Is there anything more powerful than words? Words can bring about war or conversely, usher in peace. Harsh words cause divisions among us, while carefully chosen words heal wounds. If the ultimate objective in composing a credit report dispute letter is to heal a credit report, then your chosen words are of critical importance. Today we will discuss some words that should not be included in a credit report dispute letter – I’ll give you a hint: be original.
Before we begin outlining what should be left out of a credit report dispute letter, I’ll direct the reader to two other sources for what should be in a credit report dispute letter:
Now I’m going to state something that should be obvious: tell the truth.
The following is an excerpt from the Credit Repair Organizations Act (Sec 404. Prohibited Practices):
“No person may make any statement, or counsel or advise any consumer to make any statement, which is untrue or misleading (or which, upon the exercise of reasonable care, should be known by the credit repair organization, officer, employee, agent, or other person to be untrue or misleading) with respect to any consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity to – any consumer reporting agency”.
Despite this prohibition, Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) stated in their May 22, 2006 comments to the FTC that “one of our members testified that more than 30 percent of all consumer disputes were generated by credit repair agencies, which commonly dispute accurate, derogatory information with the sole intention of having that information deleted from the file”. The Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA’s) response is the creation of an Automated Consumer Dispute Verification (ACDV) system that is designed to speedily handle a tremendous volume of disputes. Any letter that appears to have been sent from a credit repair agency (apparently more than 30% of all disputes appear so) may be labeled “frivolous” under a provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This labeling effectively ends the investigation process by the CRA’s on your behalf. Is it any wonder why the majority of credit repair companies have a bad reputation? Their form letters do not work. There is no magic form letter that will make bad credit go away. Imagine working in the dispute resolution department for a furnisher or a CRA. According to court testimony in Carol Fleischer v. Trans Union, et al. US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (Southern Div); Case No. CV 02-71301, Capital One employees processed approximately 4,000 disputes daily and each employee was responsible for processing thirty disputes per hour. With such a high volume of disputes viewed by these employees, do you believe that the repeated use of a credit repair companies form letter would go unnoticed? Of course it wouldn’t. Please note the following excerpt from the Fair Credit Reporting Act:
“Exclusion of credit repair organizations. This paragraph shall not apply if the notice of the dispute is submitted by, is prepared on behalf of the consumer by, or is submitted on a form supplied to the consumer by, a credit repair organization, as defined in section 403(3), or any entity that would be a credit repair organization…”
To conclude, we have established in this article that your credit report dispute letter must be truthful as well as written in your own words. If your letter is to be taken seriously then it should not be a form letter or associated in any way with a credit repair company. For further information and guidance on this subject, the reader is encouraged to register for this Saturday’s free credit repair seminar.