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Repairing your credit reports is done by following an established and regulated process.
In many ways, credit repair is similar to the process of discovery in a legal proceeding. You are entitled to review the evidence that is being used against you by the collector as the basis for the claim they are making against you (the negative account on your credit report).
The official way that you begin to review the evidence is by first informing the required parties that you do not agree with what they are saying about you by filing a dispute with the credit bureau and a validation request with the collector. This lets the responsible parties know that you are requesting that they perform an investigation into the collection account and then send you the results.
You will also let the collector know that you disagree with what they are claiming by requesting validation of the account. Both the bureaus and the collectors are required by law to respond to your requests and to provide you with certain information in their possession, which you are then entitled to review and rebuke.
In a nutshell, you are entitled to review the information that is being used by other parties (collectors and credit bureaus) to furnish or report negative information about you on your credit reports. This is so that you may know exactly what the basis of their claim is and so that you will be able to respond to their claims and prepare your defense. Sending letters to the credit bureaus, collections agencies, and others is your way of requesting this evidence from them, which they are legally required to provide.
Many times the evidence that they will provide to you will be inconsistent with what is being reported about you on your credit reports. The laws that have been put in place to protect consumers are very clear. If the information being reported is inaccurate, then you have the right to have it removed. Getting collectors and the credit bureaus to honor these laws requires a little research, organization, and the belief that by following a simple plan, you can remove collection accounts from your credit report and really start to make a positive change in you and your family’s financial future.
The first step to winning against collectors is to force them to show their hand early on in the process by requesting validation. Some credit repair companies advise that you should send a dispute to the credit bureaus first, then wait 30 days for their response, and then send a letter to the collector. I recommend a different tactic for the fastest results.
The reason the credit repair companies recommend that you file your dispute with the credit bureaus first and then wait for their response is twofold.
First, the laws previously mandated that you had to file your dispute with the credit bureau and then wait for their response (for 30 days) before proceeding. This is no longer the case. The law allows you to contact collectors or credit bureaus first, greatly speeding up the credit repair process and making DIY removal of collections accounts even easier for the average consumer.
Begin collecting your evidence by sending one dispute letter to each of the bureaus which is reporting the collection account(s) and a debt request validation letter to the collector. Wait and see what you receive within 30 days. Until the collector provides validation, they are not allowed to report the information onto your credit report.