When searching the internet one will find a lot of misinformation about credit repair and scary warnings about credit repair scams. A lot of this is based on half truths and comes from people that seem to only want to appear as experts on the topic but haven’t done their homework on the credit repair industry. I would like to clear up some of this and give people the full truth.
Can a Company Charge Fees Before They Remove Items From A Credit Report?
The quick answer is “no”. According to the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) only 501(c)3 non-profit companies, banks, credit unions and attorneys may charge fees before performing service. However, a nominal account set up fee may be charged to a client by any company. The recommendation here is to check out the company you are about to do business with. How long have they been in business? Are they accredited and rated by the Better Business Bureau? Are they certified by the National Association of Credit Services Organizations (NACSO)? Do local real estate, mortgage companies and banks use them to help their clients?
Can Accurate, Non-Obsolete Items Be Deleted Before 7 years?
Another credit repair scams warning is that items that within a 7 year time frame of the date of the last activity on the account and are accurate cannot be deleted. The credit bureau must remove accurate, negative information from your report only if it is over 7 years old. Bankruptcy information can be reported for 10 years. However, if the creditor cannot or chooses not to verify the information they previously reported on a consumer credit report federal law forces the credit bureaus to remove it.
If the creditor cannot or chooses not to verify the information contained in a consumer credit report within 30 days it must be deleted. The provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that says that an item may stay on a consumer credit report for 7 years or 10 years is there to protect the consumer, not punish them. This prevents a late credit card payment or even bankruptcy from hurting a person for the rest of their life. It doesn’t state that it must stay on there under any circumstances. Many creditors choose not to verify an item on a credit report for a multitude of reasons. It is the right of the consumer to ask that the creditor verify these items.
How to Avoid Credit Repair Scams
In review, companies that charge for their services in advance of delivering them are not necessarily bad companies or credit repair scams if they are, in fact, nonprofit. It is important for the consumer to look into the track record of a company (for profit or nonprofit) through the Better Business Bureau and the National Association of Credit Services Organizations (NACSO). Obviously if a company has a poor rating or no rating from the BBB, or is not certified by NACSO then they shouldn’t do business with them.
And, items on a credit report, even though they are accurate, may be deleted from the report if the creditor cannot or chooses not to verify them. A consumer should exercise the rights under federal law to inquire about all items on their credit report that are adversely affecting their credit score and ability to get credit, sometimes get a job, and force them to pay higher interest payments and fees on their purchases.
Call Us to Learn More
This is what we do. We’re dedicated to this business. We are accredited and rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. We are certified by the National Association of Credit Services Organizations. We have been in business since 2004. We are able to conduct business in all 50 states.
Further, we provide a no obligation, no cost consultation on your specific situation. Take 20 minutes and listen to what we have to say and what we can do to help you. If it makes sense let’s work together.
San Diego Office 619-492-3040
Clearwater, FL office 727-222-0120