I had a old cell phone bill that had slipped through the cracks, that was not included in my bankruptcy, the total amount was $560 and change. I had been getting calls occasionally from a law firm to settle the bill and since I thought it had been included in my bankruptcy I just dismissed it and thought they would eventually figure it out and quit calling me.
Let me pause for a minute and explain how important it is to make sure all of you debts are included if you should file bankruptcy, just to make sure, you should get a copy of your credit report and make sure all of your debts on your credit report are listed in your bankruptcy, make sure your attorney has a copy of the credit report also.
I found out that this cell phone bill was not included and when they called today I asked them what they would take to settle the debt and they said they they would settle for approximately $226. I asked them if I could make a counter offer and the lady said that I could so I told her that I could pay half of that, approximately $113. She supposedly went to ask a manager and came back with approval to accept my offer.
If you find yourself in a position to negotiate an old debt don’t be afraid to offer them less and maybe I could have gotten it reduced even further. Let me leave you with two other points, the first is to always get the settlement in writing before making the payment and the second is never give them access to your checking account by giving them the account number.
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If your credit bureau report shows negative information about your accounts such as late payments, charge offs, repossession, foreclosure or possibly a bankruptcy and it is true, these remarks must remain on the bureau for the specified time allowed. For example, late payments and charge offs remain on your report for seven years while a bankruptcy will remain for up to ten years.
It is never too late to turn your financial life around. You can rebuild your credit status. By simply paying your bills on time and not overextending yourself, you will begin to demonstrate a good payment history. Within a short amount of time, your positive credit history will build. Eventually, the negative information will be deleted from your credit report leaving you with the positive history you are starting to build today. To apply for new credit that you can use to start rebuilding your credit click here.
The steps in these lessons are proven and effective. The next lesson deals with reviewing your accounts. Get to know what makes up a contract. Learn about what you have signed. The more you know about the promises you have made, the better negotiator you will become. Your creditors will respect you for actually taking the time to care about the financial situation you are experiencing (in most cases).
Your financial character and stability are your tools for your financial independence. Use them wisely. YOUR financial future depends on it.
At least half of all credit bureau reports contain errors. It could be something very minor such as the misspelling of your first name or something more detrimental like delinquent accounts that are not yours. All too frequently information is carelessly entered on your report causing your potential lender to deny you credit because of
false or misreported information. If your credit file contains errors that you know are incorrect such as accounts that are not yours, you can dispute them. Enclosed with your bureau report should be a dispute form . This form allows you to correct any information that is not being reported correctly, whether it is your date of birth, home address or loan account that is not yours. If you did not receive a dispute form, you can just as easily write a letter detailing the inaccurate information. Be sure and wrote your name, social security number, date of birth, and home address at the top of the page. You will again be required to provide ALL of your identification information as detailed under (How to get a copy of your credit bureau report) in Lesson 2. List the account number(s) of the disputed item(s) and detail a reason for the dispute such as; “the account is not mine” or “the account was paid in full.” Be sure to back up your statement with a copy of your cancelled check verifying that the account as paid in full or a copy of your social security card in the event that you social security number is being misreported.
It can be very helpful if you make a copy of the original credit bureau report and highlight all the errors with a yellow hi-lighter to draw the credit bureau’s attention to the items you are disputing.
Before mailing your dispute letter, with the highlighted copy of your bureau report and proof of claim, make copies of your correspondence and file the copies in a file folder with the credit bureau’s name on it.
Mail the original documents “certified with return receipt” to the credit bureau. The credit bureau has thirty (30) days in which to respond to you and make the appropriate changes. The credit bureau will mail you a copy of your credit report with the appropriate changes. Read it over carefully. If the credit bureau failed to update an account to your specifications, send another dispute form or letter and repeat this process until you get your desired results.
If the credit bureau does not respond to your requests, call the credit bureau. If you mailed the documents “certified with return receipt” you will have proof that the documents were sent and that the credit bureau did receive them.
Remember that you will need to repeat this same process with all three major credit bureaus. Since the credit bureaus are independent of each other they more than likely will be reporting different information.