You're up late at night listening to the radio, surfing the internet or watching TV when you're bombarded with an over the top credit repair commercial promising to fix all of your credit problems if you would only hire their company. But before you pick up the phone to call the so-called credit repair "gurus" arm yourself credit repair scam list:
You know that the credit repair "service" is a scam when:
- They want you to pay them instead of your creditors. Before the recently passed Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair companies could charge upfront fees for their "services." But now it is illegal for a credit repair company to charge debtors upfront fees to help them "clean-up" their credit reports. But be warned, some credit repair companies are still trying to charge upfront fees.
- The credit repair company guarantees that they can remove all negative marks on your credit report even if it is true. Any credit repair company that promises this is not to be trusted. Credit reporting agencies are not required to remove accurate information just because it is negative. However, they are required to remove negative information after 7 to 10 years. For example a delinquent credit card account may be removed from your credit report after 7 years while a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be removed at 10 years.
- The credit repair company suggests that you create a new identity and therefore a new credit history. This type of system manipulation is not only illegal but it is ineffective. The debtor will still owe any outstanding debts and they can and probably will still be sued by their creditors. Only bankruptcy has the power to give you an opportunity to build a new credit history by wiping out your obligation to pay old debts and protecting your future income from old creditors.
Please do not waste your time, money and energy with credit repair companies that offer much and deliver little. If you're drowning in debt, take the time to meet with a bankruptcy attorney, so that he/she can help you determine whether bankruptcy is a good option for you.