MadMonkey

Were do I start for Newbies

9 posts in this topic

My Sticky for Newbies:

One thing I have noticed is that there is no real sticky on how to start or what to expect once you decide to jump into the Credit Repair Pool, so I wrote up a few that have worked for me and others and hopefully this will become a sticky.

First the Rules:

1. Don't make hasty decisions.

2. Don't be scared, you're not the only one here with this problem.

3. Don't take SH!T from anyone.

4. Don't believe anything a CA says too you.

5. You don't owe money until a judge or jury says you do. Remember that!

6. Be organized.

7. Don't be afraid to ask questions, regardless of how stupid you think the question is.

8. Use the "SEARCH" button. You will find that with some practice it will answer virtually any question you have prior to posting it on the forum.

9. Be patient, this process does not happen overnight. For me it took two and half years.

10. Don't beat yourself up when you make a mistake. We have all been there, done that and frankly you won't be the last person to do it.

11. Google is your friend!!!

12. Sign nothing that is sent to you unless you're advised by an attorney to do so, or it's in your best interest.

Ex: The Famous - We're your friends letter and want to help you re-establish your credit by offering you this credit card payment program to off set the debt you owe us, at 0% interest.

Read the back of these letters, you will always find the disclosure that this is an attempt to collect a debt and that if you agree to it you agree that you owe the debt.

If you agree to these letters, your SOL re-ages itself to the date they receive your 1st. check.

13. Attorneys put undies on just like you do every morning, One Leg at a Time. Which translated means they're no better then you, so don’t let them scare you.

14. Speak to nobody on the phone that is attempting to collect on a debt, PERIOD!

15. Understand the abbreviations used in this forum:

http://www.debt-consolidation-credit-repair-service.com/forums/showthread.php?t=247970

16. Never include your SS number with any letter you send out.

17. If you have to make a settlement payment do not use a personal check.

18. If you get a fancy letter in the mail that has law firm stamped all over it, don't worry. It's just a Collection letter disguised to bring out your worst fears.

Where do you start. (or what’s worked for me and many others)

1. Get Organized

a. Get four (3" - 4") 3 ring binders. Label them

with the big 3, Trans Union, Experian and Equifax. The

fourth label collection letters.

b. Buy 20 - 30 packs of 5 tab or 8 tab 3-ring divider inserts.

c. Go to the post office and grab a stack of 30 - 40 green

return cards, and 30-40 return receipt forms. (Easier to fill

these out at home and take then at the P.O.)

d. Get a box of Envelopes, splurge and get the ones with the

tear off glue strip. Unless of course you like having a sticky

tongue. (lol)

e. A cheap stapler with staples that you can leave in your box.

f. Get a couple of different colored high-lighters.

g. Get one of those stamps that say Received and has

a place to write a date.

h. 1 - 2 yellow pads.

i. Couple of colored pens.

j. Either a box of Index Manilla folders or one of those multi-

tab expandable accordion file holders. (The kind you sort

bills with) This will be explained later.

k. A plastic bin or storage box that will hold all your three ring

binders and supplies.

l. Computer: Create a directory using the following.

:Credit Repair

Equifax

TransUnion

Experian

Collections

GoPoundSand Letters

2. Get your current up to date credit reports from the big three.

a. www.annualcreditreport.com (Free once every 12 months)

b. If you have already pulled your free report within a year and its not recent enough you're going to have to pay. TransUnion has a package called TrueCredit or www.truecredit.com. They offer a variety of packages. Its easy to work with. If you go this route always go to google and type in : Truecredit.com promo or coupons. There are a lot of web sites out there that provide up to the minute promo codes that you can use when you check-out that provide some decent discounts.

c. A third way of getting free reports is when you have been denied credit. You can go online and try and get a couple of credit cards. If your credit's bad you're going to get denied. By law you must be sent a letter in the mail with the reporting CRA that they used to pull your credit. Once you get that letter you can use the following letter format and mail it to the CRA and they will send you a free hard copy report.

Here is one I used for Equifax.

Equifax Information Services, LLC

Disclosure Department

P.O. Box 740241

Atlanta, GA 30374

Date:

REF: Credit Report

To whom it may concern;

On (date) I received a denial of credit letter issued from (Name of company you tried to get a credit card through). A copy of such letter is attached.

Equifax was listed as the reporting agency which provided my credit information.

Under the Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act I am requesting a free and complete copy of my current credit report as it is reported through Equifax. A copy of said report may be mailed to the above listed address for me.

Sincerely,

3. Once you have all three of your reports.

a. Read your report, read it again and then re-read it.

Understand how it works and how things are reported. If

you don’t understand something write it down and search it

on this forum. Chances are you will find your answer. If you

don’t find it ask.

4. Learn what the laws are in your state regarding Statue of Limitations

or SOL

http://www.creditinfocenter.com/rebuild/statuteLimitations.shtml

5. Record Keeping.

a. Go through your Credit Reports, and highlight the creditors

that are your problem. Make sure you insert your credit

reports into its appropriate 3-ring binder. Stamp the CR

with your Received stamp and write the date on it, and

finally use a divider insert to separate it from the next one.

b. Start organizing your old statements in by putting them

chronological order up to the statement that was the last

statement you made a payment on. Hopefully you still have

them. Use your accordion file and put them in it. If you

don’t have them try and get them.

c. Do the same with your bank statements, checks, etc...

d. Make a three column form that you can write down each

creditor in the first box. The next box will be the date you

made the last known payment and the final box will be the

SOL date.

SOL dates can be a little tricky. For example lets say your state's SOL is three years and your last payment was 1/1/2003. Well technically on 1/2/2006 your SOL would be up. However some courts have been known to allow CA and OC up to an extra 180 days. So adjust according to what your local courts allow.

Make 3 copies of this form and put one in the front of all four of your binders. Makes a nice handy reference and reminder.

If any of your collections are past the SOL, WOW, congratulations your first feel good letters are on their way out.

I liked to use a combination DV and SOL letter, that way I was covering all my bases.

Note: You will get the name and address info off of the CR's.

Example:

Date

Name address of collection agency

RE: Collection on SOL

Client:

Original

Creditor:

Client Ref #:

To Whom it may concern,

This letter is in response to your collection letter dated__________ a copy of which is attached.

I do not believe I owe what you say I owe therefore I dispute this debt. I am well aware of my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the laws concerning credit collections in the (your state) . I hope to save both of us a great deal of time by letting you know that not only do I dispute the validity of this debt, I have also checked with my State Attorney General and verified that the Statute of Limitations for enforcing this type of debt through the courts in (your state) has expired.

This letter is your formal notification that I consider this matter closed and demand that you, or anyone affiliated with your company, stop contacting me regarding this or any other matter except to advise me that your debt collection efforts are being terminated or that you or the creditor are taking specific actions allowed by the FDCPA or my state laws. This also goes to include the assignment and/or sale of this assumed debt to any other party. Any further verification, notification and or communication must be delivered to me by United States Postal Service.

Furthermore, I do not give permission to (collection agency name or original creditor) and/or there client (additional names), and/or any other affiliates associated with (collection or creditor) to update, to check, edit, and/or adjust my personal credit information on Experian, Trans Union or Equifax, and/or access my social security number for any purpose other then to remove negative trade lines.

Be advised that I consider any contact not in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act a serious violation of the law and will immediately report any violations to my State Attorney General, to the Federal Trade Commission and, if necessary, take whatever legal action is necessary to protect myself.

encl:1

Sincerely,

e. Make a copy of the letter and insert it into the proper

binder.

f. Fill out your green card and return receipt form and head

over to the post office.

g. Staple the receipt you get at the USPO to the letter.

Helpful hint on green cards. I always made a notation somewhere on the card that matched it to the letter. For example i might put the initials EQ-MGTB1, which would stand for Equifax - Montgomery Wards letter #1. It makes it easier to sort them when they start coming back.

Note on postal costs: This entire effort from start to finish, will probably run you from $75.00 - $250.00 in postage fees so keep that in mind as you move forward. I know it’s a tough pill to swallow but in the long run it will pay for itself.

6. You're going to need a variety of letters. You can find various letters on this forum and others. Paste and copy what works for you. If you're not sure, post the letter and ask if this looks good. You will need the following;

a. Debt Validation or DV. As I showed earlier I used a Combo letter and just cut and pasted what I did or did not need.

7. Your next step is to DV every negative TL on each of the three reports. It has been debated over and over whether you send one letter to each CR for all the TL’s or a separate letter for each TL. I preferred the separate letter for each TL. I found that I got better results, plus it eliminates the, “Oh, we missed that one, there were so many in your letter”, excuse.

a. Again fill out your postal green card and return receipt form and head over to the post office with your letters.

PS: Again, make sure you print an extra copy of your letter. That is going to be inserted in appropriate three ring binder, again using a tab to divide it. I used the front half of my binders for the credit reports and the back half for the letters. Take the receipt you get from the post office and staple it to the letter. FYI: You will get a separate mailing receipt for each letter sent.

8. Now you wait, and wait, and wait some more. In about 7 - 10 days you will start receiving green cards in the mail. Again, this is where the coded notation you made when you mail it pans out. You take the green card and staple it on the letter alongside the mailing receipt.

In about 25-45 days you will start to receive responses on each and every letter sent out. The ones that come from the CR will have a copy of your latest Credit Report and notations on what was done, verified, removed etc.... Make sure you stamp these with your received stamp and mark the date you got them, and insert them into the appropriate file folder.

Your first 45 days are the most important. As you're waiting for responses take the time every few days to research this forum and others that deal with Credit Repair.

Some notes on why record keeping is so important.

Make sure you that you review your 3-ring binders every week. You need to make sure that you're getting information returned to you in the legal time frame required. I usually made notations in red pen on the letter copies or on the actual credit reports.

Having everything in chronological order and at your finger tips lets you back track on things like re-aging an account, or inserting negative TL when a debt is sold over and over and its past the SOL, etc.... or nailing a CA for attempting to re-collect on a SOL for example a couple years later. (one of my recent successes)

If you should ever have to go to court, this record keeping can make or break you. Believe me Attorneys crap an egg when the avg Joe shows up looking like "Johnny on The Spot"

9. Your next set of letters will be to any 3rd party CA that have sent you letters. Use an appropriate letter and use the above described record keeping. These letters will go in your fourth notebook labeled "collections".

Finally, don't take initial collection letters sent to you from CA lightly. You must respond to them within 30 days to protect your rights.

As a final suggestion I highly recommend you learn your local court system and every month go online or down to the court and make sure no Junk Suits have been filed against you. These forums are filled with posts on people that have judgments against them and they never even knew they had a case against them. If you discover that you have a judgment it's time to hire an attorney or go to some type of legal aid.

Good Luck

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Thanks for the tips.

I especially appreciate the one about coordinating the Certified Return Receipt Requested (green) cards with the corresponding letter by marking the green card. I wouldn't have thought of that.

May I add a tip to your list? I wish I had done this from the start. Instead I was bookmarking and now I have to re-read all those posts to discern the one point I really wanted to file away.

With so many threads containing so many definitions, actions and ramifications, and tips, I now keep a pack of blank index cards next to me when I check this site.

When I read a good tip or good defense or procedure, I note it on the card and identify it on top with an identifier like: How to fight a Junk Debt Buyer, How does a Credit Reporting Agency work...things like that.

Then I group them into similar categories and when I have to double-check a fact, it's easy to find.

Thanks again for putting this list together and letting me add!

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Thanks for the tips.

With so many threads containing so many definitions, actions and ramifications, and tips, I now keep a pack of blank index cards next to me when I check this site.

When I read a good tip or good defense or procedure, I note it on the card and identify it on top with an identifier like: How to fight a Junk Debt Buyer, How does a Credit Reporting Agency work...things like that.

Then I group them into similar categories and when I have to double-check a fact, it's easy to find.

Great tip. What I did was copied and then pasted the tips into word pad, (the reason you use word pad is because its a simple text editor and all the hidden HTML code that is copied will not be transferred into the doc) Then I would save it, open it in my normal text program. In my case Word Perfect and then manage it. When I was done I would print it out and put it in the very back of my 4th three ring binder, using a divider named, "Pearl Harbor" An acronym I got from dad years ago from his many years of top secret govt. service. He used to say to us that he would keep files of information that protected his interest's in his safe that were ready at his fingertips. If the S' ever hit the fan he would pull his "Pearl Harbor File". (lol)

I would have added the tip in but I maxed out the 15000 characters in the post.

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c. Go to the post office and grab a stack of 30 - 40 green

return cards, and 30-40 return receipt forms. (Easier to fill

these out at home and take then at the P.O.)

d. Get a box of Envelopes, splurge and get the ones with the

tear off glue strip. Unless of course you like having a sticky

tongue. (lol)

I would add peel and stick address labels for printer. Most word processing programs have a labeling function so make up

1) Return address labels for letters, CM labels, RR labels, etc

2) CRA address lables

3) OC/CA address labels.

You can get low budget ($10 @ Staples/office max) mailing address software that not only allows you to easily print to the label sheets but select which label your printing to so you do not waste sheets. I use one called MyHolidayMailingLabels. It prints envolopes (Both return and to address) as well as mailing labels. Might even be downloadable freeware labeling programs.

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I would add peel and stick address labels for printer. Most word processing programs have a labeling function so make up

1) Return address labels for letters, CM labels, RR labels, etc

2) CRA address lables

3) OC/CA address labels.

You can get low budget ($10 @ Staples/office max) mailing address software that not only allows you to easily print to the label sheets but select which label your printing to so you do not waste sheets. I use one called MyHolidayMailingLabels. It prints envolopes (Both return and to address) as well as mailing labels. Might even be downloadable freeware labeling programs.

Good tip. I just used the envelope print function in Word Perfect, theres one in Word too and would load all the envelopes in the printer and be done with it.

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Madmonkey,

Thanks a whole lot for the tips. I have followed each one of them so far and I am on my way to success. I wish I could have found this site earlier.

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Since this is now a very useful sticky-I'm going to lock the thread.

If you would like to thank Madmonkey for the work put into this, send a PM or just post a new thread down below!

Awesome job!

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