by Matt Cook /
June 15, 2021 /
Credit Reporting Errors

Credit Repair Specialist

Finding a Credit Repair Company

If you need a credit repair specialist then you need to contact a lawyer. Credit repair companies are not licensed nor competent in the area of fixing your credit. This is because they are not attorneys and the entry barrier to start a credit repair company is non-existent. Credit repair companies are also unregulated. A competent attorney will know how how to help you with your credit or guide you in the right direction. There is only one law that regulates credit reporting and it is a federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (or FCRA for short). At Cook Law, LLC we have extensive experience in litigating against the credit bureaus for violating FCRA and getting negative items removed. It is important to know that only inaccurate items can be removed or modified. Although you can dispute any item or account on your credit report the law states that the bureaus are only responsible for fixing credit errors. That being you said you can still dispute a collections account that you owe and the collection agency may still delete the account but generally this is the exception. You don’t need a credit repair specialist to file a simple dispute like this. Now, what constitutes a credit error is not always so clear and can be in the grey area. Just because a company is reporting something on your report does not automatically mean that you owe that company that much money. You just need to make sure to have or can get proof of the inaccuracy on your credit report.

How to Remove Inaccurate Items

As mentioned prior, only inaccurate accounts can be modified or deleted. In order to get these negative and inaccurate items removed you need first gather proof of the inaccuracy. There could be several types of inaccuracies on your report and any credit repair specialist should tell you need to get written proof of the credit error. For example, if an account was paid and it is showing a balance then you get a copy of the payment to the company from your bank statement or credit card. If an account does not belong to you or you were a victim of identity theft then providing a copy of your driver’s license to the credit bureaus is sufficient. If the inaccuracy isn’t as simple as above then you need try and get something from the company showing that the account is inaccurate (ie an old statement or letter from them) or to contact Cook Law to see about helping you track down documents. This is why it is important to always save and keep records of everything. Although thanks to the electronic age most of these documents are available online in some form. Once you have tracked identified and track down the proof of inaccuracy you need to write a letter to the credit bureaus explaining the error. You do not need to hire a credit repair specialist to do this, although Cook Law can assist you if needed. The letter is basically your story as to what item is inaccurate, showing proof of the inaccuracy and telling the credit bureaus to fix the inaccuracy. You would save a copy of this letter and mail it off to the 3 credit bureaus with a copy of the attached proof of error. The credit bureaus have 30 days to respond to your written dispute, although sometimes they may take a big longer. It is important to do the dispute via a letter and not online or over the phone with the bureaus. Online limits the amount of what you can do dispute and over the phone disputes are often not processed properly.

What Happens if the Credit Error is Not Fixed?

After 30 days you will get the credit bureaus response, although sometimes the bureaus do not respond at all. In the response, it will say if the item was fixed, modified, deleted or stayed the same. You should also see an updated portion of your credit report that shows what they did in this letter. A credit repair specialist would want the negative item to stay on so they can keep billing you monthly. At Cook Law there is no charge to review these credit bureau responses, if you have questions. Often times you will have to write multiple letters to the credit bureaus (two or three) to get a proper response or the response you want. It is advisable to always send your letters via tracking from the post office. That way you can see when your letter was delivered and should be able to calculate a response date back from the bureaus. Most of these alleged credit repair specialist places will write and mail short boilerplate letters for you that are complete garbage. That have little to no effect on helping your credit and you would be better off writing these disputes yourself. The purpose of writing these dispute letters to the bureaus is because FCRA, or the law, requires it. That is the process to challenge an item on your credit report. Often times though you could write 100 letters to the credit bureaus with no results. This is frustrating and that is why you only need to write a maximum of 3 or 4 dispute letters to the credit bureaus. Either they will fix the credit error or they will not. Do not worry because the next step is to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit against the bureaus.

How Much Does a FCRA Lawsuit Cost?

Any lawyer who practices in this area of law will most likely take your case contingent. That means that they do not get paid unless your case settles or you win at trial. There would be no out of pocket expenses on your end and the money would come from the credit bureaus. If you lose the case then there is no cost to you other then your time and energy. How many credit repair companies or credit repair specialist can say this? Many people do not want to file a lawsuit and the thought of this can be scary. An experienced lawyer, such as Cook Law, can help navigate you through this trying times and address any concerns you have. The reason you must a file a lawsuit is two fold: one because you will not get the negative and inaccurate item deleted without it and two, to attempt to compensate you for your time and energy in dealing with this matter. You will need a lawyer to file a lawsuit for you and a credit repair company or credit repair specialist will be unable to help you with this matter. A lawsuit is also nothing to be scared of because the lawyer does all the heavy lifting. Although it can take awhile to get your case resolved (maybe around a year) it is the last step needed to properly fix your credit report.

Does a Credit Repair Specialist Exist?

The short answer is no, there is no such thing. Any one claiming to be a credit repair specialist is not telling the truth. To start a credit repair company there are no special requirements, bonding, licensing or education. Any one can do it, which means it attracts a lot of shady and incompetent individuals. The best person to work on your credit is you. If you need any guidance then talk to an attorney, such as Cook Law, who practices in the FCRA field. Writing the dispute letters to the credit bureaus is not rocket science. It is a matter of record keeping and document gathering. If someone has bad credit and is looking for all the past mistakes to just disappear by paying someone, this is unrealistic and not how the law works. Only credit errors, mistakes and inaccuracies can be fixed, modified and deleted. The bottom line is do not waste your time trying to find a credit repair specialist because they do not exist. If you have any questions on credit repair then contact an attorney. Cook Law offers a free consultation.

How Long Does It Take to Fix My Credit?

The answer is it depends. Sometimes, although rarely a simple letter to the credit bureau will get the matter fixed in under 30 days. Other times, and again rarely, it could take around 18 months because the credit bureaus are being difficult. If you do it your self and don’t waste your money on a credit repair specialist, it takes a few months to see if your disputes worked. If not, and you need a lawyer to help you, it could take an additional 6 months or so to get results. It all depends on your record keeping, how timely you send off the dispute letters and how much proof you have of the credit inaccuracy. Fixing your credit takes time and that is why it is important to always monitor your credit to make sure nothing pops up that doesn’t belong to you. Most of the time, people only check their credit when they apply for a loan. It is then they discover that they can not get financing because of some negative mark and attempt to find a credit repair specialist. It generally takes at least a few months at this month (at the earliest) to get the inaccurate item fixed, sometimes longer. If you have any credit repair or reporting questions then contact Cook Law for a free consultation