Where can I get my credit report and how much will it cost?

Good news!  It’s free!  But don’t go anywhere that say “free credit report” and expect a free report with no strings attached.  The proper place to go is annualcreditreport.com.  This is the site that the credit reporting agencies were forced to set up by law so that you as a citizen can get your own credit report free of charge.

This is a great idea I believe as this information is crucial to you and determines how much you will pay for credit.  You have a right to see this information about yourself without paying a fee for it and you cannot suffer any change in your credit score for looking up our own credit.  This is important because when you attempt to get credit your score is lowered every time a creditor checks your score.  Those who passed this law wanted to make sure that this did not happen to people checking their own scores.

On annualcreditreport.com you will get to choose which credit reporting agency you want to go to.  The three agencies are Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.  You get one report from each agency each year.  You could therefore check your credit for free every four months from one of these agencies.  Checking the credit will show you if you have any mistakes on your credit.  You will not be able to see your credit score for free but you will see which creditors are listed and what the amount of the debts are to see if there are any mistakes.

This is especially important after a bankruptcy to see if these debts are being reported correctly as “discharged in bankruptcy”.  If you did not do a bankruptcy then you still would want to check the accuracy of the information listed there.  If you find any mistakes then you can challenge them with the credit reporting agencies.  Just go to their sites and the will have phone numbers, addresses, and e-mail for you to send the challenges.

Don’t be afraid to do this as this information is extremely important to you.  Most credit reports have inaccuracies on them so go ahead and check and correct them.

I am a bankruptcy attorney in San Diego, CA.  Please visit my websites at www.farquharlaw.com and www.freshstartsandiego.com. .  If you are considering bankruptcy then get my Free e-book; “13 Things You Should Do T o Prepare For Your Bankruptcy Filing” by e-mailing me at farquharesq@yahoo.com.

How to re-build your credit score after bankruptcy! New strategy!

I heard a program on the radio the other day that was talking about how to improve your credit score in general so I listened.  The announcer said some of the things that I have been telling my clients with some differences.

First of all he said that you must have credit cards.  Many of my clients say that they will never use credit cards again after the bankruptcy and that is absolutely wrong.  You must have credit and use credit if you are ever to improve your credit score.  Your credit score is determined by the three credit scoring agencies who look at your financial activities for the month to determine if your score should go up or down.  These three reporting/scoring agencies are Equifax, Transunion, and Experian.

It is important to remember that you must get over the aversion you have to credit cards after a bankruptcy.  You must begin to use them wisely so they can help you and build your credit score instead of tear it down. Don’t be afraid to use them and use them wisely.  They will help you rebuild your credit score.  Don’t allow emotion to enter the equation.  You can use them to your advantage if your smart and diligent.

I was telling people to have two credit cards and this announcer said to use at least three credit cards to improve your score but we both agreed that having both credit cards and using them regularly were essential to get a maximum credit score.

He said that he paid bills with his cards and that he had around five cards each used to pay a different bill.  One was for the cable bill, one for the utility bill, one for the water bill, and others for other bills.  He would pay the bills with the cards and then pay the credit card balance in full each month.  I believe that this is a good idea.  You will therefore carry no balances and pay no interest on your credit cards.  You will though be using the credit cards to rebuild your credit score.

This kind of activity is apparently what the credit reporting agencies are looking for.  It does you no good to have cards sitting there unused.  You need to show activity and a payoff each month to slowly but steadily build your score.  And remember that multiple cards (excess of three) will build the score the fastest.

The last thing is to keep your balances low.  Never exceed 30% of the available credit on your card.  So if you have a $500 limit only charge$150 and if it’s a $1000 limit then only use $300.  Traditionally people have advised not to exceed 50% of your available credit but now 30% seems to be the better number so I’m sticking with that.

After a bankruptcy you will be deluged with credit card offers so if you file one then be prepared to use these to build your credit score.

I am a bankruptcy lawyer practicing bankruptcy law in San Diego CA.  For more information please visit my websites at www.farquharlaw.com or www.freshstartsandiego.com.  Or call may office to speak to an attorney for free about bankruptcy or any other debt related issue at (619) 702-5015.  If you or someone you know are considering bankruptcy then get my Free e-book; “13 Things You Should Do To Prepare For Your Bankruptcy Filing” by e-mailing me at farquharesq@yahoo.com.

Has a creditor threatened you with jail if you don’t pay them? FDCPA says this is illegal!

Has a creditor threatened you with jail for non-payment of a monetary debt?  This is most probably illegal according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  Collectors often harass and threaten debtors with all sorts of things that they have no right to threaten.  They will often threaten jailing you if you don’t pay today!  A person just contacted me with this problem and the client was threatened by a creditor to have police show up at their work and arrest them if they did not pay today!  And this creditor did not even file a lawsuit yet!

This is clearly illegal!  With no lawsuit filed there is no judgment and with no judgment no legal right to collect on this debt.  This creditor would have to first obtain this judgment which would give them the right to collect but in California there is no going to jail for owing strictly monetary debts.  And to threaten that police will show up at someone’s work and arrest them when they cannot is a violation of FDCPA section 807(4).

In that section it clearly states that an implication that non-payment will result in arrest or imprisonment unless that action is legal and intended by the party is a violation of this law.  In my client’s case there is no arresting or jailing someone for owning monetary debts so this threat was a violation of the law.  If my client could prove it then we could win damages against this collector.  I told this person to tell the collector that they were recording the call next time and see how fast he hangs up.

Section 807(5) restates this and says that any threat to take any action that is not legal or intended is a violation of the FDCPA.  So this collector violated this section too.  My question is can we get this guy to say this clearly into the microphone so we can replay it for the judge?

So don’t take any crap off of these creditors.  I hate to hear these stories and I answer these e-mails immediately.  We live in a great country where we pride ourselves in our freedom but if these collectors can violate the law with impunity then it threatens all of us.

In a previous blog I discussed how these collectors by far receive the greatest number of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission.  They routinely harass, threaten, bother and annoy people and they are now routinely violating the law I believe.  So know your rights and don’t allow them to bamboozle you.

I am an attorney who practices bankruptcy law in California.  For more information please visit my websites at www.farquharlaw.com or www.freshstartsandiego.com .  Or call my office for a free consultation at (619) 702-5015.  Call now for free credit report and analysis! 

If you or someone you know needs to file bankruptcy please get my FREE E-BOOK; 13 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO PREPARE FOR YOUR BANKRUPTCY FILING” by e-mailing me at: farquharesq@yahoo.com.