By attorney Michael Jaafar
How Did We Get Here?
In 1960, American lawmakers saw the rise of a new form of company called a “credit bureau”—companies that traffic in the reputation of millions of Americans. And these credit bureaus made a fortune doing so. And as with any form of information trafficking, the information being sold was usually wrong and incomplete; which led to damaged reputations and lives.
So, after 10 years of the debating and planning, Congress passed (and president Nixon signed) the Fair Credit Reporting Act into law. Basically, this is a law that requires credit bureaus to be accurate and complete when trafficking in the reputation of millions of Americans. A lot has changed since 1970, but the core fundamentals remain the same. Which is that anytime a strange company (that you’ve never heard of) sells your information, they must be accurate and complete, or face legal consequences.
“Credit Repair Companies” Are A Scam – (Fairmax Law is an actual law firm)
Bureaus traffic in our reputations, and they make billions. 40 million out of 200 million credit profiles are inaccurate. Just imagine the ramifications of that—20% of everything a credit bureau says about us is inaccurate! And in many of those instances, those inaccuracies affect your ability to provide for your family.
And credit repair companies ALWAYS exacerbate the problem. They take important dollars out of your pocket, and they send bad letters (with typos) to the credit bureaus, pretending to be you; which in turn allows credit bureaus to ignore legitimate communications from you.
Credit repair companies used to be effective in the 80’s & 90’s, when bureaus used to manually process disputes. The credit repair company would log jam the bureau by sending too many letters for the bureaus to process, which required the bureaus to temporarily delete bad information from your credit file until they could process your disputes. And by temporarily deleting that tradeline from your file, you would see a temporary bump up in your credit score. But credit bureaus now process your disputes electronically in a fraction of a second, so these benefits are completely gone.
But eventually, that bad information would come back onto your credit report because it was accurate. But credit repair companies made a fortune by tricking Americans into believing that their credit was “repaired.”
So, the federal government passed sweeping legislation that curtailed the credit repair scammers. It was called the Credit Repair Organization Act, and it prevented credit repair companies from charging upfront fees for their services. It also required them to complete all their services before they collected any money from their clients.
So, credit repair companies circumvented that law by charging monthly subscription fees, and framing those fees as the cost for the letters they sent out on your behalf in the previous month. And because all credit disputes are electronically processed within minutes, the effectiveness of credit repair companies are now completely gone. But they are still there. And they are still charging a lot of money to unsuspecting consumers
How Fairmax Law Can Help
There are very few attorneys nationwide that do this sort of work well, because it is tedious, difficult, and thankless. And by and large, the clients are in difficult financial straits. Moreover, the attorney must wade through lots of documents to find out whether a client can be helped. And when the attorney happens upon a client that has a good case, the attorney must do that job for little or no money at the outset.
Fairmax Law is built on a precise technology platform that is aimed at making our attorneys efficient. That efficiency allows us to bring our knowledge to a wide array of deserving clients, which in turn allows us to focus on the work that matters—your rights.
We always start off with a free review of your consumer reports (a.k.a. credit reports). At that stage, we determine whether you are in fact is a candidate for credit repair. There are only 2 factors that matter:
At that point, prepare dispute letters to the bureaus and we demand that they correct the inaccuracy. The bureaus must respond to the letters, or they must remove the inaccuracies. If the bureaus do not either correct the inaccuracy, or delete the trade line, then our attorneys prepare a lawsuit against the bureau, and we seek removal of the items and financial damages.
How Fairmax Law Charges
Typically, our fees come from the credit bureau or the creditor that we soup. In some instances, there is a small fee to the client for us to prepare and send the letters, but in a lot of instances, we do those for free.
How to Improve Your Credit Rating
Only you can improve your credit score, and it’s very easy. And it is never too late to improve it, no matter how low it gets. Here is why: a bad credit score is like a wounded knee. When you scrapped your knee when you were a child, the only thing you had to do to heal it was get out of the way; don’t cause any more damage. And it is the same with your credit score. To improve it, you need to remove the items that are weighing it down by either
Once you do that, the score will naturally rise on its own.
But you can aid its healing by exercising the following good credit habits. (these only help after you remove the items that are weighing it down):
This article is not meant as legal advice, and Bankruptcy is very complicated depending on every persons overall financial situation. So, if you are considering any chapter of the bankruptcy code, is it called one of our attorneys for a free, same day consultation.
To learn more about Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the federal government has excellent information about it on their website at http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy
Fairmax Law™ is a Service of Jaafar Law Group PLLC and is a designated debt relief agency that helps clients file bankruptcy under the federal bankruptcy code.