Arizona Consumers Fall Prey to Credit Repair Organizations.

You probably have seen the signs staked in nearly every corner, or the ads in the newspapers or on the internet.  Promises to remove negative credit items, foreclosures, and even recent bankruptcies.  They are the “saviors” for those Arizona consumers who have had some bad times, and whose credit reports are not as clean as they would like.  Their promises sound tempting?  But is it legal?  NO!

These credit repair companies are regulated by federal law — the Credit Repair Organization Act or CROA.  Congress created the CROA because of the proliferation of companies promising to “clean your credit report” by use of fraudulent and illegal tactics.

Most of these companies prepare dispute letters for the consumer to send to the credit bureaus which contain false claims or misstatements of fact.  Their hope, and their gamble, is that the credit bureaus will be unable to verify the disputed items, and that they will fall off the credit report — at least for a while.  However, the account is usually verified and comes back on the report.  Again, these tactics are illegal.

The CROA prohibits these companies from:

•    making any statement which is untrue or misleading to any consumer reporting agency or credit bureau.

•    making any statement with the intended effect of altering the consumer’s credit record, history or rating for the purpose of concealing adverse information that is accurate and not obsolete to a credit bureau.

•    charging a fee or receiving any money for the performance of any service until the service is fully performed.

Credit Repair Companies Required to Give Notices of Prohibited Acts.

The CROA requires that the consumer be given certain disclosures, including what the company is prohibited from doing.  But, since they are not complying with any other aspect of the law, they typically do not give the disclosures either.  Again, this is illegal.

Accurate, Current, and Verifiable Credit Information Cannot be Removed from your credit report – legally!

Despite the promises, if the information on your credit report is accurate, current (generally meaning less than 7 years old, or 10 years for bankruptcy), and verifiable, then it cannot be legally removed.  To tell you otherwise, is a lie.  And, it is illegal to do so.

These organizations are also prohibited from advising a consumer to alter their identity to conceal adverse information that is accurate and not obsolete to any credit bureau, or to any lender.

Have you been Taken by a Credit Repair Company?

The CROA provides remedies for those consumers who have fallen prey to the false promises of a credit repair organization. Consumers are entitled to get their money back, recover any damages suffered, and have their court costs and lawyer’s fees paid.

If you are an Arizona consumer and think you have been a victim of credit repair fraud, please call Floyd W. Bybee at BYBEE LAW CENTER, PLC, (480) 756-8822. We offer free consultations for these types of cases.