Bill's theories :)

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Marie, Apr 16, 2001.

  1. Marie

    Marie Well-Known Member

    Ok, I've stayed out of this until now. :) ya'll are acting funny :) I think we can all agree that ethically, we may find a "technicality" in our tradelines that allows us to challenge them and that (if we decide to embellish) then we may take a risk... although I believe most have decided that the risk was outweighed by the reward. Even if the risk isn't spelled out in the FCRA (and I also agree it's not in there) it certainly would be hard to press the issue in court, take the oath, then admit you lied on your initial disputes. I'd be curious if, when LizK showed up for the hearings... did they have any copies of your letters? In one case they could quote the guy's letters (and I read on an earlier case something about microfiche copies ) Anyway that's not my real point of this post, so onto productive stuff:

    While Bill is a bit circular in his posts, he has put out an idea that we can focus on to help us and I sincerely appreciate it. For the last 24 hours or so I've been looking up a ton of laws and cases. The cases are interesting. (Cases against CRAs). The FTC one issued on Fri has an interesting statement in it about how the CRAs certainly understand the impact of info on our reports and how it affects FICO scoring (which to me sets up harms)... but keeping on track:

    Some US Circuit court cases win based on "negligent or willful noncompliance" with the FCRA. One in particular lost because the initial dispute was worded "please correct every negative on my report"... or something like that. The CRAs seem to argue different sides depending on the case. One CRA actually argued that a correction isn't valid if initiated by the creditor (if a creditor tries to correct its own records if the consumer hasn't first done a dispute). Also it said the CRAs weren't liable if the creditor does a paper correction and then tape reports the crap again... food for thought.

    So I started making notes of what was winning vs losing just in case. BUT: I'm intrigued by the idea of taking the scope up. I used to debate in high school and in college. We used to be able to take the most innocuous little harm and we could laughingly always "logically" lead it to nuclear war. Always.

    So I started daisy-chaining statutes. Eg: if creditor A misreports then it's a violation of x and Y, if CRA B doesn't correct it then it's a violation of Z, if credit grantor uses this misinformation and it harms me then it's ABC harm to me etc etc. The standard fight: but a shotgun approach. Still on their ground, still within their scope. But still much more of a fight than most people put up. And I have now 5/6 very true gripes. But the last 1 I just want off and it's a big one. So I've been planning a strategy b/f even doing another thing.

    I even noticed that the CRAs got the lawmakers to add a "no defamation" clause in the FCRA EXCEPT if the CRAs violate specific sections (being willful or negligent noncompliance)... nice. The law tries to keep the scope narrow which protects them and limits us.

    I've certainly gotten aggressive about pursuing creditors and furnishers of info b/c it's the fastest, more permanent way to remove stuff. And they really don't want a fight either. who does.

    BUT Bill is taking it one level up and I commend the idea. I'm still figuring it out: BUT it's changed HOW I'm thinking. And for that I am very grateful he joined this board and I hope he stays. HAVE you guys caught the basic gist of what he's saying?

    My ideas of his ideas are this:
    1. Dispute to the CRAs that you want info validated (Not FCRA validated but something else) but don't give a reason. Don't bother standing on the ground of the FCRA b/c it's their law (and after rereading it 3 times last night I agree... though I did find a few technicalities I didn't know... we'll discuss those later)

    2. They likely will refuse to investigate, or they will investigate and say you want your info verified (Which you didn't say... they'll try to keep you in the bounds of the FCRA b/c that's all they know)

    3. If they refuse to investigate and say you have to provide more info, you can refuse based on your 5th ammendment right (I've been reading other sites regarding filing a tax return and the possible criminal implications: which is why you might be able to take the 5th on your tax return.. b/c it COULD lead to criminal investigation) but that's another matter. I think the big point he's been making (that we argued against) is that it COULD lead to criminal prosecution (and that's the CRUX for pleading the 5th). Giving them info Could incriminate you... which as we all know, can happen if you talk to them and make a wrong statement ("But I wansn't late on this account"... "SO, you admit it is your account you just weren't late"...) DUH, You just incriminated yourself.

    4. IF they refuse to investigate or correct the info, I guess you do have them on a FCRA violation... but I think that's not where he's going
    I think he WANTS them to refuse and ask for more info... so you refuse and say that, since providing info could lead to you self-incriimination, you plead the 5th.

    5. Here's where I think it gets interesting: if they say you can't plead the 5th or that they want you to give up your 5th ammendment rights... then they're violating your constitutional rights (and I kindof like this approach by the way) b/c how many TRW. TU. Eq lawyers are constitutional law specialists???? Now, pushing this issue would be interesting but I think we see where this is going.

    Course, I am also not a constitutional law specialist so I'M more comfortable with small claims court, FCRA violations et al. And I tend to think that suing them for anything will get some action. But this does raise an interesting point since I'm having trouble with 1 entry and I will not lie... I never have lied to them (especially if I know I'm leading them down the lawsuit trail purposefully). I always find a legitimate gripe. But I'm running thin as my disputes progress...

    I also think we could, in theory, fall back more onto the "complete" aspect of the reports (so far that's my only fallback position for my bk7 public record) but it's still a FCRA position... I guess I'm taking from this all a mindset of me being the aggressor, not the "victim" of credit reporting agencies. How can I catch them screwing up and thus force my position and get my credit corrected faster? Anyway, I just wanted to put this out here so maybe we all could start thinking productively. We have some VERY smart folks on this board... so keeping that in mind, let's start fresh and think:

    1. What rights of ours can they violate?
    2. What traps can we set for the CRAs/ creditors so that they purposefully violate our rights (either FCRA or other)?
  2. Saar

    Saar Banned

    Bill has yet to explain what links 4 & 5. Why does the fact that you take the 5th (if at all possible in this situation) overcomes their right to refuse to investigate if it's "frivolous or irrelevant". It may very well be Frivolous or Irrelevant if you choose not to say anything pertaining to your report. (You do not even dispute its accuracy according to Bill). I believe a CRA may be in its legal right to refuse investigation if the consumer did not even suggest that there's any inaccuracy in his file.

    A CRA would have a very good argument when they say that when Congress allowed them not to investigate, if certain circumstaces exist, it effectively blocked all other consumer "validation" options (where the CRA is a party). Otherwise the "frivolous or irrelevant" clause would be meaningless.

    But as I said, I remain open minded and await his response.

  3. marci

    marci Well-Known Member

    Nice post, Marie. I like where Bill is going, too. And I'm glad I'm not the
    only one on the board who doesn't support lying to the CRAs.

  4. ptbarnum

    ptbarnum Guest

    Pleading the 5th to get out of a debt? Do you really see that as more honorable than
    stating that there's an error, or making the CA's prove that the debt is your?
    I don't.
  5. Marie

    Marie Well-Known Member

    The funny thing is, my report had/ has SO MANY errors (even on accounts that were mine) that I had a leg to stand on when disputing. Their incompetence has worked for me.

    Frankly, I really don't care what anyone else does... I can certainly understand how someone gets so frustrated they'll say anything to start a dispute. And let's also take into consideration that I've caught the CRAs saying they "verified" when they didn't do a thing. I think Lying is the least thing the CRAs do to us :)

    Regarding Saar's post, I certainly have been wondering the same thing. I drew a flow chart about all the options at lunch today. I'd also love to hear what Bill's approach is, but in the interim, here's how my thoughts are going.

    Under the FCRA you have the right to an investigation.
    Under the 5th ammendment you have the right not to incriminate yourself.

    So, how do you reconcile the two? I agree with Saar that you'd have to say Something in order to even start the ball rolling. I mean, you couldn't not send them a letter at all and then sue them for not investigating a request you didn't make at all.

    So you'd have to send them a letter requesting something. Here's where I'm not sure what he says. Maybe you could list the items and say you want them investigated (an equivalent of validated vs verified that we use w/collection agencies) but not state what specifically is wrong.

    ??? something like "This xyz information is inaccurate and incomplete, please remove it"

    That would almost certainly generate either the frivolous letter or a letter requesting more info (eg: what specifically is wrong). I don't know what to do if you get a frivolous letter. but...maybe you just try again.

    But, if the CRAs send the letter demanding more info before starting the dispute...demanding that you incriminate yourself before they'll investigate... then you may have them violating your civil rights. Certainly they have enough info in their computer system to generate a dispute and contact the creditor and verify it all. Maybe we're just used to their lazy ways where we have to tell them exactly what's wrong and then maybe they'll fix it.

    Now, the other thought I have is certainly the FCRA is not the only law pertinent to this. I wish I were a lawyer... but I do know you have the choice of either statutory law (laws made by lawmakers) or by common law (constitutional rights).

    Just thinking aloud and trying to figure it out. I agree I don't know what he's initially say but maybe that trap doesn't matter as much as getting them to generate the request for more info. Maybe that's the trigger to them violating your 5th ammendment rights.

    Also, I was going one step further. Don't we have the right, the unlimited right to contract? (Meaning to enter into contracts). Wouldn't the CRAs info which then interferes with the decision to contract with us or not also interfere with our right to contract?

    How about the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Doesn't their actions infringe on this as well?

    We've been looking at this as it's the FCRA or nothing. We certainly do derive rights from other sources, such as the constitution. Problem is, I'm going to have to spend all my extra time now reading that again too! I don't remember enough from high school.

    Anyway, just a few more thoughts. I have info that truly has inaccuracies. If I go about it by hitting them w/FCRA violations and civil rights violations... that could be interesting. And since I do have the documentation to back it up... this could get very fun.
  6. Saar

    Saar Banned

    Common law does not equal constitutional rights. England, the ancestor of all common law nations, has no constitution at all. The parliament is free to legislate whatever it wants. No legislation can be vetoed by the executive or declared unconstitutional by the judiciary.

  7. Marie

    Marie Well-Known Member

    It is still requesting proof of errors. It's just a different technique (and one we haven't even figured out yet)

    I think talking of honor and CRAs in the same sentence is takes absolute, unmitigated gall. I've requested legitimate corrections via their procedures and on 5 items and they dropped the ball. Now I have to push the issue because they don't want to do their job with any degree of accuracy.

    By the way, why is it that on the CRAs, we're guilty until proven innocent. And the CRAs legally don't even have to show up the Proof of our supposed guilt. They only have to tell us how they supposedly proved it. What a joke. And the bought and paid for politicians have even tried to limit how we can collect damages. Can you imagine a criminal trial with the same rules?

    "No, you honor I have no proof of this person's guilt. But I think he robbed the bank. No, no proof whatsoever. No smoking gun, no fingerprints, no identification of him being there. But the bank does say they think it might be him... No your honor, they have no proof either... but they tell me it's true so I'm going to prosecute him anyway. They don't want to bother looking up evidence. If you'd like, I can tell you when I talked to the bank. Will that help you? I met the bank manager at lunch yesterday and he said he didn't have any proof but he wants me to put this guy in prison for 7 years anyway. And I'm going to do it. No trial, no jury, no defense. I'm going to limit his freedom. I am going to lock him up in a prison. He will not be able to buy a good house, get a better job, get a good credit line. and it will affect him, his wife, his children and his entire way of living. But the law says I don't need any proof, I only have to tell your honor that I indeed talked with the bank manager. And your honor will just have to take my word for that too because I don't even need any proof that I talked to the bank manager about the robbery. You just have to take my word for it. And of course, my word is good because I profit more from a guy in prison than from a guy who's not in prison and it costs me money to do the work to spring a guy from jail... so I have absolutely no motive to lie... now do I."

    CRAs and ethics huh. Yeah, right.
  8. Marie

    Marie Well-Known Member

    Hey Saar

    Wouldn't it be better to try and fight them over other issues (either instead of or in addition to) FCRA violations. How prepared do you think they'd be for a civil rights violation? Maybe that's the point. Their lawyers know the FCRA inside and out but if we can fight also / instead on other issues it might be to their benefit to settle quickly. Though it seems as though FCRA violations get a pretty quick response too.

    Anyway, it's still theory until we get a better explanation and it seems that Bill is hesitant to give out solid, useful techniques. Or at least, how do you get an investigation started w/out incriminating yourself in the first place?
  9. Marie

    Marie Well-Known Member

    Re: Hey Saar

    "Common law does not equal constitutional rights"

    Thanks for the clarification. :) I was just trying to differ for example, statutory rights vs nonstatutory rights. Did it too quickly, I guess. :)
  10. Bill Bauer

    Bill Bauer Guest

    Right on Target!!!

    Your post as to where I am going, (coming from) is right on target! It is absolutely correct. It's all about what MIGHT conceiveably happen at some future unknown date.

    Even if LK is right and there are no criminal penalties at this time, how do I know that there might not be new legislation passed in the future?

    How do I know that IF I lie or give false information about my reports, at some future time some creditor MIGHT feel defrauded, have a friend who is a prosecutin attorney and can persuade his friend to take action against me??

    How do I know that such MIGHT not happen. Hey, I got a right to keep silent and take no chances whatever that I MIGHT at some future time be called to account for my lies??

    You got it exactly right, and my strategies get a whole lot stronger from there.

    Bill Bauer
  11. Bill Bauer

    Bill Bauer Guest

    Get out of debt?? NOT!!

    Nobody is talking about getting out of a debt here. That's another whole ballgame and not to be confused with doing whatever you can to clear up your credit reports.

    Just getting your credit report cleaned up will not under any circumstances get you out of the debt. No matter what you do, you still owe the debt unless it is in some way an illegal debt due to valid reason.

    Even the Statute of limitations does not excuse you from the moral obligation to pay your just bills. They may not be able to collect from you anymore, but that does not relieve you of the moral responsibility to pay your bills. Only paying your bills or filing bankruptcy can do that as far as I know, and even bankruptcy won't wipe them all out in any and all circumstances. Some bills even survive bankruptcy.

    Bill Bauer
  12. Bill Bauer

    Bill Bauer Guest

    How to start investigations

    Dear CRA

    Please validate the report by FUNBRECOVERY inc bearing account #0987654321.

    That's how you get them to do it. After that, you spell out the way you demand they validate the report.

    Even if you use Lizard K's method, his wording after that, or you don't use anything at all after that, you still do start the investigation that way. You actually want them to ask for more information because if they do, you then reply that you do not need to give them any more information and that you specifically reserve your rights under the 5th Amendment to the constitution and that you also specifically reserve all your rights under the FCRA including the right to have your demand investigated and the report sent back to you prior to the passing of 30 days as demanded under FCRA. State that you sent them your request on xx/yy/zzzz and the clock is running.

    Please be advised that any further frivolous attempts to gain more time and violate your civil rights will be met with the appropriate legal action.

    Bill Bauer

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