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What to embrace
Credit-repair companies that use unethical methods are largely responsible for the common belief among consumers that credit repair is a scam. Consumers and mortgage brokers, however, shouldn't dismiss the industry altogether. There are several companies that truly act as consumer advocates. These businesses practice under the rules of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and aim to provide clients with legitimate and legal assistance.
The FCRA statutes are designed to provide consumers with quick, simple and effective methods to ensure that their credit reports are accurate and to allow them to correct errors. The average consumer, however, is hard-pressed to navigate through the procedural morass of FCRA successfully; it can require many steps to remove an inaccurate item from a credit report. Several of these steps have multiple parts, and others require some expertise in the fields of credit analysis and reporting.
For these reasons, ethical credit-repair professionals are needed.
Trustworthy credit-repair companies use consumer-protection laws to force creditors and credit bureaus to verify debt and negative trade lines. Specifically, the bureaus must prove that everything is 100-percent accurate. If they don't have the documentation or if something is reported incorrectly, then that information must be removed by law.
Good credit-repair companies offer clients a transparent process and work within a specified time limit, such as 60 to 90 days. They use legal procedures to identify negative and unwarranted information and to remove inaccuracies systematically. As negative trade lines disappear, credit scores improve.
Such companies provide more than just dispute letters. They educate clients on how to use credit to their advantage, offering such lessons as paying off small balances on high-limit credit cards and closing cards that aren't used.
Ethical credit-repair organizations also may offer legal advice and debt negotiation. Mortgage brokers should look for companies with an on-site legal staff; this is a good indicator that they abide by laws and regulations. Attorneys also can be beneficial when it comes to debt negotiation and can help clients reduce monthly payments while working to remove existing debt.
By helping clients find ethical ways to improve their credit scores, mortgage brokers can gain ground in a difficult market.
Douglas Muir is
the founder and CEO of Credit Justice Services, which has helped 18,000 consumers improve their credit since 2004. Muir speaks nationally to mortgage, real estate and finance professionals about how to help their clients achieve the credit scores they legally deserve. The response has propelled CJS into 42 states, Puerto Rico, St. Croix and St. Thomas. Visit www.creditjusticeservices.com, e-mail email@example.com or call (866) 380-0067 to learn more about CJS.
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