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Home > Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts > What can I do to clean up the last hang ups on my credit report? – Jon

What can I do to clean up the last hang ups on my credit report? – Jon

6 1/2 years ago, my wife and I got married. She had just graduated college and apart from student loans, we had worked to eliminate her debt.

Neither of us had car loans, I had a credit card with no balance, and I had just bought a house. This is where it gets ugly.

I couldn’t technically afford the house payment, so my wife had to get to work asap. Already stretched thin, we bought a timeshare on our honeymoon. How did we pay the down payment you ask, a new credit card. Within 6 months, the credit cards were maxed out and we were hurting.

3 months later, a broken down vehicle and computer and we were toast. Since April/May of 2006, we have lived on what we make. After the dust settled and a new job, I started working toward cleaning up my credit. I’ve got it all cleaned up with the exception of a debt buyer trying to collect a closed account and the timeshare we eventually defaulted on.

I have attempted a few times the past couple of years to get a credit card as I started traveling some for work. To my dismay, despite decent credit scores and good income, I cannot get a credit card (this after paying off 2 auto loans and being approved for a home loan).

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This has got me itching to clean up the last remnants from early in our marriage. After some research, I thought debt validation was the way to go for the old account with the debt buyer. After reading some things on your site, I’m not so sure anymore.

As for the timeshare, the company basically foreclosed on our loan and took the deed to our portion. They have left my credit report saying I still owe them even though I am 100% certain they resold it for more than we owed.

What are the best courses of action for me to take in these cases?

Jon

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  • Michael

    Hi Jon,

    I have some questions and details to ask for before suggesting some next steps.

    What state do you live in?
    Approximately when did you make the last payment to anyone on the closed account you refer to above? What type of account was it and who was the original creditor? Who is attempting to collect on it now? What is the balance owed? What is the date of last activity for the account on all 3 of your credit reports? Is the account being reported by the original creditor with a balance still owing while being reported in duplicate by another with a balance owing?

    When was the last time you paid on the time share? What was the balance at the time? What is the balance being reported as owed on your credit report? How did you come about your 100% certainty that they sold the share for more than what you owed?

    If you can answer these questions in the comments you will get some tips and feedback that will help you in determining your next best steps.

    • Jon

      Michael,

      Thanks for the reply.  I live in Alabama.  Last payment was around May ’06, it was a credit card which originally started with Providian which was bought by WaMu which was bought by Chase.  A company called LVNV Funding is now attempting to collect.  My credit report and correspondence from the LVNV shows 3350.  Date of last activity for Equifax is N/A, but date of first delinquency shows 05/2006.  Trans Union and Experian seem to show dates of 11/2011.  This is where it’s a little tricky on your last question.  I made payment arrangements with a CA for Chase on this account years ago.  When another company showed a collection on this account after reviewing my credit report, I referenced the Chase account in my dispute.  The reporting agencies all removed the Chase account from my reports as it could no longer be verified by Chase I guess (this was less than 2 years ago).  Now there is only the claim by LVNV.

      As for the timeshare…first of all this only shows up on my Equifax report.  The last time I paid on it was 06/2006.  The balance owed has not changed, still 15,766.  This was a Wyndham (Fairfield at the time) timeshare.  It is my understanding that they just resell deeds that foreclose.  Which is probably why the sales rep that we bought from stop answering my calls when I asked if they could help me sell it.  I have a tax notice from 2007 where it shows they re-took possession of the property and what the market value is.  So, they wrote it off, took it back, and resold it for just as much as they sold it to us.  1 thing of interest is there are 2 CO entries in the timeline…1 in 12/2009 and 1 in 3/2010.  I have disputed this with Equifax previously, but they will not update or remove.

      Thanks for your help.

      -Jon

      • http://www.consumerrecoverynetwork.com/ Michael

        Thanks for the details Jon.
        The SOL on open accounts is 3 years in AL. If it has been longer than that since you made a payment to the other collection agency, LVNV cannot access the courts in order to collect (well, they can, but you can answer that it is a time barred debt). If the underlying creditor (Providian and Wamu no longer around) could not verify the account in a sufficient enough manner, and LVNV likely only has a line item in an excel doc that was part of other debts purchased in the same portfolio your account was in, it would be nonsensical for it to remain on your report after a proper dispute is filed with the CRA’s. Don’t take my comment here as one of naivety, I am fully aware of how more than half of all credit profiles at the reporting agencies contain out of date/incorrect/erroneous information. I do know the chore it can be to get the report cleaned up.
        If it were me, and because the risk of being sued to collect the debt is removed given the SOL expiration, I would file a basic dispute on the LVNV entry if you have not done so already. If the result comes back as confirmed I would then file a second dispute and request for reinvestigation that also requests all methods that were used in confirming the trade line the first and this second time. I would reference that the original creditor could not verify the account in this second dispute and outline that LVNV purchased an excel spreadsheet where one line item containing inaccurate info is what is being used to update the CRA’s records and causing you to suffer damages. The 2 CRA’s that continue to update the account date as showing the prior month as the date of last activity (DOLA) would contain additional verbiage.

        The “refreshing” of the DOLA on this trade line may be what is keeping you from getting approved for a credit card this long after all the negatives have gone stale and your report, for the most part, cleaned up. It would be interesting to learn whether this DOLA refreshing is the result of bad business practices at LVNV or the result of poor information and system management on the part of the two CRA’s.

        I would copy LVNV on all three initial disputes and the subsequent request for reinvestigation if they are sent.

        Come to think of it (since I am commenting on what I would do), I would first research and attempt to locate a consumer attorney in AL with FCRA experience. Since many attorneys with FCRA experience also have debt collection violation experience, the odds that the one I locate has experience filing actions against LVNV in federal court would be high. I should think that the dispute sent to LVNV as the furnisher of info to the CRA’s on the attroney’s letterhead who has sued them in the past would carry a higher level of cautious consideration with it. If I was unable to locate an AL attorney with said experience, I would look in neighboring states or call an attorney like Jason Rappa in PA and seek a referral.

        I would be paying for the attorney’s assistance in drafting the letter and the time to consult with me, and I would consider that cost and weigh it against the fact that the trade line is set to expire from the credit report some time in 2013 and how that fact stacks up compared to what my credit goals are between now and then (then I would do it anyway, but that’s just me).

        The time share being reported as charged off twice is obviously an error as that is untrue. This item is causing you damage and I would give it the same attention as outlined above.

        If you determine that the only credit you are really looking to set up between now and when the accounts fall off in 2013 is a credit card to use for travel, and are not motivated to file additional disputes, I suggest setting up a secured card.

        Your current bank may offer a secured credit card as a rebuilding tool. If they do not, many banks do. You can deposit xxxx.xx amount of dollars in a savings account and a card will be issued to you with that amount as a limit. You use it just like a credit card and pay it off each month. The amount in savings backs the card if you fail to make the required monthly payment. Banks like BofA offer a product like this that can be set up with a 500.00 minimum (you can start the account with more in savings and get a higher limit). After the account is seasoned and properly maintained for 6 to 12 months, it can be converted to an unsecured account and the amount in savings withdrawn. This would act as a credit building tool for you. Your wife could set up her own individual account in the same way in order to rebuild credit as well.

        I hope you can utilize some of this feedback. Best of success in your efforts and cheers to you and your wife in the new year.

         

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