Credit repair isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do. So, when you have taken the time to dispute an incorrect item on your credit report, and it suddenly re-appears, needless to say it can get really frustrating. As consumers, we are needing to monitor our credit reports on a regular basis in cast the creditor re-inserts the negative item. The credit repair process is only the beginning of the process, you must monitor and keep a close eye on that report.
When disputing an item from a credit report, the credit bureaus have 30 days to complete their investigation into your request to validate. If the credit bureaus are unable to verify the item within 30 days, the bureaus must remove the item because they are not allowed to report information that cannot be verified. When I first started repairing my credit, I thought getting an item removed was a permanent thing. I was wrong! In some cases, within just a couple of weeks to a month, I would see an item reappear on my credit report. What you need to understand is that a credit bureau can reinsert the item on your credit report on the 31st day, or the 60th day if the item is verified by the creditor. There is a catch though. And it is our favor (the consumer). If the credit bureaus reinsert the item back onto your credit report, you must be notified within 5 days of the reinsertion date.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires the credit reporting agency to notify you no later than five days after the date of reinsertion. You should know that credit bureaus literally have millions of disputes coming in on a regular basis. Do you think they notify you every time that a negative item reappears within the time allowed, if at all? Along with the credit bureaus notifying you, the creditor reporting the item must provide proof that the information is correct. They can’t just look at an Excel Spreadsheet and say, “Yep, Kevin is on my list, I can verify that.” Do you know how many Kevin Anderson’s there are in the country? Let alone in the State of Utah? (I once flew to Seattle and there were 6 Kevin Anderson’s on my flight.)
So, what are our options when a negative item has been reinserted into our credit reports? Here are four options you can take:
- Request a new investigation and dispute the item again. The letter can be incredibly simple.
“I received a letter dated (insert date), in which I found (insert the negative item and account number) had been again inserted into my credit report. You are required to notify me within 5 days of reinserting this previously deleted item. I have not received a notification in regards to this account. Please delete this item from my credit report immediately.”Just be simple, there is no need to make threats that you are going to sue them or do all sorts of bad things to them if they don’t remove them. We can save that for later!
- File a Complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
The complaint can be against both the credit bureau, the creditor or both! If you are tracking everything you are doing during the dispute process, make sure you send all the documentation in regards to your dispute to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The credit bureaus and the creditors will not ignore an inquiry from the CFPB.
- Contact a Credit Repair Company for Assistance.
You don’t have to go at this alone. If you have already been working with a credit repair consultant, speak with them about what is going on. If the credit repair consultant is worth a dime, they will know what to do, and what type of letters need to be sent.
- File a Lawsuit Against the Creditor and Credit Bureaus.
You can speak with an attorney about filing a lawsuit against the creditor and/or the credit bureaus for reinserting the negative item when they have not followed the laws protecting consumers. I am not an attorney, but I have partnered up with an attorney’s office that helps protect consumer rights. It is likely that if the creditor or the credit bureaus cannot provide verifiable proof that an account belongs to you, they will need to either remove it from your credit report or face the consequences of reporting a negative item that cannot be verified.
In the case of negative items being reinserted into your credit report after the FCRA reporting periods have lapsed, you will have leverage on the credit reporting agencies in getting the negative items deleted immediately. Simply notify them that it has expired and it needs to be removed from your credit report.
Again, don’t feel like you need to go at this by yourself. If you need help in anyway, be sure to contact Smart Credit University for a free consultation.