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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Incorrect information on my credit report after Bankruptcy

I was going to write the post about my different credit scores that I have gotten throughout the year but the of course the Equifax site is down. Not to say that it goes down often but the one time I wanted it for screen shots it is down.  So that will come later… 

This post is about the challenges I have had reversing the inaccuracies on my report.
I claimed bankruptcy in November of 2013 and was discharged in August of 2014. I got my first credit report almost right away. This report my lowest score ever. It was 434. On the report there was only 1 creditor that had closed as per the bankruptcy which was my loan. My mortgage had also decided that it wasn’t worth it for them to come after me to try to collect the difference in the sale price and what I owed on the mortgage so they just wrote that off. 

My bankruptcy and discharge weren’t yet showing on this report so I assumed it would take some time for it to all be updated. 

Every other credit line item was incorrect. The report was still showing car, credit card, and cell phone. It was also showing 3 items in collections that were still open. 

I waited a little while. We are told when file that we should get a report and follow up with Equifax about the incorrect information and that we should never get another call or need to talk to another person from the collectors. I just waited.

Once I got my credit card that one showed up. There were no other changes. Not even the old card I had with the same company. 

In April 2015, I sent in all the information that I need to dispute the incorrect information which is photo copies of ID, my discharge and the creditors that were incorrect- which for me at the time was like 8.

I also sent in the written request to Transunion to have them mail me my free report. I did move but had mail forwarded to my new address. 2 months later I received a letter from Transunion with a blank form to fill out. 

I checked my report shortly after sending in my Equifax package and then 3 months later and nothing was changed. But oddly enough, soon after I sent in the package I started to receive creditor calls again. We are now June of 2015- I was receiving calls from 3 different Collection agencies demanding that I call the back right away. I haven’t gotten a collection call in year. This is when I started to get really concerned because clearly my files were not actually closed. 

I contacted my trustee at the bankruptcy company that I went through to ask what to do next. I am still waiting for a response. He still hasn’t gotten back to me. I realized that after being discharged I am on my own at this point.

I opted to call each of the creditor and Equifax. 

Equifax call centre number is not easy to find. I did find it and got them on the line. This was the first ever bad experience I have had with Equifax. Even through my discharge is on there and even states how much money was written off- that matches how much was on the report. They stated that they couldn’t do anything and that they need the statement. I advised that I had sent it in 3 months ago. Got her to check 3 different times and nothing apparently they have no record of me ever sending in that whole package. They do not remove things easy off your report. I had to fight with them and stay on the phone for an hour to get her to escalate this issue. I requested a supervisor and had to fight with her to get it put through over the phone without mailing in anything. Eventually I got it done. She said that they would investigate and follow up. 

Next was to call the 3 creditors that I was told I would never need to contact or speak to again. One was so nice and got it taken care of right away – or at least said that she would.  

The other 2 were not nice at all. They said that they never received anything from the trustee and that they had no record of me closing it. Oh, and now I owe double what I owed when I claimed bankrupt on the one account. 

After one whole day spent on the phone I was able to get things going in the correct direction. My credit score immediately jumped by 73 points.  It makes me wonder how it is affecting my score with it being wrong for that entire year and if I had corrected right after claiming, would my score be in the 600’s by now?  I will never know now. I would suggest that any of you that are going through this that you don’t follow everything that I have done but that you also learn from my mistakes. 

-Claim as so as you realize that you can’t make it back from where you are. (Pending that you don’t make a surplus of income) 

-Make sure that your report with both credit bureaus are correct ASAP after being discharged. You will likely build your credit faster because right now mine shows that they were all just closed. 

-Apply for a secured card right away so that once everything is cleared up and taken care of you have some credit history

-Once you do get a chance with credit again- Do not ever miss a payment.  I heard somewhere that at a certain point after bankruptcy, creditors actually trust you extra because they give you the benefit of the doubt that you are not stupid enough to mess up again. If you do… then it will be next to impossible to come back from. I don’t know if this is true yet, but I hope to find out about the first one soon and I will follow up. The second one I will do everything in my power to ensure that it never happens