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A car repossession and many other negative items reported to the credit bureaus stay on credit reports for up to seven years. That's from the original date of the delinquency on the loan. Credit repair can't remove legitimate negative items, including repossessions, from credit reports if they're within the standard timeline.
Yes, credit repair companies can make use of legal protections to repair some issues related to people's credit. That includes asking the credit bureaus to remove inaccurate negative items. Individuals have a legal right to a fair and accurate credit report, and if a company mistakenly reports a payment as late or someone is the victim of fraud, for example, the bureaus have a burden to investigate and remove the inaccurate information.
Simple inaccurate items might be deleted in 30-45 days, as that's how long the credit bureau has to investigate and respond to a dispute letter. If the reporting creditor responds with documentation to support the negative item, individuals might need to disprove that information and the matter can take longer.
Yes, individuals can use many tools a credit repair company uses, including credit dispute letters. But this involves a lot of research and administrative work that credit repair pros are equipped to handle quickly and efficiently. They can also pursue these disputes more aggressively than you may be able to yourself, as you might be attending to other obligations, such as family and work.
Yes, a credit repair company may be able to get a charge off removed from a credit report. The credit repair company has to prove the charge off is inaccurate. An example of how a charge off might be inaccurate is a situation in which payments were made when the transfer of the debt to a new company was illegal under the contract.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stay on someone's credit report for up to 10 years from the original petition date. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stay on someone's credit report for up to 7 years from the original petition date. Credit repair companies may be able to dispute a bankruptcy reported on someone's credit history if it's not their bankruptcy or if it's appearing outside of the date range stated above.
Inaccurate reports about late payments are, in many cases, one of the easier things to get removed. An individual can send a letter to the credit bureau in question with a copy of a statement or canceled check showing that they made the payment on time. That may be enough for the item to be removed. If the payment was made on time but wasn't appropriately recorded by the creditor, you may need professional help from a credit repair expert to address the issue.
Yes, credit repair is legal. In fact, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, people have a right to an accurate credit report. Companies that legitimately help achieve this are simply supporting those rights with experience and professional guidance. That being said, there are companies that run credit repair scams. Companies that ask for large payments up front or guarantee a clean credit report or improved credit score may not be legitimate. It's illegal for a credit repair company to make a guarantee.
Repairing credit following identity theft can be complex. Here are some important steps to follow in addition to hiring professional help.