monkey off your back, but paying any debt for less than full balance counts as a chargeoff for FICO scoring. Why? Because a settlement for less than full balance means the creditor is still charging off at least part of the debt. Not only will you have a new chargeoff reporting, but you will be moved into the chargeoff scorecard which will most definately tank your scores. Dealing with this one simply means doing your very best to negotiate the credit reporting aspect of the settlement and getting it all in writing. If you are inclined toward boosting your credit scores and the debt you are trying to settle is large, it may be in your best interest to let a lawyer handle the settlement negotiations. As an officer of the court, even a verbal agreement conveyed to your attorney to report a certain way would be binding on the creditor. The lawyer also would make sure the paperwork was water-tight. For negotiating smaller debts, use the advice given in the forums here to work up an agreement with the proper documentation. Traffic/Parking Citations, Library, and other fines The real bad news with these is they count as public record judgments on your credit reports and they are not consumer debt under the FDCPA. Collectors are increasing being hired by local governments trying to collect on these penalty fines...and the collectors do not have to follow the FDCPA at all in going after these payments. Collectors can report this not only as a tradeline but as a public record if it has gone through an adjudication process at the local government level. The only advice I can offer here is never ignore a citation. Dispute or pay it promptly to the issuing governmental agency. And don't try moving away to another jurisdiction as these things can follow you practically forever. Most states have statutes of limitations exceeding 20 years on unpaid judgments and most also allow those to be renewed indefinately. Unpaid judgments can stay on your report until the statute of limitations expires on them and most debts to the government are not wiped out by bankruptcy; So don't mess with this one. Deal with them as soon as possible. "You have not established a long credit history" Wow. You've been using credit cards since you were old enough to have one and you've financed several cars over the years, but the score model says you don't have a long established credit history...what gives? Well that's a funny thing about the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Act says the maximum time that a bureau can report bad information about you. But, in a strange oversight by congress, it is totally silent on the subject of how long good information can (or should) be reported. Technically a bureau can delete any good tradeline the day after it is closed and be fully compliant with the law. But all the bureaus have pretty much agreed to keep closed, good items for at least 7 years. Sometimes they will stay for 10, but expecting a bureau to maintain a good item more than 10 years after it has been closed is just fantasy. It costs them money to store the data so they have set limits on how long they will keep it. The kicker is that the bureaus don't actually keep track of the date when you opened your first account...that's would be too simple of a solution. But the FICO model does take into account the age of your accounts and how long you have been using credit to figure your score. So what to do? Well, the best solution is settling down and becoming a homeowner. Since mortgages tend to be long commitments, these tend to be the benchmark used for figuring the length of your credit history. Another way is to get the lender to re-report the old item back to the bureaus; although this only works for about a year...until the next time the bureaus scrubs their old data. Lastly, keeping a credit card account open for decades is a good thing, even if you don't use it, because it's age will help your score go up. So what does FICO consider to be the perfect 800? Over 40 years old (it's not age...it's credit history length 18+20) Homeowner for at least 20 years and has a mortgage Has two major credit cards with no more than 15% balance Has two store or gasoline cards with no more than 15% balance Has an automobile loan or another secured commercial loan No late pays No bankruptcy No judgments Has both savings and checking accounts So go forth...and become a credit guru.
  18. 1 point
    I'm going to add one more thing to this just to clarify -- and hopefully some people will get it. We all know that a FICO score is based on 35% payment history, 30% utilization, 15% length of credit history, 10% new credit, and 10% types of credit. Think about that. A FICO score is a I Love Debt Score. You have a great FICO score by getting into debt and staying in debt for a long time. A FICO score does not show your ability to pay for things. It does not show your net worth. You can have 10 million dollars in net worth and a lousy FICO score if you're not borrowing money. Ponder that for a while before you rush off to build your credit file. Think about saving some of what you earn instead.
  19. 1 point
    Also... Closing your accounts is one of the WORST things you can do for your scores. Do NOT believe the myth that you should close unused accounts, or that closing accounts once they're paid off is wise. IT'S NOT. Longstanding open accounts, especially with low utilization, are credit score GOLD. You have nothing to gain by stopping your credit history in its tracks. There's no reason at all to close accounts, especially longstanding ones, if you only have a few accounts on your reports. It's shooting yourself in the foot. Keep them open, use them sparingly, and keep building a positive history. You'll also raise your utilization (and thus lower your scores) if you only have one open card. Remember that the main goal is to HAVE credit (for strategic purposes), not to rely on it. You can have open cards. But you don't have to run them up.
  20. 1 point
    I keep repeating myself a lot on this so I'm making this sticky to explain why you should NEVER use the on-line dispute system for tradelines. You can use it for correcting addresses and personal information but that's about it. Besides the obvious problem that you have NO PROOF of your dispute that you can take to court as prima facie evidence to establish your case, there are other issues that come up. When the FCRA was amended by the FACT Act, they put in a section for "Expidited Dispute Resolution" (Section 611a(8)) aka the on-line dispute system. If you read that part you will notice this sentance: "the agency shall not be required to comply with paragraphs (2), (6), and (7) with respect to that dispute" if they delete the tradeline within 3 days. Paragraph 2 is the part that requires the CRA to forward your dispute and all related documentation you provide to the furnisher. Paragraph 6 is the part that requires the CRA to provide you with written results of the investigation. Paragraph 7 is the part that requires the CRA to provide you with the method of verification on request from the consumer. Now where this is a problem is that the law isn't specific enough to say permanently delete or supress. The CRA can "soft delete" it for 30 days and then the tradeline can reappear when the furnisher reports it again in the next 30 day cycle (Because the CRA isn't required to tell the furnisher you disputed it at all). So this leaves a mechanism in place where the consumer thinks they are getting a delete, but it is only temporary. Since the furnisher doesn't know it was deleted, they can re-report it and the CRA will happily put it right back on your report...and there is nothing in the law to stop it.* Further, you loose your rights to request MoV and loose the hard-copy of the investigation results you would otherwise get if you did the dispute by mail; Leaving all evidence of the dispute tightly locked in the CRA's hands...where you are essentially assured that they will fight any and all attempts to subpeona it in a court action. *The 5 day notice letter for reinsertion is only if the CRA puts the item back on your report as a result of an investigation taking longer than 45 days to complete. The CRA does not have to give you a 5 day notice of reinsert if they complete their "expedited investigation," delete the tradeline, and the furnisher re-reports it later.
  21. 1 point
    To set the record straight. A CRA may keep any piece of derrogatory information including inquiries for up to 7 years. That is the limit the law allows for them to keep anything that negatively affects you. The FCRA further says they must be able to tell a consumer about any inquiries for employment for 2 years and any other reason for 1 year. This sets a minimum time that the CRA has to keep this kind of record. If they were to remove an inquiry sooner, they would not be able to meet this statutory obligation. They can keep it longer if they want to, up to the 7 year limit. The bureaus try to keep things simple which is why bad tradelines drop off after 7 years instead of the 7.5 year max the law allows. It helps keep their computer programs easy to manage. The same thing goes for inquiries. The automated part of the software just looks at 24 months for all inquiries to keep it simple. Can they remove a credit inquiry after 12 months? Yes. Do they have to? No. Can they remove any inquiry at all that is less than 12 months old? Definately not (unless they break the law).
  22. 1 point
    OK this keeps coming up so now I'm putting it in as a sticky: IT IS ILLEGAL FOR A CREDIT BUREAU TO REMOVE AN INQUIRY FROM A CONSUMER CREDIT REPORT BEFORE 24 MONTHS. Now here's the breakdown of that and why: Section 609a(3)(A)(i-ii) of the FCRA requires that the bureau identify to the consumer upon request any "person" that obtained a copy of the consumer's credit report during the 24 months preceding the request. There is no safe-harbor to this provision. Even if the credit report was pulled by mistake and everyone agrees it was a mistake, that does not negate the fact that a report was provided by the CRA and the law requires the CRA to keep track of it. If a CRA were to delete an inquiry before the 24 month expiration, they would not be able to comply with this statutory requirement. Therefore it is illegal for a CRA to remove an inquiry. A CRA may flag an inquiry so that it appears only on disclosures made to the consumer. That way it is never seen by a subscriber pulling a report and does not affect your FICO score...but it must be shown on any report issued by the CRA to the consumer. This letter from FTC Attorney Christopher Keller explains what I outlined here in question #5: http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcra/cohan2.htm Although some people manage to get an inquiry deleted, it must be stressed that the CRA is breaking the law in doing so and leaving themselves open to be sued for failing to follow their required duties to keep track of every single report they issue.
  23. 1 point
    I've seen this question come up on board a lot lately so I decided to post some guidance to the topic here with some readings for ya'll. Disputing an account, making a payment on an account, the transfer to a collection agency does not re-age the account. The 7 years starts with the initial missed payment that led to the delinquency of the account+180 days. This applies to accounts added on file on or after Dec 1997. For accounts before this date, the 7 years stars when the creditor actually charged off the account. According to Federal Banking Laws, open ended accounts (credit cards, department store cards etc) must be charged off no later than 180 of non-payment. For closed-ended, it's 120 days. FCRA § 605. Requirements relating to information contained in consumer reports [15 U.S.C. § 1681c] © Running of reporting period. (1) In general. The 7-year period referred to in paragraphs (4) and (6)(2) of subsection (a) shall begin, with respect to any delinquent account that is placed for collection (internally or by referral to a third party, whichever is earlier), charged to profit and loss, or subjected to any similar action, upon the expiration of the 180-day period beginning on the date of the commencement of the delinquency which immediately preceded the collection activity, charge to profit and loss, or similar action. (2) Effective date. Paragraph (1) shall apply only to items of information added to the file of a consumer on or after the date that is 455 days after the date of enactment of the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996. FCRA Staff Opinion Brinckerhoff-Amason February 15, 2000 Ms. Alaina K. Amason< 14155 Shire Oak San Antonio, TX 78247 Dear Ms. Amason: This responds to your letter concerning the time limitations imposed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") on the reporting of chargeoff accounts by a consumer reporting agency ("CRA," usually a credit bureau). We list your inquiries on this topic below in italics, with our replies immediately following each item. 1. What reporting limits does the FCRA provide with respect to chargeoffs, and how long have they been in effect? Section 605(a)(4), which has been in effect since the FCRA became effective in April 1971, has always prohibited CRAs from reporting chargeoffs that are more than seven years old.(1) Section 623(a)(5), which became law in September 1997, requires a creditor that reports a chargeoff to a CRA to notify the agency (within 90 days of reporting the account) of "the month and year of the commencement of the delinquency that immediately preceded" the chargeoff. Section 605©(1) provides that the seven year period begins 180 days from that date. Both provisions were part of the major revision to the FCRA that were enacted in 1996. (2) 2. Is the reporting period extended if (A) the original creditor sells or transfers the account to another creditor, ( the consumer responds to post-chargeoff collection efforts by making a payment on the debt, or © the consumer disputes the account with a CRA? Does it matter whether the 7-year period has expired when any of these events occurs? No. In enacting the new provisions discussed above, Congress intended to establish a date certain -- 180 days after the start of the delinquency that led to the chargeoff -- to begin the obsolescence period. It did so to correct the often lengthy extension of the period that resulted from later events under the original FCRA. Enclosed are two staff opinion letters (Kosmerl, 06/04/1999; Johnson, 08/31/1998 ) that discuss the impact of these provisions, and the legislative history relating to their enactment, in more detail. Because the commencement of the seven year period is now described with some precision by the statute, it is our opinion that none of the subsequent events you listed -- sale of the charged off account by the creditor, or a payment on or dispute about the account by the consumer -- changes the allowable period for a CRA to report a chargeoff. 3. Since Sections 623(a)(5) and 605©(1) provide new rules for calculating the 7-year period that became effective in 1997, do chargeoff accounts now have different obsolescence periods depending on when the chargeoff occurred? Yes. Section 605©(2) states that the section "shall apply only to items of information added to the (CRA) file of a consumer on or after" 455 days after enactment, or December 29, 1997. Therefore, a chargeoff reported to a CRA on or after that date is subject to the new commencement-of-the-delinquency method of calculating the obsolescence period set forth in Sections 623(a)(5) and 605©(1). On the other hand, a chargeoff reported to a CRA before December 29, 1997, is not covered by the new provisions, as discussed in one of the enclosed letters (Kosmerl, 06/04/99). If a credit account was reported as a chargeoff before that date, the Commission's view has been that it can be reported for seven years from the date the creditor actually charged it off.(3) The opinions set forth in this informal staff letter are not binding on the Commission. Sincerely yours, Clarke W. Brinckerhoff -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Section 605( provides that there is no time limit applicable to a report made in connection with credit involving a principal amount (or insurance with a face amount) of $150,000 or more, or employment for a salary of $75,000 or more. Prior to September 1997, those amounts were $50,000 and $20,000, respectively. 2. The Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996 (Title II, Subchapter D, of Public Law 104-280, signed into law on September 30, 1996), made many other changes to the FCRA. 3. Commentary on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 16 CFR Part 600 Appendix, comment 605(a)(4)-2. 55 Fed. Reg. 18804, 18818 (May 4, 1990). FCRA Staff Opinion Brinckerhoff-Johnson August 31, 1998 Mr. Clifford A. Johnson 1917 Surrey Trail Bellbrook, Ohio 45305 Re: FCRA §§ 605© and 623(a)(5) - "Commencement of the delinquency" Dear Mr. Johnson: This responds to your request for our views concerning the calculation of the period for which a consumer reporting agency ("CRA") is permitted to report accounts that have been charged off, placed for collection, or subject to similar action, under the amended Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"). You report that the following series of events occurred with respect to one of your credit accounts: "My last payment was received by the creditor 12/96. My payments were due monthly and I missed the 1/97 payment and all subsequent payments culminating in a charge off. This creditor does not report to the credit bureau until the account is 90 days delinquent. . . . The creditor contends that the delinquency did not occur until 3/97 because that is when they first reported it." Section 623(a)(5) requires a creditor that reports a chargeoff to a CRA to notify the agency (within 90 days of reporting the account) of "the month and year of the commencement of the delinquency that immediately preceded" the chargeoff. Section 605(a)(4) provides that the credit bureau may report the chargeoff for seven years. Section 605©(1) provides that seven year period begins 180 days from that date. In the scenario your reported, it is our view that the delinquency that led to the charge-off "commenced" in January 1997, the month the first payment was missed. Thus, that is the month and year that the creditor must report to the CRA, and that the CRA must use to calculate the time period dictated by Section 605. We are not in accord with the contention that the date "when (the creditor) first reported" the chargeoff to the CRA constituted the start of the delinquency. Sections 605©(1) and 623(a)(5) were recently added to the FCRA to correct the ineffectiveness of the previous FCRA, under which the date that started the seven-year period was uncertain or under the control of the creditor.(1) The legislative history of these provisions makes it clear that they were designed to correct the often lengthy extension of the period that resulted from delayed creditor action: Current law generally prohibits consumer reporting agencies from including in a consumer report accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss which antedate the report by more than seven years. The Committee is concerned that this seven year limitation is ineffective. In some cases, the ... action occurs months or even years after the commencement of the preceding delinquency. ... Consequently, the consumer report may contain such information even if the delinquency commences more than seven years before the date on which the report is provided to a user. The Committee bill specifies that the seven-year period with respect to information concerning a delinquent account charged to profit and loss . . . may begin no more than 180 days after the commencement of the delinquency immediately preceding the ... action. S. Rept. 104-185, 104th Cong., 1st Sess. 39-40 (emphasis added). Thus, Congress intended to establish a date certain -- the start of the delinquency -- to begin the obsolescence period (now seven years, plus 180 days).(2) The alternate view stated to you (that the date of reporting controls) is at variance with both the plain language of these amendments, and the intent of Congress in enacting them. In sum, we believe that the phrase "commencement of the delinquency that led to the action" in Sections 605©(1) and 623(a)(5) of the FCRA should be construed according to its normal meaning. If a consumer falls behind on an account and never catches up, the delinquency has its "commencement" when the first payment is missed. From that point on, the account is past due and thus delinquent. The opinions set forth in this informal staff letter are not binding on the Commission. Sincerely yours, Clarke W. Brinckerhoff -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. The Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996 (Title II, Subchapter D, of Public Law 104-280, signed into law on September 30, 1996), made many other changes to the FCRA. 2. The additional 180 day period accords a measure of flexibility to credit bureaus whose furnishers may provide them with the wrong date. However, the expansion of the time period that Section 605 allows chargeoffs and similar actions to be reported accents the desirability of treating the "commencement" of the delinquency as the first missed payment -- not some later date that would further extend the period. FCRA Staff Opinion Brincherhoff-Kosmerl June 4, 1999 Mr. Jeff Kosmerl 949 Ormewood Terrace Atlanta, Georgia 30316 Dear Mr. Kosmerl: This responds to your request for our views concerning the calculation of the period for which a consumer reporting agency ("CRA") is permitted to report accounts that have been charged off or placed for collection, under the amended Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"). Section 623(a)(5) requires a party that "furnishes information to a (CRA) regarding a delinquent account being placed for collection, charged to profit or loss, or subject to any similar action" to notify the agency (within 90 days of reporting the account) of "the month and year of the commencement of the delinquency that immediately preceded" the creditor's action. Section 605(a)(4) provides that the CRA may report the information for seven years, in most cases.(1) Section 605©(1) provides that the seven year period begins 180 days from the "commencement of the delinquency" date. Section 605©(2) provides that the section applies "only to items of information added to the file of a consumer on or after the date that is 455 days after the date of enactment of the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act ." Specifically, you ask (1) how the date is determined if there are multiple obsolescence dates where "you have several delinquencies preceding a collection or charge off (8/91 60+, 9/91 60+, 10/91 30+, 11/91 account closed by creditor)" and (2) if "adverse information listed on a report prior to 9/30/97 is exempt from" the procedure set forth in Section 605©(1) . 1. As explained in the enclosed letter (Johnson, 8/31/98), it was Congress' intent in enacting Sections 605©(1) and 623(a)(5) to establish a single date -- the start of the delinquency -- to begin the obsolescence period on these accounts. This avoids the "multiple date" problem that arguably existed prior to the 1996 amendments. In the case you described, the date of the "commencement of the delinquency" that led to the creditor's chargeoff or collection action would be July 1991 or earlier (depending on how long the account was continuously delinquent before that). The seven year period would start no later than January 1992 (180 days later), with the result that the chargeoff or collection could no longer be reported in most cases beyond January 1999. 2. Section 605©(2) states that the section "shall apply only to items of information added to the (CRA) file of a consumer on or after" 455 days after the enactment of those amendments, or December 29, 1997.(2) We read this language to mean that a CRA is not required to use the commencement-of-delinquency date mandated by Section 605©(1) on an account where the chargeoff or collection ("item of information") was first reported to the CRA ("added to the ... file") prior to that date. Thus, adverse information such as collections or chargeoffs reported before December 29, 1997, are not subject to the new "commencement of the delinquency" provision. The views set forth in this informal staff letter are not binding on the Commission. Sincerely yours, Clarke W. Brinckerhoff -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Section 605((1) exempts credit transactions involving a principal amount of $150,000 or more. 2. Public Law 104-208, the legislation adding the FCRA provisions discussed in this letter, was signed into law on September 30, 1996. Section 605©(1) became effective 455 days after that date, as provided by Section 605©(2). Most of the provisions became effective 365 days after enactment.