Minnesota debt collection defense attorney John Rossman wrote this breathless warning for debt collectors for InsideARM:
An army of Debtors — fully equipped with scripts drafted by consumer attorneys and recording devices — are using their telephones as weapons to wage war on unsuspecting Debt Collectors across our nation.
Rossman warns debt collectors that consumers are trying to “entrap” collectors and “trick” them into violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by asking the following questions:
Getting rejected sucks, but at least in the future you will know why, which means you can work to fix the problem.
LifeLock has had its troubles, but its main tool—putting a fraud alert on your account every 90 days—does not hurt your credit score. It does, however, make it more difficult to get credit, because lenders have to jump through more hoops before approving a credit application.
So if you are not planning to try to obtain credit in the next 90 days, go ahead and use a fraud alert. Otherwise, know that placing a fraud alert on your credit files will make it more difficult to get credit.
Thanks to Congress passing the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, the ads should be a more clear in the future. FreeCreditReport will now have large disclosure ads on their website that say something like “You have the right to a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com . . . the only authorized source under federal law . . . .”
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has put out an emergency alert regarding bogus debt collectors that have recently been praying on consumers. The fake debt collectors are often just as nasty as real debt collectors can be, if not worse.
If you are contacted by a debt collector and think it is a scam, here are a few tips:
FreeCreditReport.com is sort of an “honest” scam. “Hey, we’re FreeCreditReport.com! Nah, you have to pay for your free credit report. Yeah, but the name is FREECreditReport.com!!! But you totally have to pay. For your FREE FREE FREE credit report.”
Under the new credit card reform legislation, outfits like FreeCreditReport.com that offer free* services will have to (1) inform consumers that the only place for a free credit report is AnnualCreditReport.com; and (2) include the statement “this is not the free credit report provided for by federal law.”
This is not the free credit report you are looking for.
In order to remove inaccurate information from your credit report, you must report that information to the credit reporting agencies (CRAs) Experian, TransUnion, Equifax, and CSC Credit Services. Once you dispute the inaccurate information, the CRAs must investigate the matter and remove any inaccurate information or edit the entry to reflect your dispute.
The credit report dispute letter is a form to help you make those disputes. Remember: the more information you provide to back up your dispute, the better your changes of getting the inaccurate information removed.
Remember to keep a copy of the letter along with the information you include. If the CRAs refuse to correct the inaccurate information, you should contact a consumer lawyer for help.
You can find more forms at consumerlawyer.mn.
According to Gary Nitzkin, “[t]he credit reporting industry is operating in the stone age.” By which he means the credit reporting agencies seem incapable of dealing with credit information that comes from identity theft. Gary filed two lawsuits because even though the identity thief confessed, he could not get his clients’ credit reports fixed.
Why not? Because credit reporting agencies like TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax reduce all disputes to three pieces of information: the name, address, and social security number of the person making the dispute. If the CRA and the company who provided the negative information both have the same information, the credit report stays as-is.
Notice the lack of any investigation into whether the negative information itself was actually accurate? Even better: “Neither of the CRAs allow their investigators to use the internet, the telephone or a fax machine when conducting an investigation into a consumer dispute.”
Wait, what? They actually prevent their employees and furnishers from doing the required investigation. Facepalm, indeed.
OMG….The CRA’s are sooooo F’ed Up when it comes to ID theft!!!! | Michigan Collection Law Blog
(photo: Wikimedia Commons)
A while back I promised more analysis of this article. This gist of the article is that those debts discharged by a bankruptcy court are not being honored as discharged. There are some powerful reasons for this
First, those debt collectors who we collecting on the debt prior to the discharge will continue to collect on these debts in violation of the discharge order. Second, the owners of the discharged debt will continue to sell these debts on the secondary market.
So why is this? The answer is simple – Money.