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Question on a debt that was deleted off Equifax... then reappeared


Jus10
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Ok, it's a pretty long story, but to shorten it up, i co-signed for a vehicle for my ex-wife when i got out of the military (thinking we were gonna work it out) needless to say she only made 2 payments before it went back to the bank.  we bought the car back in January 2011, and i believe it went back to the bank maybe around September or October of 2011(?).  By the way, this whole thing took place in Oklahoma.

 

Anyways, like everyone else trying to repair credit, i looked into "hiring" a company to repair my credit, not knowing that everything they did, i could've done myself.  But i found a company out of Plano, TX called The Score Firm where instead of paying a lump sum up front, you just pay $150 a month for 3 months, and it's $50 for ever item deleted off your report, and it comes out of the $150 for 3 months.  So it was a total of $450 and if they deleted anything more than $450 worth of accounts, then you'll pay $50 for every additional account.  if they didn't delete $450 worth of stuff, then you would be refunded the difference.  and if they couldn't get anything deleted, you would get a full refund.  i thought it was a super good program because i was given piece of mind that my money was being spent well, and it was, in a sense, secure. So i did it.  My score jumped up 75 points, and only needed 2 points on my Equifax to be able to utilize my VA home loan to buy a house (requirement of 620 middle score).  The reason my scores jumped so high was because the Ally Financial (the repo) were deleted off of Equifax, and Transunion, but still remained on Experian.

 

After i was done with the program, i got in contact with Veterans United where they had a free program for veterans to give credit repair guidance (they didn't repair it for you, they just guided you through the process), and they advised me to open up a secured card.  So i opened up a secured credit card through USAA, put $250 into a SD as collateral, and i just use it for gas in the truck and boat.

 

About 3 months later, my scores were 640 (experian), 683 (Equfax), 701 (Transunion).  My day was made.  I was now able to purchase a house!

 

This evening (15 January), my dreams were crushed when i looked at my report to make sure i was still good, and to my surprise, the Ally Financial (the repo) reappeared onto my Equifax report, even though it was deleted from the report a while ago.  Is this possible?  Is there anything i can do?!  My Experian has now dropped from a 640 to a 554, my Equifax dropped from a 683 to a 525, but my Transunion is still at a 701.  

 

So now to my question:  Is it legal, or within the FCRA, that if an item has been deleted, the company can continue to report it?  or, if an item has been deleted, can it reappear?  Is there anything i can do to fix this?

 

Sorry for the extremely long thread, but just want to make sure that i give as much details as possible to get the most accurate answer.

 

Thanks,

Jus10

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Yes, it is legal for an item to be re-inserted.  Sadly many of these "credit repair" places use spurious methods to get the initial deletion knowing full well once the full investigation is done that the trade line will be re-inserted.

 

The trade line can be reported for seven years past the date she first defaulted LEGALLY.  

 

The only way to fix this is to wait it out or do a pay for deletion of the trade line.  There is no magical cure to repairing credit as you have now found out.  I would also go back to this place that guaranteed the results and get your money back since the trade line re-appeared.  I would also find out what reason they used to dispute it that got it removed in the first place.

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Well that sucks.  It just really confuses me because my scores were all so good, and when it was re-inserted my scores dropped tremendously.  Equinox dropped almost 200 points!  I just don't get it.  Well, so much for home ownership...

 

Repossession and foreclosure are two score killers.  3 months without that trade line and some on time payments will do a lot for a score.  Adding a huge negative like that:  bottoms up as you discovered.

 

Do not give up on home ownership.  Is this the only negative or are there other issues you have to deal with?

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@Jus10, you still have options to pursue. Don't give up on getting the reinsertion deleted. The Fair Credit Reporting Act states:

 

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681(i)( B ) (ii):

 

Notice to consumer. If any information that has been deleted from a consumer’s file pursuant to subparagraph (A) is reinserted in the file, the consumer reporting agency shall notify the consumer of the reinsertion in writing not later than 5 business days after the reinsertion of, if authorized by the consumer for that purpose, by any other means available to the agency.

 

If the credit bureau never notified you in writing within 5 days of the reinsertion of the negative item, then pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, this derogatory item needs to be deleted from the credit report.

 

I would send a letter re-disputing the repossession based upon an improper reinsertion per FCRA rules. Quote the statute referenced and ask for re-deletion. Send the letter certified mail, return receipt.  I have been successful with this approach at Equifax.

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Repossession and foreclosure are two score killers.  3 months without that trade line and some on time payments will do a lot for a score.  Adding a huge negative like that:  bottoms up as you discovered.

 

Do not give up on home ownership.  Is this the only negative or are there other issues you have to deal with?

 

No it's not the only negative, but it is the worst.  i have another negative from Arvest bank when the ex-wife overdrafted $176 and left it, and then a medical collection of $611.  The bank I'm using for the mortgage didn't care about the medical collection, and the $176 doesn't hurt me as much as it use to.  Veterans United advised me that settling/paying off the Arvest debt would actually hurt my score instead of just leaving it. So i didn't worry about those 2.  The only other derogatory debt on my reports now are the repo from Ally Financial for $5,3xx.  Everything else on my report, to include 2 other car loans have been paid in full and on time, as well as a financing of a new bed for $1,7xx.  and then a few student loans totaling about $12,000 that are in good standing.

 

@Jus10, you still have options to pursue. Don't give up on getting the reinsertion deleted. The Fair Credit Reporting Act states:

 

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681(i)( B ) (ii):

 

Notice to consumer. If any information that has been deleted from a consumer’s file pursuant to subparagraph (A) is reinserted in the file, the consumer reporting agency shall notify the consumer of the reinsertion in writing not later than 5 business days after the reinsertion of, if authorized by the consumer for that purpose, by any other means available to the agency.

 

If the credit bureau never notified you in writing within 5 days of the reinsertion of the negative item, then pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, this derogatory item needs to be deleted from the credit report.

 

I would send a letter re-disputing the repossession based upon an improper reinsertion per FCRA rules. Quote the statute referenced and ask for re-deletion. Send the letter certified mail, return receipt.  I have been successful with this approach at Equifax.

 

Thank you for that!  I will definitely do that and hopefully get this taken care of! i really appreciate everyones input.  The credit bureau did not notify me.  It was deleted, i would say, almost a year ago, but now that I've been thinking about it for the past couple hours, i believe it was actually deleted around april or may of last year.  i check my report every month through Credit Check Monitoring that is offered to USAA members from Experian.  All the past months were good, and then earlier this evening i check my report, and there it was, stomping on my dreams!  

 

I will copy and paste the FCRA quote from you and put it into a letter.  Should it be just a standard dispute letter, or should i just quickly state: Persuant to the Fair credit Reporting Act yada yada, I request that this item be re-deleted.  just keep it short and sweet?

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Thank you for that!  I will definitely do that and hopefully get this taken care of! i really appreciate everyones input.  The credit bureau did not notify me.  It was deleted, i would say, almost a year ago, but now that I've been thinking about it for the past couple hours, i believe it was actually deleted around april or may of last year.  i check my report every month through Credit Check Monitoring that is offered to USAA members from Experian.  All the past months were good, and then earlier this evening i check my report, and there it was, stomping on my dreams!  

 

I will copy and paste the FCRA quote from you and put it into a letter.  Should it be just a standard dispute letter, or should i just quickly state: Persuant to the Fair credit Reporting Act yada yada, I request that this item be re-deleted.  just keep it short and sweet?

 

You're very welcome. I would keep the letter to one page, note the item you are disputing and that it was improperly reinserted, that you never received written notification within 5 days as required by statute, quote the statute verbatim, and finish with, "Pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act I request that this reinserted item be deleted from my credit report."

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Also, i remember reading somewhere that these credit bureaus don't really read the letters.  When they get the letters, they automatically start the dispute process without actually reading the letters.  Is this true?  Should i be worried about this when sending my letter off?

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Also, i remember reading somewhere that these credit bureaus don't really read the letters.  When they get the letters, they automatically start the dispute process without actually reading the letters.  Is this true?  Should i be worried about this when sending my letter off?

 

I wouldn't worry about it. I think it depends largely on who opens your letter and if you send it certified mail. Also, If you send it certified mail, return receipt they can't claim later they did not read it. Then you have options to pursue, including filing a CFPB complaint which Equifax pays attention to more than the others. I wouldn't worry about that, I'd send it off and see how they respond. I've had success on this issue (reinsertion).

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Awesome!  I really appreciate it!  You just turned the light on at the end of the tunnel! haha.

 

I also wanted to inquire about the a sample letter i found in the pinned Forms at the top of this forum.  Specifically the repossession letter http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forms/sampleletter18.shtml and was wondering if anyone has used this and been successful?  Also at the top of the page that the letter is on it states:

 

        It may be used AFTER 2 years from the date of the repo sale, providing there has been no filed claim for a judgment. It should not be used if you have been sued, or if the repossession was less than 2 years ago.

 

Is the 2 year rule based on the statute of limitations for most states?  The reason I ask is because the purchase, and repossession of the vehicle all happened in Oklahoma where the statute of limitations on repossessions (from what i understand) is 5 years.  Ally has not pursued any legal action and i would like to keep it that way for the next 2 years till the statute of limitations runs out.  I was wondering if i were to use this letter would it be effective?  All the paperwork sent by Ally was sent to my ex-wife, because she was the primary, and i was the secondary (co-singer).  So i didn't receive any of the "legal" paperwork when the car was in default, and repossessed, and sold.  As a matter of fact, i didn't find out she was in default until about 6 months after she defaulted and they called me at work (the dealership i bought the car from) and told me that it would take, if i remember correctly, about $1,300 to bring it back to current.  This was when i was fresh out of active duty military and was living paycheck to paycheck so i couldn't afford a $1,300 lump sum payment.  They wouldn't work with me about bringing the note up to current so i just told them to take it and gave them her address.

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Sorry for all the questions, but I'm typing this letter, and I'm looking at my report to get the account info and the account's last 4 numbers are x'd out.  so it's showing something like 123456XXXX.  do i just send the account info like that, or how do i find out what the last 4 numbers are?

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Sorry for all the questions, but I'm typing this letter, and I'm looking at my report to get the account info and the account's last 4 numbers are x'd out.  so it's showing something like 123456XXXX.  do i just send the account info like that, or how do i find out what the last 4 numbers are?

 

 Yes, use account number with "123456xxxx" along with the bank's name. They'll  know what account it is for.

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This is also another good reason why credit repair, in my opinion, is best done yourself.  If you initially had sent the dispute yourself, you would have had the certified reciept and a copy of that dispute letter, in addition to the response from the CRA telling you that it was removed per your dispute.  This is valuable evidence to have, especially when they reinsert the TL without sending the proper notice, as they have with you.

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This is also another good reason why credit repair, in my opinion, is best done yourself.  If you initially had sent the dispute yourself, you would have had the certified reciept and a copy of that dispute letter, in addition to the response from the CRA telling you that it was removed per your dispute.  This is valuable evidence to have, especially when they reinsert the TL without sending the proper notice, as they have with you.

 

Indeed.  You are right on.  While i was going through the firm that i paid to do it, i was receiving correspondence from Transunion throughout the whole credit repair process, as well as correspondence from Equifax.  Not sure what i was thinking, and i could've swore i held onto that stuff, but when i looked in my credit repair file that i have in my safe, all i had saved was my Transunion correspondence.  so I'm not sure what happened there.

 

I will say that if you or anyone you know if a veteran, and they have some credit challenges, tell them to get ahold of Veterans United Lighthouse Program.  It's a FREE program that Veterans United offers veterans and service members to help them rebuild credit.  They don't physically do anything, but they give you guidance on what to do, and how to go about things.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I finally heard back from Equifax.  Got a letter in the mail today, and unfortunately it says "We verified that this item belongs to you.  Additional information has been provided from the original source regarding this item.  Historical account information was deleted from this account.  If you have any additional questions about this item please contact: Ally Financial."

 

My original letter to Equifax stated that the item was previously deleted, and that i was never notified of it being reinserted into my credit file within the mandatory 5 days. I also quoted the statute that says so.  I sent it certified mail, return receipt.

 

Whats the next step?

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@Jus10

 

Unfortunately, it would probably be your word against the CRA that they didn't notify you of the reinsertion. 

 

When you disputed the account, what was the basis of your dispute? 

 

Well if they can't provide proof that they notified me, then thats enough right there, right?  It's just like if they said they never received a letter from me about the reinsertion, i would be asked for proof that i sent a letter, which i would be able to provide since i sent it certified mail, return receipt. Basically if i were to report them wouldn't whoever i reported them to ask for verification that they notified me?  And if they couldn't present that documentation than one could only assume that i was never notified?

 

The basis of the dispute was just to validate the debt.  Ally (it was a repossession where i was the co-singer) validated the debt for Experian, but didn't validate for Equifax and Transunion so it was deleted from both my Equifax and Transunion reports.  I didn't really bother continuing to dispute with Experian because my scores with the other 2 bureaus were great and I was able to obtain a pre approval for a VA mortgage.

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@Jus10

 

Since you're a veteran, do any veterans organizations provide consultations with consumer attorneys?   You said that your dispute was just to validate the debt.  Did you actually claims that any information was inaccurate?   Here's the first line in 1681i(a)(1)(A):

 

Subject to subsection (f) of this section, if the completeness or accuracy of any item of information contained in a consumer’s file at a consumer reporting agency is disputed by the consumer and the consumer notifies the agency directly, or indirectly through a reseller, of such dispute...

 

Depending upon what you stated in your letter, it might be determined that you didn't actually file a proper dispute. 

 

What did you say in your letter?

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As far as i know, there are no organizations for veterans that offer consultations with consumer attorneys.  I can do a quick google search and find out.

 

Honestly, i don't know exactly what was written in the letter because the The Score Firm (the credit repair agency when i began the credit repair process) was the one that sent out the letters.  All i know is that they sent out DV letters.  Not sure exactly what was in those letters.

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Well, it turns out there is an organization of attorneys here in Arkansas that does pro bono work for veterans.  Thank you for suggesting that because i would've never known!

 

http://www.va.gov/ogc/docs/pro_bono_resources.pdf

 

It turns out that there is one for just about every state!  Here is what is says they work with:

 

Needs: Consumer, Debt/Credit/Bankruptcy, Disability, Elder Law, Employment, Family & Juvenile, Health, Housing, Life Planning, Public Benefits, Veterans 

 

Would the "Consumer, Debt/Credit/Bankruptcy" be what I'm looking for?

 

EDIT:  I went to their website and went to the Consumer page.  All it talks about is debt collection, ect.  nothing about CRAs.

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@Jus10

 

I'd still contact them.  There may be an attorney or 2 who knows something about the FCRA.  If they don't know, perhaps they'd be able to recommend someone who does.

 

I will contact them today and see what they say.

 

 

 

Thank you for your service to our country.  You are greatly appreciated.    :-)   ::USA::

 

Thank you, Sir!  That means a lot!

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