How To Win A Credit Card Lawsuit

You are probably here because you have been served with a credit card debt summons. If that is the case, you are at the right spot! Our site is specifically designed for anyone who  has received a  summons from either a junk debt buyer or an aggressive credit card company.  We provide you with free information used by thousands to win real credit card lawsuits, and get debt litigation cases dismissed! The most important thing you can do right now: Answer Your Summons!

If you do not answer your summons, you will lose.  Period.  Below are the steps necessary to answer your summons.  We, first, provide you with a quick summary, and then go further in depth. How To Answer Your Credit Card Summons
    1.  Review Summons Carefully 2.  File Notice to Appear 3.  File a Motion to Dismiss (if applicable) 4.  Send Discovery documents 5.  File a Motion to Strike the Affidavit of Debt
Here’s an in depth look at each individual step and what answering a summons entails: 1.  Review Summons Carefully Upon being served a credit card lawsuit, review the entire summons packet and pay close attention to all the information. Here are some things to look for:
      1. Is it the original creditor filing the complaint?
      2. Locate the Copy of Assignment: their legal right to sue you
      3. Do the third party collectors have legal claims to debt?
      4. When does the court expect a response?

2.  File A Notice to Appear It is critical that you answer your summons by filing a notice to appear by the date stated.  Failure to show up in court will result in an automatic judgment for your creditor. To file your notice to appear you must:
      1. Tell the court that you plan to attend court and defend your lawsuit
      2. Attach your Certificate of Service with every document
      3. Send one copy to creditor & keep one for yourself
3.  File A Motion to Dismiss (if applicable) If you have reason to believe that the creditor does not have a legal right to sue you, you may file a motion to dismiss. When filing a motion to dismiss you must:
      1. Check your state’s statute of limitations
      2. Cite the statutes if debt is considered too old by your court
      3. Clearly state your reason(s) for dismissal
      4. Find out if your local court requires a memorandum or affidavit with the motion

4.  Send Discovery Documents Request to Creditor The Discovery phase allows each party to obtain evidence from the opposing party before going to trial. Discovery documents include: Interrogatories, RFA and Request for Documents. Determine which pieces of information the creditor has that you need and create discovery requests to obtain them. The Creditor must have documented proof of your debt so force them to show evidence. This is where many cases are won by the Defendant.
      1. Place a request for Interrogatories, Request for Admissions & Request for Documents
      2. Answer the questions and fill out forms accordingly
      3. Send Discovery via certified mail to Plaintiff and Court Clerk by the deadline (within 30 days)

5.  File a Motion to Strike the Affidavit of Debt An affidavit of debt is a sworn statement from the collection agency stating that they are aware of the methods of record keeping at the original creditor concerning the debt in question. This is how they certify that the information in the complaint is true, but oftentimes the creditor’s affidavit of debt is fraudulent and you must file a motion to strike.
      1. These affidavits of debt are usually fraudulent or contain false evidence
      2. A motion to strike this evidence must be filed to get the evidence thrown out of court
      3. If you don’t object to this affidavit the court will assume the debt is valid
Why Is It Important to Answer Your Summons? Here is what happens if you DO answer:
    If a court summons is answered the correct way it is highly likely that the collection agency will drop the case or it will be dismissed because collection agencies don’t want to deal with people who know their rights, challenge them and actually know what they are doing. Third party collectors rarely have the necessary evidence and will either drop the case and give up or the case will be thrown out due to lack of proof.
Here is what happens if you DO NOT answer:
    If the Defendant fails to respond to their debt summons he or she will automatically lose by default judgment. Ignoring the summons or answering too late results in a default judgment, and the creditor walks away with even more of the consumer’s money than necessary. The collection agency that is suing expects the consumer to do one of two things: (1) Call and settle the case, or (2) Ignore the summons.
If a consumer does either of the two things, he is sure to lose by default judgment! This judgment will then be used to legally freeze the consumer’s bank accounts and garnish their wages. By calling the collection agency a consumer is practically admitting to owing the money, which is something that can be used against them in court. This is the first mistake many people make. Do not call the collection agency. Avoiding default judgment requires answering the summons and listing all affirmative defenses. These affirmative defenses are explained further on our site. Most Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Credit Card Debt Lawsuits Do I need an attorney to defend myself against creditors? No! You can successful defend yourself against debt collectors and creditors without having to pay an attorney. For step-by-step help try using the Defendant’s Package. How do I answer a summons for credit card debt? File a notice to appear with the Court. Go over all court rules and find out deadline to respond to summons. Send Discovery documents (Interrogatories, RFA &RFD) certified mail to Plaintiff & Court Clerk within 30 days. For more information on How To Answer a Summons click here Where can I find sample answer to summons? Sample answers to summons can be found right here on this website. For even more examples of answers that have been used to win debt lawsuits get The Defendant’s Package. How do I file a motion to dismiss? Review the lawsuit & court rules. Check your state’s statute of limitations laws online. Obtain the necessary forms from the Court Clerk. Clearly state reasons for dismissal, present your argument & facts of the case. Submit the form to Court, send a copy to creditor and keep a copy. What Creditors Must Prove To Beat You in Court The following items must be proven to the Court in order for Debt Collectors to win the case:
  • Name of the company or original creditor If they cannot prove that they actually own this debt and can sue you, you win!
  • Proof of assignment If the debt buyer cannot prove it has a valid chain of assignment back to the original creditor, you win!
  • Signed documents/contract If they cannot prove that you owe the original creditor the stated dollar amount you win!
  • Credit Card statements showing how they came up with the amount Defendant is being sued for If the debt buyer doesn’t have evidence of this credit card account, there is reason for dismissal! Make them prove it down to the last penny by providing such documents.
The Plaintiff must show that they are listed as the Assignee of the bank you originally opened your credit card with, otherwise, you win! If the creditor’s attorney cannot prove any of this to the Defendant, they cannot prove it in court, and will lose the case.

Protect Money from Bank Seizures

Is my money safe? This is a common question leading many to analyze whether to keep their checking or savings account with the bank that also provides their credit card. There are definite advantages to having the accounts linked, the ease of simple online payments being one of them. At the same time, promises of appealing rewards in return for our loyalty to their products persuade us that keeping everything in one place is a good idea. And yes, it can be… up to a point.

Banks have their own interests firmly in mind when they encourage you to use all of their services. For you, the risks of having the accounts so closely linked become greater if you start to have financial problems. For example, if you start to have difficulty paying your credit card bill, your bank can take control of every other account you have with them and the money stored within them.

Despite the fact that banks are not legally permitted to freeze your checking or savings account when you default on your credit card payments, it is not uncommon for rules to be broken or manipulated in such circumstances. After failing to pay their credit card bill, customers have found that their checking account has been mysteriously frozen and funds taken without permission.

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to experience this, you do have the legal right to sue the bank for unlawfully freezing your accounts. Still, this route is a long and difficult one. A more desirable and simpler course would be to avoid this scenario completely. How? Move your money!


Where do I move my money?

In order to reduce the risks mentioned above, it’s important not to move your money to an account linked to your social security number. An easy option is to open an LLC or small business account as these are registered using a unique tax identification number and not your social security number.

It’s important to note that it would be prudent to choose a different bank to the one that supplied your credit card. Although this new business account is not linked to your social security number, it will have your name associated with it. This may lead to problems when it comes to any credit card debt you may have. Therefore, it would be best to create the new business account with a completely separate bank.

A second option is to move your money to a friend or relative’s bank account. Needless to say, the person you chose should be a trusted associate and someone unlikely to take advantage of your situation. If you choose this option, it can present some inconveniences such as dependance on another person, and not being able to sign checks or have an ATM card.

Alternatively, some consumers have found that putting their money in a trust has worked effectively. Setting up and moving money to a trust may be slightly more complicated than the other options mentioned but it might be worth investigating all the same. Ultimately, as long as your money is in an account that doesn’t have your social security number attached to it, it is much safer.

In summary, if you are fighting credit card debt with a bank that also provides your checking and savings account, it’s vital to move your money without delay. Wherever you choose to move your money, make sure it is to an account that is not associated with your social security number. This could be 1) a business account, 2) a trusted friend or relative’s account or, 3) a trust fund. Choose the best option for you personally, but be sure not to leave your money with the bank seeking to collect your credit card debt.

Don’t get complacent. If you think there’s no real risk, think again. The banks have rights and they’re not afraid to use them!


Right to “Set-off”

The reason this is so urgent is because banks will pursue that debt until they collect in full. According to the law, they are permitted to collect the debt amount from any other account you hold with them. This is called their right to “set-off” accounts; it’s their right to pay off your debts with money from your other accounts in their bank.

You may find something in the small print that explains:

The Bank may, without notice, set off a debit balance on an account against any account with a credit balance or held by the same account holder.

They can and they will do this ‘without notice’ and without a second thought.

To illustrate the gravity of the situation, imagine the scenario: you have done your banking with the Bank of America for 15 years. You have an active checking account and you have built up a good reputation and relationship with the bank. During this period, you were also issued with a credit card with a credit limit of $30,000, which you promptly pay off each month. Also with the Bank of America, you opened a savings account for your kid’s college fund and over the years you have painstakingly saved $35,000. Things are going pretty well and your family feel secure. That is until you get into a bad accident.

The resulting medical bills are immense and you use your credit card to pay them. On top of that, during your lengthy recovery, you’re unable to work. It soon becomes clear that there’s no way you can keep up with the monthly credit card repayments and you begin to default. After the Bank of America fail to collect the debt routinely, they see that the money is actually sitting in your savings account; they use their right to set-off your accounts, taking the money from your savings account and wiping out your kid’s college fund.

Can you imagine how devastating that would be?

Banks have no interest in your personal mitigating circumstances. They are not concerned about what state they leave your family in. They want your money and if it’s sitting right there in their bank, they will take it.

However, the right to set-off accounts is only applicable when all of the accounts are maintained by the same establishment. So, the risk of this happening can be easily avoided by moving your money out of the bank that provided your credit card, especially if you are disputing unpaid debt. Protect yourself, and your future by transferring your money to a different account. Act quickly and get one step ahead of your bank, who could at any moment exercise their right to collect your hard-earned money from your other accounts.



Common Credit Card Debt Collection Methods to Be Mindful Of

debt

You may think that it’s just an empty warning, but the fact remains that credit card companies and debt collection agencies that often presuppose old debt, can and will, prosecute you for amounts outstanding. In fact, they aren’t lawfully allowed to intimidate a lawsuit if they do not plan to go through with it.

It is important to be aware that lawsuits aren’t the only collection methods that lenders have at their disposal. A systematic understanding of all of their strategies is indispensable to lessen the downbeat consequences that can erupt from borrowing greater than you can manage to pay back.

Here are some of the most common credit card debt collection methods that you, as borrowers or defendants, must be mindful of:


Coarse Correspondence

In this method, the credit card misdeed will begin a few rounds of warnings and noticed against you. You will be recurrently made aware about the missed payments and requests for payments will be made. Also, you will be acknowledged about legal consequences of not doing as stated by the creditor and debt collection agencies in the coarse correspondence.


Limit Deduction and Account Deactivation

The creditors may prevent you from continuing to use your account to mitigate the risk of further non-payments and clout inconvenience to garner money from you. Even though you might not be refrained from using the account completely, the debt collection agency might reduce your total limit to or below the current balance.


Threats

As your debt situation starts taking a worse route, the danger of a lawsuit, cleaned out credit, and unremitting phone calls will be rampant. There might be threats – regardless of whether you are dealing with a debt collection agency or your creditor. It’s important to note that some of the tactics may not be within the woman in thoughtparameters of the law; hence, it is essential you know your rights as a debtor.


Lawsuits

When the association between an indebted person and a creditor devolves to the point where legal action is the only way to obtain the credit card balance or compel payment for amounts owed, you shouldn’t think twice before expecting that this is what you’re going to get served with.

Stuck with a credit card debt lawsuit? Find answers to all your debt related queries at HowToWinACreditCardLawsuit.net or read what our clients have to say!



Exploring the Dynamics of Credit Card Lawsuits

When a credit card debt collector threatens a lawsuit, you are legitimately on notice.

The judgment, if not in your favor, can lead to wage garnishment, asset repossession, and liability for the full balance in query.

Listed below are some dynamics of credit card lawsuits that you must explore and be aware of:


You MAY Get Served

When a credit card lawsuit if filed against you, the creditor or the debt collection agency will notify you of the claim, along with the date, on which you must present before the judge in court. How you get notified of this varies from state to state. However, most commonly, you may receive a certified mail.


The Day in Court

Even if you are extremely sure of the fact that you owe a certain amount, showing up in the court is indispensable as it can improve your chances of winning. The creditors and debt collection agencies usually benefit from the defendant not showing up in the court as it leads to default judgment.

Moreover, by appearing in the court, you can question the plaintiff to provide solid evidence and supporting documents. In some cases, they may lack this. That’s particularly true if your credit card company trades off your debt contract to a debt collection agency. This is because the stipulations of such sales often liberate creditors from having to provide evidence for the authenticity of their reports. Devoid of proof, a debt collector will never be able to win over you.


Court Judgments

There are different ways that courts can give out a verdict on a credit card debt lawsuit.

They can discharge the case upon finding out that you are indebted less than the amount challenged. Moreover, the judges can rule in the plaintiff’s favor and demand imbursement of the total balance. All in all, the decision that is eventually attained in your case will depend on your existence in court and the substantiation in opposition to you.

If you have been served with a summons and complaint lately and want to beat LVNV in court, we have some of the finest lawsuit defense strategies at your service. Buy our Defendant’s Package or learn more about our Discovery Package to trigger your chances of success.



Here’s How You Can Liberate Yourself From Credit Card Debt

credit card statement

For Americans, credit card debt is now a new source of oppression. According to the NerdWallet survey, the average U.S. household with debt carries $15,355 in credit card debt and $129,579 in total debt! That’s a staggering statistic.

Credit card debt is truly a major financial obstacle that ties people down. Nonetheless, the subjugation goes down further when you are served with a summons and complaint.

To avoid this situation, you will need to liberate yourself from the credit card debt. Here are some useful tips that can assist you in overcoming this unsecured debt:


1. Give Your Budget a Complete Overhaul

While staying committed to the idea of paying off your credit card bills every month, you should also be mindful of your expenditures and find ways of cutting back on them. Closely examine your monthly budget and try to reduce or completely eliminate the unnecessary expenses such as dine outs, entertainment, unutilized gym memberships etc. By following this routinely, you will be able to create a whole new spending plan to incorporate additional debt payments. Don’t give up on keeping track of your budget and expenditures to ensure you continue to follow it.


2. Bid Adieu to Minimums

If you have always been only paying minimum dues, it’s high time that you step up your game. There are certain credit card companies that require you to pay only 1-3% of your total bill every month, including interest and fees. If you continue to stick to this repayment plan, you won’t be able to pay off the credit card debt even after years. While you may not be able to make full payments initially, try to pay double or triple of the minimum due every month to do away with the debt faster.



Credit Card Lawsuit Preparation Worksheet

It is important to carefully go through your Complaint before responding to a credit card lawsuit. This involves identifying and copying all relevant information including plaintiff name, case number, jurisdiction, etc. Accurately recording this information is critical because inaccurate details may lead to a default judgment against you on technical grounds.

The best way to keep track of all the relevant information you will need to responds to your lawsuit is to create a worksheet. The worksheet functions as a comprehensive document you can refer to when preparing your Summons Answer, Notice of Appearance, Certificate of Service and other legal documents.

The bulk of the information needed to complete the worksheet is located on the Complaint. However, you may need to refer to other documents to get all the information you’ll need.

Start preparing your debt lawsuit defense now, and print-out the worksheet below:

Download (PDF, 232KB)




Signs That You Are Entering Into the Credit Card Debt Hole

Your credit card debt can go way overboard if you don’t keep an eye out for it. Regardless of all your positive intentions, minor over-the-budget purchases can turn your credit card bill into a hefty debt. Not just middle-aged, but college students are also partaking in credit card overindulgence.

If your credit card debts are going out of hand, it’s time to take control. For this, you need to devise a plan as to how you will go about preventing yourself from plunging deeper into the credit card debt hole.

The first step to it is identifying signs that you are gradually entering into this dungeon. If you are thinking of the probable signs, some of them are provided to you below:


Sign#1 – You’re constantly In A Denial


If you have been neglecting your bills lately and dodging phone calls from unknown numbers, it’s a clear sign that it is credit card debt that you’re trying to thwart. Another significant clue is that you constantly refrain from discussing your finances with your spouse.

The most important thing that you must understand is that ignoring or denying the debt will only aggravate your debt situation. The more you let go of your monthly credit card bills, the more interest and late payment penalties you will accrue. One of the first things that you need to do is closely evaluate your credit card bill, prioritize each item, and try to pay the minimums of the ones with the highest interest rate.


Sign#2 – You Have Vague Repayment Deadlines


People tend to procrastinate when it comes to the payment of their credit card bills. Having a specific pay off date in mind is beneficial for multiple reasons. Not only does it push you to put in your time and resources to achieve a deadline, but also gives you a sense of joy that by ‘this’ date, the stress of debt will be alleviated. Moreover, if the expected date seems to be too far, you can always re-evaluate your income and expenses to pay down the debt faster.


smoking credit card

Sign#3 – You Jump from Balance Transfers to Balance Transfers


It is surely a good idea to transfer your credit card balance to a credit card company that offers 0% APRs to pay off debts faster and reduce the interest burden. However, if you keep shifting without doing any good to your credit card debt, you are definitely stuck in a hamster wheel. Move ahead of this and make maximum progress by making a plan to knock out the credit card debt before the 0% interest period finishes.

Thinking about how to win a credit card lawsuit? You have hit the right spot. Learn about some tried and tested lawsuit defense strategies and examples of summons to make the perfect move.



3 Worst Credit Card Information Data Breaches of All Times!

If you are someone who stays on top of the latest news, you may have heard about the infamous Target data breach, where millions of customers’ credit card numbers and other personal details were misused by cybercriminals.

If you think that’s the worst form of data breach in history, here are the 3 worst credit card information breaches that took place lately:


1. Heartland Payment Systems: 130 Million Records Compromised


In the beginning of the year 2009, the New Jersey based company, announced the largest data breach to have affected an American company. This incidence of breach led to the exposure of around 130 million credit and debit cards information to cybercriminals.

Resulting from a malware that was planted onto the Heartland Payment Systems’ network, information was recorded from over 250,000 retailers across the country.

However, in year 2010, Albert Gonzalez was convicted of this crime and was sentenced to jail for a period of two decades. This is the longest sentence period ever laid down for computer crime in the U.S court of law.


2. Sony Online Entertainment Services: 102 Million Records Compromised


In April 2011, some cyber attackers attacked the PlayStation Network that is interconnected with Sony’s home gaming consoles as well as Sony Online Entertainment. At first, Sony revealed that only some personal information of around 78 million PlayStation Network users had been compromised and exposed such as names, login information, phone numbers and contact addresses.

However, only later, it was revealed the number of accounts compromised has risen by 24.6 million and also the fact that the hackers had penetrated SOE and Qriocity. Moreover, the credit card information of around 23,400 SOE users in Europe had been stolen. Upon this calamity, the PlayStation Network went into the dark for at least a period of 3 weeks. In 2011, the cleanup costs that Sony encountered, in addition to 65 class-action lawsuits, was a whopping $171 million.


3. Home Depot: 56 Million Payment Cards Compromised


Not very long ago, in September 2014, Home Depot admitted to something they had been suspecting for more than a few weeks. Since April-May 2014, ‘carders’ infected Home Depot’s point-of-sale systems in stores across the U.S and Canada with a virus that pretended to be an anti-virus.

In reality, this malware was stealing customers’ credit and debit card information. This is probably one of the largest payment card thefts because the direct attack was made on the retailer. Luckily, this mishap didn’t affect Home Depot as badly as the Target data breach incident which left the customers howling.

Think you’re being sued for a debt you don’t remember taking? Benefit from our lawsuit defense strategies, court documents, and The Defendant’s Package to beat credit card lawsuits.



How to Protect your Income against Credit Card Company Wage Garnishment

This article outlines how credit card companies and junk debt buyers use the courts to garnish your wages to pay back a judgment against you, as well as, provide tips and strategies you can take to protect yourself from this occurring. Wage garnishment can be a financially devastating, so its very important to learn everything possible to protect you and your finally.


How Wage Garnishment Works?

Wage garnishment allows a debtor to take funds directly from your paycheck to pay back a debt. In order to garnish your wages, a creditor must first file a lawsuit and obtain a judgment. Most times, credit card companies are granted summary judgments because debtors never appeared in court to defend themselves. Don’t let this happen to you!

Once a creditor has a judgment, it can petition the court to move forward with sending wage garnishment documents to your employer. Your employer will have 7 days to comply with the garnishment order, and start withholding a portion of your paycheck to send directly to the credit card company until the debt is paid off. The amount of the garnishment is dictated by the state courts and federal law.


How do I protect my paycheck from garnishment?

The best way to protect your income from garnishment is to prevent a creditor from getting a judgment against you in the first place. You can achieve this by defending your lawsuit if you believe you do not owe funds, or the very old debt and possibly past the statue of limitations for collection. Settling with your creditor is another option Lastly, check federal and laws in the state where you live to see what type of income is exempt from garnishment.


Defend Lawsuit

If you receive a court summons regarding lawsuit due to a past credit card debt, you must defend it. If you stick your head in the sand, the credit card company will get a summary judgment, and may move forward with wage garnishment. Our website provides a great deal of information you can use to defend your credit card lawsuit. This includes information on how to answer your summons add use appropriate affirmative defenses. If you need comprehensive, step-by-step help than The Defendant Package would be good place to start.


Settle the Debt

Some credit card companies are more willing to settle the debt than undertaking a lengthy trial to garnish your wages. However, debt settlement or consent judgment may help you avoid a lawsuit and wage garnishment. This is how most credit card lawsuits are settled.

A debtor may enter into a settlement agreement with the creditor at any time prior to a final ruling. Under settlement agreement, the debtor may undertake to pay a certain sum of money if the creditor agrees to dismiss the case or negotiate for the judgment order (also called consent judgment).

Creditors usually prefer consent judgments because it maintains their right to use the additional collection methods if the debtor does not pay as per the agreement.


State Exemptions

Certain states, including Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina, prohibit wage garnishment for debts owed to creditors. Besides this, some states also allow you to protect a portion of your wages. However, when you receive a wage garnishment notice, you should check the local laws to know if you can reduce the amount being garnished. If you are eligible for exemption, you may file a declaring in the court. With this said, it’s always a good idea to check your state rules if you receive a garnishment noticed.


Declare Exempt Income

There are certain incomes that are protected by garnishment by either state or federal laws. The following types of income listed are usually protected, and can not be taken to satisfy a credit card debt.

  • Social Security disability and retirement benefits (unless you owe child support or, federal student loans, or a federal tax debt)
  • SSI benefits
  • State Welfare benefits
  • State Disability benefits
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • VA benefits (with some exceptions for money you owe the government or for support)
  • Student Loans
  • Child Support you receive

If you have income from one or more of the sources listed above, you should notify the court. The best way to do this is to file a Declaration of Defendant Income and Assets Exempt from Garnishment. This is typically filed after a judgment but prior to any subsequent garnishment order.


Below is a template you use to creation your Exempt Declaration


Download (PDF, 279KB)




Protect Bank Account

With a judgment in hand, a credit card company or junk debt buyer may have the right to garnish your bank account! With that in mind, do not put any money a bank account if at all possible. Even though in most cases $500 in a bank account is exempt from garnishment if you have less than $1,500 in cash, the bank may freeze your account anyway if the creditor claims you actually have more than $1,500 total. This can result in a avalanche effect of bounced checks, overdraft fees, and other bank charges.

Note that most pensions are exempt from garnishment even after they are sent to you. But some are not. Avoid having pension checks direct deposited into a bank account, if possible.

This article touches on the steps you can take to protect your income and assets from garnishment. But what if it’s too late? How do you fight back against a credit card company that has already garnished your wages and back account? In the next articles,we will discuss actions you can take to protect your bank account and other assets once a garnishment order has already gone into effect.



How to Repair Credit after a Credit Card Lawsuit Part 2

This is the 2nd part of a 2-article series focus on improving credit score after a devastating credit card lawsuit. The first three steps in the previous article touched on how to obtain a free credit report, and the steps needed to identify inaccurate information that may hurt your credit score. This article provides the information needed to report dispute inaccuracies, and tips to get your credit clean.


STEP 4: Report inaccurate information to reporting agencies

If you have found incorrect information or duplicates on your report, you have the right to dispute that information. This is the most important thing you can do to repair your credit. Federal law places the burden of proof of reporting accuracy on reporting agencies. If they cannot find evidence to support negative items on your credit report, they must remove such items. You can contact the report agency by online, phone or mail.


Credit Dispute Preparation

The first thing you need to do when changeling items on your credit report is to identify and collect all the information the reporting agency will request from you. This information you need to have on-hand prior to contacting the reporting agencies. This include personal information that verifies your identify, and details on disputed items that helps the agency reference the proper negative item on your report.

Please have the following ready in preparation of your dispute:

  • Your full name including middle initial (and generation such as JR, SR, II, III)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your Social Security number (if you have never been issued a social security number, please note that in your request)
  • All addresses where you have lived during the past two years
  • One copy of a government issued identification card, such as a driver’s license or state ID card, etc. (if disputing by mail)
  • One copy of a utility bill, bank or insurance statement, etc. (if disputing by mail)
  • List each item on your report that you believe is inaccurate, the account number and the specific reason you feel the information is incorrect.

Download (PDF, 151KB)


Once you have gathered all the necessary information, you are ready to contact the report agency to report you dispute. This can be done either by telephone, mail or online. We strongly suggest you use the web forms on reporting agencies website, as this will allow you to track the status of your dispute. We strongly suggest you file your dispute online!

File Dispute Online (Recommended)

The main credit reporting agencies now enable disputes to be filed online and this is quickest and most convenient way to do this. Fill-in the online forms and submit your dispute with as many details as possible. In some cases, you will be able to upload copies of receipts, payments, and statements to support your dispute.

The dispute web addresses for the 3 main reporting agencies are listed here:


File Dispute by Mail

If you would rather, you can also file a dispute by mail. The company websites outline instructions if you decide to do it this way.

Mailing Instructions for 3 main reporting agencies are listed here:


File Dispute by Phone:

To file a dispute over the phone, dial the appropriate number below:

  • TransUnion Phone: 800-916-8800
  • Equifax: 866-349-5191
  • Experian Phone: Contact toll-free number listed on credit report

What to expect after you have filed a dispute with reporting agency?

You should hear back regarding the results of the investigation between 30-45 days. In the meantime, you can check your dispute status online. When the credit reporting agency inform you of their decision, they should also send you a copy of your amended report. Be sure to check all of the details again.

If negative items are removed from your report, you can be sure that your credit score will improve. How much it improves depends on what negative items are removed. Some items such as bankruptcy, foreclosure and repossession are more damaging than late payments and credit rejections, although every little bit helps.


Filing Dispute directly with Creditor (Optional)

As an alternative to filing a dispute with a reporting agency, you can file a dispute directly with the creditor who provided the negative information to the reporting agency. This is typically done by sending a letter (see below) via certified mail ‘return receipt’ directly to the creditor using the creditor’s contact information on your credit report.

Your letter should identify each item you dispute, state the facts and explain why you dispute the information, and ask that the information provider take action to have it removed or corrected. You may want to enclose a copy of your report with the item(s) in question circled. Remember to include copies of the applicable enclosures and save copies for your files.


Download (PDF, 171KB)


According to the law, you should be notified when any creditors place negative listings on your credit report. In view of that, you should be aware of everything listed on your report. If your creditor has not notified you about any of the items, you should contact the creditor requesting its removal, citing their violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.


Step 5. Stay Persistent!

Try, try again. Staying persistent is the key to get negative items removed from your credit report. If you have not heard back from the reporting agencies in 30-45 days after you request for removal, or your credit report is still showing erroneous information, contact them again! Reporting agencies are typically very good at responding, but it’s not unusual to have to make multiple attempts to have information corrected.


Step 6: Keep it clean!

Whether or not you manage to remove some damaging information from your credit report, one thing everyone can do to repair their credit report is to make sure no new negative items are added to it from now on.

To do this, make sure you:

  • Pay all bills on time.
  • Keep credit card balances low.
  • Open accounts and apply for credit only when absolutely necessary. Each credit inquiry will be listed on your report and high numbers of inquiries can affect your score.

Also, subscribing to a 3 in 1 credit monitoring service such as truecredit.com allows you to keep an active eye on your score, and identify any problems quickly. The service allows you to update and review your credit score every 24 hours, so you’re always up to date.

If you can keep on top of your finances from now on, gradually your credit will repair itself. Remember to check your credit report each year and follow these steps to keep your credit in good shape.



How to Repair Credit after a Credit Card Lawsuit Part 1

This article is the first of a 2 part series focused on credit repair strategies. More specifically, the goal of these articles is to provide you with the information needed to rebuild credit after credit card lawsuit judgment, or other catastrophic credit event. This series include tips and simple step-by-step instructions on how get a free copy of your credit report, challenge negative entries, and keep your credit clean. With time, you will definitely see a significant boost in your credit score.

Credit Repair Strategy


STEP 1: Order your free credit report

Federal law allows consumers to receive a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months.

You can order a free report from all three main credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion by doing one of the following:

  • Online – Visit www.annualcreditreport.com
  • Phone- Central Distribution Number at 1-877-322-8228
  • Mail – Complete Annual Credit Report Request Form(see below)

send to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281


STEP 2: Carefully read and analyze your report.

One you get your reports from the 3 credit reporting agencies, be sure to examine your closely to identify any potential inaccuracies. Studies have shown that the vast majority of credit report contains errors. These inaccuracies may pull down your credit score.

Each reporting agency differs in the way they present the information but all three will include details regarding:

  • Personal information (full name, address, employment, social security number etc.)
  • Account details and status (types of accounts held, credit limits, paid or past due etc.)
  • Public records (e.g. bankruptcy)
  • Requests for your credit history (hard and soft inquiries)

The report should also include a key or explanation section to help you interpret the details. Usually the report includes a summary to give you an outline of your credit status. It also separates the healthy accounts from the negative ones which makes its interpretation a little easier.


STEP 3: Check negative items for accuracy

Closely examining negative entries is very critical step in rebuilding your credit. A number of studies have shown that many credit reports contain false or inaccurate information. These inaccuracies may significantly damage your credit score. As such, you should do the following with all negative entries on your report:

  • Verify that there are no duplicate accounts or items.
  • Check creditors names, dates, and balances are correct.
  • Confirm collections and negative items older than 7 years(10 for bankruptcy) have been removed.

In addition, check that recent payments are properly showing up on your accounts. Keep in mind that it takes time for credit grantors to send the information, and for the reporting agency to update their records. Lastly, make sure that all of the information matches your personal records.

Once you have identified and marked inaccuracies, you are ready for the next step, challenging negative entries on your credit report.


Download (PDF, 211KB)


To request a free credit report by mail, download form and send completed form to the address listed above.

Click here to go to the 2nd article in series.