Specialized Dispute Letters to Credit Bureaus, Creditors, and Collectors

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During your efforts to repair your credit or correct mistakes on your credit report, you will find instances where a letter is required that doesn’t necessarily tightly fit the credit repair process. We’ve tried to identify some of the more critical letters you might need, but don’t represent this article as the most exhaustive source of all these “specialized” letters.

The sample letters below are for special circumstances which may occasionally come up when repairing your credit on your own. Each letter has specific guidelines, but be sure to edit them to fit your situation. To be clear, do not just copy and paste these letters. We are simply giving you a starting point from which to begin addressing these types of special situations.

If you don’t find the letter you’re looking for, leave us a comment below or head on over to our community forum and ask for guidance from forum members. Of course, we always recommend you search CreditInfoCenter.com for your needs as this article may not contain all of the information we’ve gathered over 20+ years of being on the internet.

Bankruptcy-Related Letters

Notice of Intent to File Bankruptcy. A notice of intent to file bankruptcy, also known as a statement of intent, is a required part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The statement of intent informs the creditors included in the bankruptcy that you are filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Account Included In Bankruptcy. If an account was part of the bankruptcy approval process and was discharged, it should not continue to show up on your credit report with a balance due. It should also be labeled with something to the effect of “Discharged in Bankruptcy”. Use this letter when that is not the case.

LexisNexis Credit Freeze Request. If you plan to dispute a bankruptcy on your credit report, the first step is to place a security freeze on personal information about you from LexisNexis. They are the largest provider of court data to credit bureaus and it is within our legal right to sever that data feed. It makes it more difficult for credit bureaus to verify the accuracy of the information about a particular bankruptcy. You can go online and start the process there, or use this letter.

Court Information Release Policy. After you have submitted your request for a LexisNexis security freeze, you need to contact the court where your bankruptcy was filed and ask them to confirm their records release policy. The vast majority of courts do not release court documents except to a handful of third parties. Generally, credit bureaus do not have direct access to court documents. This letter will be used in the disputes shown below.

Bankruptcy Dispute Letter to Credit Bureaus, round 1. This verification dispute letter targets the credit bureau and the fragile system they use to verify public records such as bankruptcy. With the information pipeline between LexisNexis and the credit bureaus severed (see letter immediately above), you have made it more difficult for the credit bureau to legitimately verify the bankruptcy information. Send this letter AFTER the LexisNexis Credit Freeze Request has been confirmed and AFTER you have received a response to the Court Information Release Policy.

Bankruptcy Dispute Letter to Credit Bureaus, round 2. Send this letter to the credit bureau after they have “verified” the information in your previous letter.

ChexSystems Dispute Letters

Request for Verification, round 1. This is the first letter you will send to ChexSystems to initiate your dispute.

Request for Verification, round 2. Use this letter if your initial dispute results in a generic “verification” of the negative item and ChexSystems is not able to provide copies of the documents with your signature.

Request for Verification, round 3. You are now 90-100 days into your dispute. Stay strong, because ChexSystems is showing you their very best stall tactics. Stay motivated and keep sending the dispute letters. Customize the template, as needed.

Demand for Removal Letter. You will send this letter to ChexSystems or the bank if you do not receive a response to your Request for Verification letter within 30 days (21 days for Maine residents). If ChexSystems does not respond to you within 30 days of receiving your dispute letter, it is legally obligated to remove the negative record from your report.

You can read a summary of your consumer rights under the FCRA, which will serve you well in your case as well as if you decide to take legal action.

Specialized Letters to Collection Agencies

Cease and Desist Letter. Owing debt to a collection agency is bad enough — but to then be harassed by them day after day can get downright tiring. As per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, if you demand that a collection agency stop contacting you, they must stop.

FDCPA Phone Violation Letter. The FDCPA can be used to stop calls to your home, work, family, friends, neighbors, and other associates. When debtors receive dozens of calls each day from relentless debt collectors, the end of those calls might be the greatest relief of all.

Zombie Debt Collection Letter. Whether a debt belongs to you or not, once that statute of limitations has passed, it’s “zombie debt” and you are no longer legally required to pay it. That won’t always stop debt collectors from trying to collect on it, though. In that case, it’s up to you to try and stop it.

We feature two letters here. The first is to be used when a collection agency has contacted you about zombie debt but has not reported the debt on your credit report. The second is to be used when a collection agency contacts you about zombie debt AND has placed the account on your credit report. This is almost always a re-aging violation.

Pay For Delete Collection Agency Request Letter. A pay-for-delete letter lets a collector know you are open to paying off a debt that the collection agency says you owe. This is the letter where you formalize your proposal. Remember, this is not the final step.

Pay For Delete, Formal Agreement to Settle Debt with Collection Agency. In exchange for payment of an agreed amount, you’re asking for a signed contract indicating the collection agency will remove offending negative items such as a credit card collection or debt judgment from your credit report. This is the outline of that formal agreement.

Notify Collection Agency of Lawsuit. If a collection agency fails to provide validation of a debt and if you have kept meticulous records, filing a lawsuit might be an option to consider. And if you do file a lawsuit based on failure to validate a debt, this letter informs the collection agency of the pending lawsuit against them. It provides them one last chance to settle the disagreement by removing the incorrect information on your credit report. It seems all too obvious, but this letter should NEVER be sent until your lawsuit has been properly filed.

Specialized Letters to Credit Bureaus

Request to Correct Name or Address. Having the correct information on your credit report, such as birthdate, name spelling, and current address is important to the credit repair process as well and general credit health. Use this letter to inform and correct inaccuracies.

Request to Remove Old Account Information. Negative accounts must be removed from your credit report 7 years after the Date of First Delinquency (DOFD). While both FICO and VantageScore claim their scoring models discount the weighting of old accounts, getting rid of negative accounts that should no longer show up on your report is ALWAYS a good thing. Use this letter to get the process started.

Request a Free Annual Credit Report from Credit Bureaus Directly. You can receive a copy of your credit report from each of the 3 major credit bureaus annually by either going to annualcreditreport.com or by sending them this letter. The difference is that by doing it online, you give the CRAs 45 days to respond. The letter request method keeps that down to 30 days.

Request a Free Credit Report Report from Credit Bureaus; Reason Denied Credit. If you were recently denied credit, use this letter to obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the CRAs used in that credit decision.

Request to Remove Fraud Alert. One normally alerts the credit bureaus online to suspected fraud and identity theft. This is the offline way to remove that fraud alert.

Creditor/Furnisher Addresses Do Not Match. If you’ve sent a letter to a creditor or collection agency and the letter was returned due to an incorrect address, that is a reporting violation. Send this letter to credit bureaus to dispute any negative information on your credit report from that furnished.

Account Not Mine Dispute Letter. If you find an account on your credit report that you do not recognize, use this letter to dispute the account with the credit bureau. However, we strongly recommend you double-check the account by calling or contacting them, as falsely claiming an account is not yours when it is (especially if it is a negative account) can lead to legal issues.

Reinsertion Dispute Letter. If an item is removed and is reinserted afterward, the FCRA requires that the credit bureau send you written notice of the reinsertion within 5 days. Use this dispute letter when the notice is not received in a timely fashion.

Notify Credit Bureau of a Lawsuit. — Have you had enough of the games being played by the credit bureau? File a lawsuit against them and let them know about it; chances are they will be more accommodating to your requests.

Specialized Letters to Creditors

Authorized User Removal Letter to Creditors. An authorized user is someone who is allowed to use someone else’s credit card. The person who owns the credit account is called the primary cardholder. Authorized users may be issued their own credit card with their name on it, but the account belongs to the primary cardholder. A major incentive to being an authorized user is piggybacking off the primary cardholder’s good credit habits to help your credit scores. But when the primary cardholder starts to miss payments, you’ll need to ask the creditor to stop reporting the card on your credit report. Here’s how.

Repossession Deficiency Dispute. A process of notification must be followed by creditors when they repossess an automobile. This letter seeks to have them prove the process was followed correctly.

Short Sale or Loan Modification Hardship Letter. Before a bank will approve a short sale or a loan modification, the bank will want to see a hardship letter. Here’s a sample to get you started.

Letter to Explain Late Payments When Applying For Credit. If you’re applying for a car loan or mortgage and working with a local bank or credit union, explaining some late payments that show up on your credit report may make a difference. This important issue is to know what your credit score is and what kind of “blackmarks” you have and getting in front of them before you apply. Giving this letter to the bank or credit union can make a difference.

Dispute Letters Addressing California Full Payment Law. When settling debts in the state of California, there are instances where different rules apply. A creditor is allowed to cross out the full payment language on a settlement check which reserves the right for them to sue you in the future for the balance due. But debtors have a way around it. This procedure and the two-part letters describe the process.

Sample Credit Repair Letters for Unique Circumstances

Motion to Vacate a Judgment

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