THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires creditors to furnish complete and accurate credit information to the credit reporting agencies. If you have reaffirmed a debt and you are making timely payments to your creditor, the creditor has an obligation to accurately report your payment history to the credit bureaus. If they fail to do so, you are potentially entitled to recover statutory damages, as well as any actual damages you may have sustained as a result of diminished credit score. Unfortunately, it will be necessary for you to hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit to recover these damages. In other words, you will have to spend money before you are able to recover that money and any other additional damages.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A CREDITOR DOES NOT CORRECTLY REPORT?
The lender or creditor must be given an opportunity to correct what appears to be a mistake. You will need to advise the lender or creditor of its mistake in writing. Keep your correspondence brief and to the point. In addition to the lender or creditor, you will need to report the mistake to each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies, including the following:
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0241.
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, Texas 75013
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, California 92634
Again – you will have to make a request to the lender to properly report your post-filing payments or discharge. At the same time, you will need to contact the credit bureaus directly to inform them of the lender’s failure to properly report your payment history or to delete your information because of a bankruptcy discharge.
If you are disputing the failure to report payments, you will want to include a concise history of the payments that you have made with copies the cancelled checks or some other evidence of payment. If you are disputing the erroneous reporting of an obligation that was discharge in your bankruptcy, you will want to include a copy of your Discharge Order.
WHAT DO I DO IF NOT ACTION IS TAKEN ON MY PART?
Unfortunately, you may have to send the same information to the same parties for 3 or more consecutive months. If you do not receive a favorable result, you may want to contact the federal agency that governs credit reporting which is:
Consumer Response Center, Room 130-A
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20580
At the state level, you can contact the Michigan Attorney General at:
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909-7713
HOW SHOULD MY CORRESPONDENCE BE STRUCTURED?
You want your correspondence to be direct, concise and polite. May sure that you provide some evidence of that verifies your position, including: The loan number and dated receipts or cancelled checks for all payments or a copy of your bankruptcy discharge. Please don’t whine on about how unfair this process is or just complain. These agencies know that you are not happy – why else would you be corresponding with them.
The other key ingredient if patience. You must be patient. The bankruptcy laws provide you with quick, near instant relief. Unfortunately, cleaning up your past may take some additional time and effort.
IS THIS SERVICE INCLUDED IN THE ATTORNEY FEE FOR MY BANKRUPTCY?
No, not typically. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, your attorney fee does not include post discharge credit repair. Some attorneys will provide this service for an additional fee.