Specialized Letters: Bankruptcy-Related Letters

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Your payment history is the number one factor in determining your credit score. FICO, the most popular credit scoring model in the United States, counts your payment history as 35 percent of your overall score. VantageScore, another popular credit scoring model, counts it as 32 percent. If you have late payments on your credit report, this probably represents the biggest negative impact on your score.

And, it’s not very reassuring to understand that late payments are some of the most difficult accounts to get removed.

The negative impact late payments have on your credit score makes getting them removed, if possible, important to an increase in your overall credit score. These letters provide you with a logical approach to communicating with credit reporting agencies and creditors.

IMPORTANT:

  1. Please note that if the account has been written off and sent to a collection agency, don’t dispute late payments but rather follow the dispute process highlighted in the Collection category.
  2. When sending letters to credit bureaus, always include a photocopy of your driver’s license, state-issued ID, or U.S. passport and a copy of your social security card, pay stub, W-2, or a recent utility bill. Only 2 forms of ID are required. As long as you have your name at the close of the letter, there is no requirement that you sign it.
  3. You are NOT required to send proof of identity to creditors and collectors and we do not recommend signing the dispute letter.
  4. Do not copy these letters without making significant modifications. You will need to tailor the wording of each letter to fit your individual situation. These sample letters are meant to give you ideas on how to structure your own credit dispute letters.

1. Late Payment Letter to Credit Bureaus, round 1

Send this letter to credit bureaus if any account is reporting a late payment. This letter requests that the credit bureau verify the late payment with the creditor. It also requests that the credit bureau remove specific kinds of inquiries and place a promotional suppression on your credit file.

Date

Your Full Name
Address
City, State, ZIP

SSN: xxx-xx-xxxx | DOB: xx/xx/xxxx

Credit Bureau
Address
City, State, ZIP

To Whom It May Concern:

I’ve just reviewed my credit report and noticed the following inaccurate item(s):

FIRST PREMIER with account number 123456789102****
This account is listed as being 30 days late. I have never been late on this account.

CELTIC/CONT with account number 534631234383****
This account is listed as being 60 days late. I have never been late on this account.

I request that you VERIFY this information and provide me with copies of any documentation associated with your investigation. In the absence of any such verification, I formally request that this information be immediately removed from the credit file you maintain under my Social Security Number.

Finally, please remove all non-account holding inquiries over 30 days old and add a promotional suppression to my credit file.

Sincerely,
Your Name

Click for ProTips
1. When communicating late payment issues to credit bureaus, you do not need to create one letter for each account reporting a late payment. Put all of them in one letter.
2. If you have multiple late payments in an account and there are some which have escalated to 60, 90, and 120 days, save those for last. Go first after the 30 day late entries.

2. Late Payment Letter to Credit Bureaus, round 2

If the credit bureau states that the late payment was “verified”, send this letter 35-40 days after the original letter was sent. You can also send it earlier if you receive a response prior to the 35-40 day period. This letter demands that the credit bureau provide the method of their verification within 15 days.

Date

Your Full Name
Address
City, State, ZIP

SSN: xxx-xx-xxxx | DOB: xx/xx/xxxx

Credit Bureau
Address
City, State, ZIP

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is in response to your recent claim that the account(s) listed below have been “verified” and that the information they are reporting under my name is accurate.

FIRST PREMIER with account number 123456789102****
I previously disputed this account. I don’t agree with the results of your investigation. Please mail me the proof of your investigation or remove the negative information.

CELTIC/CONT with account number 534631234383****
I previously disputed this account. I don’t agree with the results of your investigation. Please mail me the proof of your investigation or remove the negative information.

Be advised that the description of the procedure used to determine the accuracy and completeness of the information must be provided within fifteen (15) days of the completion of your investigation.

Sincerely,
Your Name

Click for ProTips
1. Note that the required response time is reduced to 15 days. Once this letter goes out, mark your calendar and if you do not receive a response within 20 days (give a few days for mail delivery), then respond with Letter #8.
2. Late Payment, round 1 asks the credit bureau to verify the accuracy of the late payment. This round 2 letter asks the credit bureau to specify the method used to verify the accuracy. While this letter doesn’t usually result in a late payment being removed, it is a necessary step in the dispute process.

3. Late Payment Letter to Creditor

This letter requests that creditors provide documentation of any and all late payments made on the account since the account was opened. It demands that late payment information be removed if no such documentation exists.

Date

Your Full Name
Address
City, State, ZIP

Account Number: xxxxxxxxx

Creditor
Address
City, State, ZIP

To Whom It May Concern:

I have recently reviewed my credit reports and noticed you are claiming that a late payment has been made on my account. I do not remember ever being late with a payment on this account.

Please provide statements and records of all payments made and missed since I opened the account.

In the absence of verifiable information about any late payments, please inform the credit reporting agencies that the account and all payments have been “paid as agreed”.

Sincerely,
Your Name

Click for ProTips
1. If you have solid documentation that the late payment was never late, include it with this letter. Most creditors will take your well-documented dispute seriously and will remove the late payment if appropriate.
2. We don’t recommend sending this letter to open accounts if you do not have proper documentation the payment was not late. If the account is in good standing or has been paid in full, the best route would be to send Letter #4 or Letter #5
3. If the account is closed, you can use this letter. But if you have no documentation to overturn the late payment, most creditors will give a very terse response that the late payment has been verified. You have little ability to dispute it beyond that and creditors do not have to provide their method of verification.
If you send this letter to a creditor and they do not respond in 30 days, you can use their non-response in Letter #6to credit bureaus.

4. Late Payment Goodwill Letter to Current Creditor

If you have 1 or 2 missed late payments in an account which is still open and if these late payments occurred more than six months ago, we recommend giving this letter a try. It requests that the creditor mark the account as “current” based on your positive history with the account prior to and after the late payments.

Date

Your Full Name
Address
City, State, ZIP

Account Number: xxxxxxxxx

Creditor
Address
City, State, ZIP

To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for taking a couple of minutes out of your busy day to read this letter. I’ve enjoyed my relationship with (Creditor Name) for some time now and would appreciate your assistance.

I’m writing because I noticed your company reported a late payment in (date of late payment) on my credit reports. I am requesting a goodwill adjustment to remove this late payment from my TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax credit reports.

Upon review of my records, I realize that I did indeed miss the payment deadline. Unfortunately, (explain why you missed the payment). I take full responsibility for the mistake and have made sure it won’t happen again. As you can see from my payment history, I’ve made every payment on time both before and after the late payments.

I’m in the process of applying for a (mortgage/auto loan/etc.) and the negative impact of the late payment could result in a denial for my loan or a much higher interest rate that could cost me a significant amount of money. If you could make the goodwill adjustment requested, I believe it will significantly improve my chances of approval and save me unnecessary costs in the process.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Your Name

5. Late Payment Goodwill Letter to Past Creditor

If you have late payments with a creditor where the account is now closed, getting these removed is difficult, but still worth the effort. This letter requests that the creditor mark the account as “current” based on your positive history with the account prior to and after the late payments.

Date

Your Full Name
Address
City, State, ZIP

Account Number: xxxxxxxxx

Creditor
Address
City, State, ZIP

To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for taking a couple of minutes out of your busy day to read this letter. I enjoyed my relationship with (Creditor Name) and appreciate the loan you extended in the recent past. I’m proud to have paid the amount in full with all fees and interest as agreed.

I would like to ask for your help.

I’m writing because I noticed your company reported a late payment in (date of late payment) on my credit reports. I am requesting a goodwill adjustment to remove this late payment from my credit reports.

Upon review of my records, I realize that I did indeed miss the payment deadline. Unfortunately, (explain why you missed the payment). I take full responsibility for the mistake and made sure it did not happen again. As you can see from my payment history, I’ve made every payment on time both before and after the late payments.

I’m in the process of applying for a (mortgage/auto loan/etc.) and the negative impact of the late payment could result in a denial for my loan or a much higher interest rate that could cost me a significant amount of money. If you could make the goodwill adjustment requested, I believe it will significantly improve my chances of approval and save me unnecessary costs in the process.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Your Name

6. Late Payment Letter to Credit Bureaus If No Response From Creditor

Many times, credit bureaus will refer you directly to a creditor to settle disputes. If you have reached out to a creditor but did not hear from them, send this letter to the credit bureau.

Date

Your Full Name
Address
City, State, ZIP

SSN: xxx-xx-xxxx | DOB: xx/xx/xxxx

Credit Bureau
Address
City, State, ZIP

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to dispute the account(s) referenced below.

FIRST PREMIER with account number 123456789102****
This account is listed as being 30 days late. I have never been late on this account. I contacted the furnisher myself and have been unable to get them to verify the alleged late payment.

I have enclosed copies of my requests to the furnisher wherein I requested they verify the alleged late payment(s). I was provided no evidence of any late payments.

In the absence of verifiable information about any late payments, please record that all payments have been “paid as agreed”.

Sincerely,
Your Name

Click for ProTips
This dispute attempts to gain leverage over the creditor by appealing to the credit bureau with well-documented letters and dates of previous attempts to have your late payment verified. In some cases, you may choose to send this letter every thirty days for several consecutive months.

7. Late Payment Letter to Creditor If No Response From Previous Letters

On occasion, a creditor will fail to communicate to a consumer about the credit report dispute. Send this letter when that happens and send a copy of the letter with your “Late Payment Letter to Credit Bureaus If No Response From Creditor” detailed above.

Date

Your Full Name
Address
City, State, ZIP

Creditor
Address
City, State, ZIP

To Whom It May Concern:

I have enclosed copies of my previous request for your company to verify the alleged late payment. I was provided no evidence of any late payments in regards to the following account number(s):

Account Number: xxxxxxxxx

By not replying in a timely manner to my initial letter, you have not only violated federal and state laws, but you have also failed to provide me with a copy of any viable evidence showing the account is being reported accurately.

In the absence of verifiable information about any late payments, please record that all payments have been “paid as agreed”.

Sincerely,
Your Name

8. Late Payment Letter to Credit Bureaus If No Response or Late Response

If the credit bureau does not respond to your “Late Payment Letter to Credit Bureaus, round 2” within 15 days of receipt, send this letter informing them of their non-compliance and demanding the late payment account either be removed or corrected to “current”.

Date

Your Full Name
Address
City, State, ZIP

SSN: xxx-xx-xxxx | DOB: xx/xx/xxxx

Credit Bureau
Address
City, State, ZIP

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is a follow up to my earlier communication about the following item(s) being reported on the credit file listed under my name and Social Security Number:

FIRST PREMIER with account number 123456789102****
This account is listed as being 30 days late. I have never been late on this account. You stated the account information was “verified.” I then specifically requested additional information about the Method of Verification used. You are required to respond within 15 days. You FAILED to do so in a timely and responsive manner and are in violation of federal regulations.

I am making a final goodwill attempt to have this matter resolved. As such, you must now remove the late payment information and mark the account as “paid as agreed”.

Sincerely,
Your Name

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