Removing A Dismissed Lawsuit From Credit Report

QUESTION: If you were taken to court for a broken lease and the case was dismissed is it possible to get it off your credit report?

My boyfriend left his old apartment a few years ago on account of his roommate who was unable to pay the full rent and left soon after. They were taken to court but the case was dismissed. Now we’re trying to get a house but the broken lease is still on his credit report. Is it possible to get it taken off because it was dismissed or does he still have to pay it?

ANSWER:The detail that is missing: what sort of dismissal was it? Your boyfriend needs to send a letter to the credit reporting agencies that are listing the broken lease. He will probably need to send a copy of that same letter to the past landlord disputing the negative information. If the dismissal documents from court are favorable to your boyfriend, he should attach them to the dispute letter. He should probably attach the dismissal documents in any event.

Your boyfriend should be gathering information about being declined or rejected from the new housing opportunity. In case the derogatory information on this credit report needs to be removed, and if it is NOT removed, then your boyfriend will have terrific grounds for a lawsuit against the past landlord and/or the credit reporting agencies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

If he needs assistance going through the dispute process, he should contact an experienced attorney. Most attorneys do not charge a fee for helping with the dispute letter writing process, or the resulting litigation, since the federal laws allow for fees to be paid by the defendants.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

How To Proceed With Payment Request Letters Totaling $10,000 From A Collection Agencies

It is important to recognize and understand that if you ever find yourself in such a situation your credit score is probably very low. Thus it will be extremely challenging obtaining the best interest rates for any financing (if you even qualify). At the same token, a lot of the very small debt out there (under $1,000.00) ends up on the debtor’s credit report, ends up in collections, but does *not* end up in a lawsuit. While I do not encourage debtors to avoid paying their bills, it is also clear that one may not be in a position where the debtor can legitimately afford to pay the delinquent bills. The negative lines on a credit report will slowly age, have less impact on the credit score, and after 7 years they will come off altogether.

If one happens to have any particular debt that is significantly over $1,000.00, then there is the possibility of being sued for that debt.

If you ever find yourself in such a situation, it is strongly recommended that you keep track of all debt collection calls that are made to you or anyone else. Most consumers are unaware, that they has debt collection rights. You can download a debt collection call log from my law firm’s website to help keep track of callers. Also, whatever debt collection mail that is received should be reviewed by an attorney. Keep in mind that often times debt collection letters have violations in them, and the consumers are really not knowledgeable enough to notice. Also keep in mind that most consumer rights lawyers will not charge an un front fee to handle debt collection abuse; federal and state laws allow consumers to collect their attorneys’ fees from the “bad guys.”

You should obtain a copy of your credit reports. They are available for free, once every year through www.AnnualCreditReport.com. It will enable you to have a complete picture of your debt.

Here are some additional suggestions to bear in mind:
1. Do not ignore the collection letters. Keep them; share them with a consumer right’s lawyer. You are welcome to send them all to my office so that I can advise further.
2. Sometimes it is worth considering calling the debt collection agencies to possibly work out a payment plan, but only after you have shared the collection letters with an attorney in the field of consumer rights. It is important to understand that sometimes paying one collector will open a jar of worms with others who are constantly looking at your credit report and probably wondering, “why is this person paying that debt, and not this one?”
3. $10k worth of debt is probably not enough to make bankruptcy the best option.
4. Bill consolidations is hardly ever the best way to go. Nevertheless, one should consult with an attorney to determine whether the debts may ultimately end up in litigation. If that’s the case, then debt consolidation may operate to prevent an imminent lawsuit.

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.

Debt Collection Tactics

Debt collectors are notorious for engaging in what can often be described as abusive and harassing tactics in order to collect a debt. Some debt collectors will even go as far as threatening to come to your home or place of employment to serve you with lawsuit papers. In my experience, these particular debt collectors are the worst of the worst, and most often they usually are not even licensed to collect debt in Texas.

If, however, the party that was calling happens to be a legitimate debt collection agency, then one would probably be within their rights to sue them for violations of the federal and Texas debt collection laws. My office has handled many suits against abusive debt collectors. The laws allow the consumer to recover damages, in addition to all of the attorney fees and costs incurred while suing the debt collector. Many consumer rights lawyers will handle debt collection abuse cases on a contingency basis.

Before proceeding with a lawsuit, it is advisable pull your credit report to determine if the particular collection agency in question is listed. Depending on when the account in question went into default, it may or may not appear as a negative comment on your credit report. A free copy of your credit report can be downloaded once every year from www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Any suspicious lines listed on your credit reports should also be taken up with a consumer rights attorney.

Finally, if you have the name and/or phone number of the collection agency, and especially if you have any recordings, feel free to send that information along. My office will gladly do some research to determine if the collection agency is legitimate.

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 get it off credit?

QUESTION: Mom put utilities in my name when I was 17. Moved out at 18 in another state paying my own utilities. How to get it off credit? I didn’t know about it. She stopped paying 2 years later.

RESPONSE: If someone opened an account in your name without your permission, you are encouraged to file a police report for identity theft and/or forgery. That police report will help you in your dispute with the utility company and/or the credit reporting agencies. The sensitive issue you need to contend with is whether to report your mother. Often times, when family members are involved in identity theft, the victim does not want to make the report and turn them in to the authorities.

If you are willing to file the complaint, you will need to turn that in to the credit bureaus and the utility company with your written dispute. Mail your dispute by certified mail with return receipt requested. If the negative information does not come off of your credit reports, then you will have grounds to sue under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You will be entitled to collect your damages, as well as your attorney’s fees (which is why many consumer rights attorneys can handle these cases on a full contingency.)

Can I write the credit bureaus and have a collection account removed with the status of “Potentially Negative Closed”?

QUESTION:

Hi, I have a question regarding my credit report. I’m only 23 years old and I’ve recently wanted to start cleaning up my credit. After reviewing my credit today I noticed I had two accounts that state “Potentially Negative Closed” and the account is closed. Can I have that removed? If so, how would I go about doing that? Thank you!

ANSWER: Do you know the circumstances for closing the account? If not, you should certainly write to the credit reporting agencies, as well as the creditor that furnished the information, to dispute the listings and request more information. Keep in mind, sometimes when you dispute a listing on your credit report, it becomes very difficult to remove the “dispute” status without re-affirming the debt. In my office, we see people who are trying to buy their first house or car and cannot because there are disputes on their credit reports that they cannot clear.

If the listing is inaccurate, and if you properly dispute the information with no positive results from the credit bureaus, then you might have a good claim under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as well as the Texas Finance Code.

On another note: kudos to you for being diligent about your credit worthiness!