Some Newbie Questions

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Nadafinga!, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Nadafinga!

    Nadafinga! New Member


    I simply love the fact that this forum exists, and that so many helpful replies are proffered -- I've already started to read, read, read as so many vets suggest.

    Here are some things that I've not yet come across in that reading:

    1. Is there a limit on how many times the 3 credit bureaus can update one's report in a year, month, etc? I ask this because if there is, I'll have to be mighty selective about which issues to tackle first.

    2. Is there a generally-agreed upon order of tactics when trying to get a report updated? That is, is it better to first verify, then dispute? I sense conflicting opinions in some of the reading I've done.

    3. Is there a risk to "verifying?" In other words, if the first step is to simply verify, can a creditor actually put MORE negative information into a CB's file that maybe they missed the first time around? Does this ever happen?

    4. If I find discrepancies between the 3 bureaus for a given creditor, can I use this to my advantage? That is, can I play the reports off against each other in some way? Example: for one of my accounts, 2 of the 3 CB's have a derogatory stretch of lates, but the third agency has "no data." How would one use this, if at all?

    5. What's the best way to continuously monitor my reports at the three agencies. I know about the freebie every 12 months. My question is about paid services. For instance, Triple Alert from Experian sounds ok, but it promises to "let me look after" my credit reports. What I want is the ability to constantly log in and check them myself as I dispute stuff and/or try to get trade lines removed. "Looking after," sounds a little fishy -- like they'll do the looking after, but I can't look myself. So is there a cheap or free way to get constant access to all three? What do you folks use?

    Thanks again for this wonderful forum. I'll keep reading!
  2. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    1. CRA's update your reports minute by minute. What you are asking is how many times you can dispute. Each dispute takes up to 30-45 days, so in essence you are able to do about 12 disputes a year. (Nothing that each dispute can't contain more than one account.)

    The FCRA does allow the CRA to reject 'frivolous' disputes, so you may have challenges disputing the same account more than once. With a bit of knowledge you can break through the frivolous 'previously investigated' letter.

    2. Everyone will have their own strategy. The circumstances of the exact account involved changes the strategies.

    For instance, if the account is reported by the OC, the FDCPA doesn't apply (typically), therefore validation isn't an option. However, if there are bona fide errors, a letter notifying them of those specific errors, and demanding their correction is something that I would recommend.

    With a CA, validation before verification is recommended because of the FDCPA prohibition on continued collection activity on receipt of a timely validation request.

    3. You want to make sure you differentiate between verify and validate.

    Is anything without risk?

    On a non-time-barred debt, you could awaken the sleeping dog. So you want to consider the amount, type of debt, age of debt into the equation.

    If the verify, and they have the records and can look the records up within 30 days, could they update to add more information, any things possible. It all depends on if the return is worth the investment in time.

    4. Yes. But I typically keep this under my hat for a while, unless I need to batter through a stubborn 'previously investigated' response chain.
  3. Nadafinga!

    Nadafinga! New Member

    Thank you for your quick reply, Jam. I found your answers to #'s 1 & 2 to be helpful, and to #4, insightful.

    As for "verify" versus "validate," you're right -- I don't know the difference. Still don't yet.

  4. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    Validation is a construct of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

    It requires a debt collector to provide information obtained from the original creditor to validate:
    * the amount of the debt
    * that they have identified the correct debtor

    The law is mute to what constitutes validation. There is a thread by Butch What is Validation that includes a discussion in depth as to what does (and doesn't) classify as validation.

    Verification is when the CRA asks the Data Furnisher to check their records to make sure they are reporting correctly.

    Typically this is just a cursory review of their computer records, and tapping a giant glowing 'y' key. (OK. There really isn't a giant glowing 'y' key, but it illustrates the point.)

    For example, to answer a standard 'not mine' dispute, the DF only needs to verify 2 of the following: name, address, SSN, DOB... What are the odds that even if they didn't have that information before, they got that information quickly after they obtained the account?

    Case law does say that they may have to go beyond the cursory review to do a conclusive verification, IF the dispute warrants that, but unless you specifically tailor your dispute to demand it, and repeatedly demand it, you are unlikely to get a dispute resolved at that level.

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