Disputing Credit Report Errors

QUESTION: I disputed an error on my credit report, the creditor removed it on one bureau but declined to remove it on another credit bureau!

I contacted creditor (home depot) and disputed 30 days late on my credit report. It was first reported on Equifax and was deleted by Equifax, then months later it showed up on my Transunion. This time I disputed with Transunion and the error remains. What ground I have if I need legal assistance?

ANSWER: It is not uncommon for one credit bureau to report things one way, and another to report the exact opposite. I would recommend that you lodge another dispute- both with the creditor and the TransUnion. All credit reporting disputes should be handled by certified mail with return-receipt requested. You are encouraged to include as much helpful information as possible, including all proof that you have to support your claim.

Finally, if the incorrect information continues to appear on your credit report, you may have grounds to sue under the Federal Credit Reporting Act, as well as the Texas Finance Code. These consumer rights statutes allow you to recover damages, as well as your attorney fees (which is why many attorneys do not charge a fee to handle these sorts of matters – from the credit reporting dispute process through litigation.)

One other tidbit: many consumers obtain their credit reports through various websites that charge a fee. I have seen many consumers ask friends of theirs – in the mortgage industry, or car dealers – to pull their credit reports. The only place I recommend consumers go for their credit reports is: www.AnnualCreditReport.com It is the only website that is approved by the federal trade commission and allows you one free credit bureau report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

 

Debts From Deceased Relatives

QUESTION: My husband and I were separated for nearly a year. Am I responsible for his electric bill ? He passed away.  He was way behind in all bills. I have bills of my own showing where I lived.

ANSWER: A collection agency or creditor may want to assert that the debt is “community debt” which means that it belongs to both you and your late husband. The burden will be on you to show that you two were separated and that you did not benefit from some of his expenses – – like the electric bill at an address where you never resided.

You should be aware that the debt collection industry preying on the heirs of deceased people can be extremely harassing and abusive. They frequently play on people’s sense of grief and guilt. All of your husband’s creditors should take up their claims in probate court, and NOT by harassing you.

I strongly recommend that you check your credit bureau reports to confirm that his debts are not listed on your social security number. You can obtain a free copy of your credit bureau report at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

 

Getting Sued By A Pay Day Lender

QUESTION: I have multiple online payday loans out since 2012 can they sue me?

I tried to work out arrangements with them but they wouldn’t settle what I could afford and refuse to give me an address to mail payments to them can I be in legal trouble?

ANSWER:  Theoretically, they can sue you. Generally, however, the payday loan collection industry is notorious for its illegal debt collection tactics. I recommend you consult with a consumer rights attorney, not just to review the terms of the payday loans, but also to determine if your rights have been violated (as well as your credit reporting rights.) 

Many consumer rights attorneys do not charge their clients up front, because many of the consumer rights statutes allow them to collect fees from the bad guys.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

Liens Against Your Property

QUESTION: I went to refinance my home and found 6 liens. None of them actually belong to me. How does this happen and how can I fix this? Seem lazy.

How do people file liens against property without proof it is the correct person. I have to prove these are not me. Some are easy, because the judgments have DOB or Social Security number. They never should have been placed on my title in the first place. Do I have any recourse against the person who placed them there?

In addition to the answers the other attorneys provided, I would also suggest you check your credit reports (if your mortgage broker or other banker hasn’t already done that for you recently). Get your free reports at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Also, you may want to do some homework and learn more about the underlying claims or judgments that resulted in the liens. If these judgments are related to issues that are rightfully yours, you will probably need the assistance of an attorney to unwind the judgments (assuming you were never served with process.)

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

Responsibility For Estate Debts

QUESTION: What is my legal responsibility to pay remaining debts for my deceased ex father-in-law if he named me beneficiary on 401k?

He lived in Illinois and I live in Texas. He apparently owed money to a bank in Illinois and they want me to turn over any monies received to them.

ANSWER: Please be careful about paying deceased people’s debt. There are a lot of abusive debt collectors taking advantage of the fact someone has died as justification to squeeze money out of the heirs, estate executors, etc. If Illinois law is similar to Texas law, you might want to consult with a consumer rights attorney about illegal debt collection tactics. Most consumer rights attorneys will handle cases against abusive debt collectors without charging for their time up front.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

Actions That Can Be Taken After A Default Judgment

QUESTION: I have a default judgment, accounts frozen, money taken. There’s a balance, what actions can be taken?

The default judgment was $5,947 plus 5% annum over 2yrs court cost and receiver attorney fees 25% added to total up @ $10,284.. $6,411 was taken from frozen accounts leaving a balance of $3,878 on judgment. Can this be negotiated or settled for less…need legal direction…..

ANSWER: While you can certainly work with the judgment creditor to settle the judgment yourself, I would encourage you to consult with a consumer rights attorney before you proceed alone. Your rights may have been violated in the way that the judgment was taken, the way that the judgment is now being collected, and with respect to your credit reports. I would especially encourage you to talk to a lawyer if the judgment was taken by a Third-Party Debt Buyer (not the original creditor). 

Finally, you should not agree to anything negotiated with the judgment creditor unless it is in writing. 

I have an important follow up question for you: were you served with papers when the lawsuit was originally filed? If not, you should consult with an attorney to have the judgment completely unwound.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

Mail Theft & Fraud

QUESTION: Mail theft and possibly fraud. Ex girlfriend stole. Illegal?

I found out that my ex had both stolen my keys, in addition to a few packages out of mailbox. Not on lease, not married.

ANSWER: Yes, this sounds illegal. If you have concerns that she is also stealing your credit, I would suggest you request a fraud alert with the credit bureaus. I would also suggest that you monitor your credit reports on a regular basis going forward. You may obtain a free copy of your credit reports once every year from each of the three credit bureaus at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. If you discover that accounts were taken out in your name, you will want to file a police report. Send that police report to the original creditors and the credit bureaus in order to clear your name. If the accounts are not removed from your name, you would have grounds to sue under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

Harassed By Multiple Debt Collection Calls

QUESTION: Does Rent A Center have the right to call 45 times a day after being late 2 days (actual number). I’m being harassed I feel upon arrival to my home I had 15 rent a center door panels posted on my doors and windows that is wrong.

ANSWER: It’s important to find out whether you answered all of those calls, or if they simply went unanswered. Also, I’m not sure what you mean by “door panels” that were posted on your doors and windows. I agree that you should keep pictures of the door panels as evidence of harassment. You should also keep screen captures of the 45 phone calls. If you are actually answering the phone, and you keep responding to them in the exact same way in each phone call, then I would agree that your rights have been violated.

More importantly: if the contract allows them to repossess some collateral, then they might not be violating debt collection laws (because they are not attempting to collect a debt). Instead, they are simply harassing you to try to get their collateral back. Common law harassment claims are slightly different from claims for debt collection abuse. In either case, I suggest you contact an attorney.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.

How To Clear My Mother’s Name From A Loan

QUESTION: What do I need to do to clear my mothers name on a loan she has no ideal on how it happen? Her name is on the loan papers.

I’m my mothers executive over her health & finances, she has been diagnosed with dementia. My nephew took her with him to a dealership saying he was going to buy a truck. Later I started receiving notices of declines of loans in the mail so I look up her credit report and seen a loan was taken out on a truck and the payment was over a month late. After confronting him he said her name was not suppose to be on the loan. That’s when I told him he needs to go and have it removed. After four months of no payments he finally made one payment. I told the loan company that she is not making any payments and that I’m working on removing her name on the loan. My mother is 89 so time is precious and I don’t need any problems like this upsetting her. Is there any thing I can do to help my mother?

ANSWER:  There are two sides to this: one is with the finance company. The other is with the credit bureaus. In both cases, you will likely need to file a complaint with the police against the nephew. Will your mother need credit? Consider how important (or unimportant) it is for her to live out the rest of her life without credit. 

If the finance company ever comes after your mother (or her estate) for the deficiency, you will be able to raise the issue of her dementia as a very good defense. You will need doctor’s reports to support the defense. I would suggest you obtain those records now, while she is still in the doctor’s care.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship with Karni Law Firm until a contract is signed by the attorney and the client.