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Amy Lavonne Wells

Amy Wells’s Answers

770 total


  • How long does a repossession stay on your credit?

    I ready that when a vehicle is repossessed that it can only be reported for the MONTH that the vehicle was repossessed in. The article said that it was against the FCRA. Is this true?

    Amy’s Answer

    Here is a link to how long adverse information may remain on your credit report under the FCRA.
    http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/obsolete-CRA-info.jsp;jsessionid=62D771080A7959B21C7FB4C0421A0E6B

    If information is reported about you beyond this time allotted by law, you may have a viable cause of action against the reporting credit bureau(s). In that situation, you should contact a consumer advocate seasoned in FCRA cases.

    All the best to you.

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  • I need a court verdict which states the loan was result of Identity theft.

    Someone use my social security number to take out a school loan in another state.

    Amy’s Answer

    If you are an ID theft victim, I would suggest that you reach out to a consumer attorney to explore your rights. Your circumstances, unfortunately, are not unusual, and an attorney experienced in this area will be able to walk you through the process of reclaiming your good name and restoring your credit standing.

    It sounds like you need legal help. Now.

    Things you will need to do as an initial matter include reporting the ID theft with local law enforcement right away. File a report with your police department and complete an identity theft affidavit. You may also obtain an identity theft affidavit at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/resources/forms/affidavit.pdf.

    For more information on steps you may take to protect your rights, visit http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/id-theft.jsp.

    Additionally, if you have not done so, you should check your consumer credit reports to see the extent of false information is appearing and how wide spread the ID theft is. Often when identity thieves strike, they open multiple fraudulent accounts in their victim’s name. Inaccurate information can affect your access to favorable credit terms, employment, and even insurance. You may obtain a free copy of your credit reports from the three national credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com once per year. If you place a fraud alert on your credit file (which may be advisable in your case, despite some of the drawbacks) you are entitled to two free reports from each bureau per year.

    As to the contacts by the debt collector, you certainly have legal rights to this end as well. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act governs debt collectors and the methods they may utilize to collect a debt. As a general rule, when an ID theft victim, is contacted by a debt collector I would suggest sending a letter to the debt collector (send everything by certified mail, return receipt requested, and keep copies!) explaining that the debt is not attributable to him/her. I would NOT provide information that included your Social Security number or date of birth to the debt collector at this juncture.

    Visit http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/Debt-coll.jsp for additional information and resources about your legal rights related to debt collections.

    I would strongly encourage you to seek the assistance of an attorney familiar with the federal law applicable to credit reporting (the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA) and debt collections (the FDCPA). For an experienced attorney, visit http://naca.net/find-attorney. Or you may contact an attorney listed on avvo.com.

    Many consumer advocates will review your case with you without charge or obligation. And if you are an identity theft victim, many will provide representation on a fee-shifting/contingency basis; so the law is on your side.

    This is the best first step in protecting your legal rights, and understanding the protections available to you under state and federal law. Good luck to you!!

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  • My question refers to the fair credit reporting act section 605-2. I received a judgment against me in 2012 for which i owed

    since 2003. I want to know when the seven year counter starts, is it when it is entered or 180 days after the first missed payment? Thank You.

    Amy’s Answer

    Federal law requires that a judgment be removed from your credit report after the later of seven years from the date of entry of the judgment, or the expiration of the underlying statute of limitations.

    For additional information about how long information may remain on a consumer credit report, visit
    http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/obsolete-CRA-info.jsp

    If the information is not timely removed, contact a consumer advocate for further assistance. You may be entitled to monetary damages if obsolete information is reporting about you.

    All the best.

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  • Can I have a bankruptcy removed early from my credit reports in California?

    Filed in 2008 and had my debt discharged. Just wondering if I can it removed early

    Amy’s Answer

    We hear from many consumers who contact us because of items on their credit report they would like to have removed. Unfortunately, if the information is accurate, the credit reporting agencies and furnishers of the information have no legal obligation to remove it until it becomes obsolete (follow this link to learn when various items must be removed from your credit report under federal law http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/obsolete-CRA-info.jsp;jsessionid=6B2735F10C0C1C64B6555E02FDDBF6D9). Failure of the credit bureaus to remove the information after this period may expose them to liability and entitle you to monetary relief, as well as removal of the outdated information. Additionally, some states have credit reporting laws. I believe California is among them. Consult with an attorney in your state to see if additional protections may be provided to you thereunder entitling you to remover sooner that the time period set forth under the FCRA.

    And we encourage consumers to exercise caution in this area. There are a lot of outfits out there, including attorneys, who proclaim they can “clean up” or repair your credit report. In my experience, many of these outfits employ predatory practices, resulting in consumers throwing good money after bad. For this very reason, there is a federal law called the Credit Repair Organization Act that mandates what such outfits may and may not do; unfortunately, not all of the outfits abide by the law, leaving you in worse position than you began.

    So, at the end of the day, you may ask the furnisher of the information to remove the adverse information about you as a good will gesture, just understand they don’t have to do so. So good payment practices moving forward in order to restore you good name is truly your best bet.

    All the best to you.

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  • I recently seen that a woman sued Equifax for failing to fix errors on her credit report. I been the same problem for 5 years.

    I have been trying to correct the identity mix up with clearing my name from my eldest sisters credit report. Transunion stated that I don't exist and Equifax has me listed under my name with sisters credit file with all of my information on it. ...

    Amy’s Answer

    I suspect you are referring to the Miller v. Equifax matter. And, yes, federal law prohibits inaccurate reporting in situations such as Ms. Miller's, and perhaps yours. More information is needed. Most advocates, including my firm, who handle these types of cases will consult with you without cost or obligation to determine the merits of your particular case.

    It is estimated that one in four consumers has an error on his/her credit report. If the information being reported about you is inaccurate, you absolutely have legal rights. Federal law requires that the credit reporting agency ensure maximum possible accuracy when publishing your information.

    As you know, your credit standing can affect your ability to obtain credit. It can also adversely affect your ability to obtain favorable credit terms and insurance or thwart your efforts when applying for a job or rental.

    Here is some information about steps you can take if your credit report(s) is plagued with inaccurate information. http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/credit-report-errors.jsp

    If you haven’t yet done so, as an initial matter, I would suggest that check your consumer credit reports with each of the nationwide credit reporting agencies that participate in the mandatory annual free credit report (Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union). You may obtain a free copy of your credit reports from these credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.

    If anything is appearing on your reports that is not attributable to you, I would encourage you to seek the assistance of an attorney familiar with the federal law applicable to credit reporting (the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA). Many consumer advocates will review your legal matter without charge or obligation. This is the best first step in protecting your legal rights, and understanding the protections available to you under state and federal law.

    For more information about protecting your rights, like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/myconsumerhelp.com

    Good luck to you!!

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  • Credit score went down because of a late payment on a petty amount. Is there a way to repair it?

    I had to go to India in dec'2012 and I shopped at Macys for $20 a day before the flight and it was put on my Macys credit card. As I was in a hurry, I deferred immediate the payment and left. When I came back after 7 weeks, the payment was overdue...

    Amy’s Answer

    We hear from many consumers who contact us because of items on their credit report they would like to have removed. Unfortunately, if the information is accurate, the credit reporting agencies and furnishers of the information have no legal obligation to remove it until it becomes obsolete (follow this link to learn when various items must be removed from your credit report under federal law http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/obsolete-CRA-info.jsp;jsessionid=6B2735F10C0C1C64B6555E02FDDBF6D9). Failure of the credit bureaus to remove the information after this period may expose them to liability and entitle you to monetary relief, as well as removal of the outdated information.

    And we encourage consumers to exercise caution in this area. There are a lot of outfits out there, including attorneys, who proclaim they can “clean up” or repair your credit report. In my experience, many of these outfits employ predatory practices, resulting in consumers throwing good money after bad. For this very reason, there is a federal law called the Credit Repair Organization Act that mandates what such outfits may and may not do; unfortunately, not all of the outfits abide by the law, leaving you in worse position than you began.

    So, at the end of the day, you may ask the furnisher of the information to remove the adverse information about you as a good will gesture, just understand they don’t have to do so. So good payment practices moving forward in order to restore you good name is truly your best bet.

    All the best to you.

    See question 
  • How does my girlfriend handle identity theft from her relative!?

    She has a cousin into drugs and trouble. She gave the cops her name when getting arrested before with no ID and my girl got hit on her record. Luckily, my uncle is a cop and he assisted on handling this. Now, she got busted with drug parafanilia a...

    Amy’s Answer

    Sadly, this is not an uncommon situation. ID theft is the top consumer complaint in the nation, and has been for over a decade.

    Your girlfriend needs to contact authorities and most likely "turn herself in" with respect to the warrant to get it resolved. Notwithstanding she's a victim in all of this, it may behoove her to consult a criminal defense attorney in doing so to ensure quick and proper handling of this matter. It's completely unfair, but it's likely she'll have to go through the motions to get things taken care of

    As to prevention - great question. She should file a police report with local authorities. Also, complete an identity theft affidavit. You may obtain a sample identity theft affidavit at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/resources/forms/affidavit.pdf. Given that this instance of ID theft generally relates to criminal charges, she would be well served to keep copies of this paperwork with her.

    For more information on steps you may take to protect your rights, visit http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/id-theft.jsp.

    Additionally, she should check your consumer credit reports to see if this false information is appearing. Often when identity thieves strike, they open fraudulent accounts in their victim’s name. Inaccurate information can affect your access to favorable credit terms, employment, and even insurance. In this case, this type of information can often show up on employment background checks. So she should be cognizant of this risk when applying for employment. If issues arise, I would encourage her to seek the assistance of an attorney familiar with the federal law applicable to consumer reporting (the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA). This federal law governs employment background checks as well as credit reports.

    All the best to you and your girlfriend.

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  • Do credit reporting agencies have to remove old/unpaid debt after so many years or does it remain on your report forever?

    Are Credit Agencies required to remove old paid and unpaid info from your report after a certain amount of years or can it remain on your credit report forever. For instance, if I had a charge off 10 years ago, are they required to remove it after...

    Amy’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Great question. No, the information must be removed pursuant to the mandates of a federal law known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

    A judgment is a bit complicated. This entry must be deleted from your report seven years after the later of the date of entry of the judgment, or the applicable statute of limitations.

    Here is a link to some common credit reporting entries that you may find useful: http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/obsolete-CRA-info.jsp;jsessionid=F396905CB320F29C3EA4075550384587

    Notably - this time frame by which a credit reporting agency must delete obsolete information has no relation to the collectability of the debt. Put another way, even if the law requires it must be deleted under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, it may still be something a creditor or judgment-creditor may legally pursue. Alternatively, the time period under which a creditor may pursue a debt may expire before the obsolescence period. You should consult an attorney in your state to determine any applicable statutory limitation period.

    All the best to you!

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  • Is it against the law to have someone elses ID,and or credit card?

    I was Leaving a public establishment when I found a card carrier. I didn't look at the contents of it until I got home. It turned out to be an ID and credit cards. Is it wrong for me to have them until I turn them in to where I found them?

    Amy’s Answer

    So long as you have not used the information in the card carrier to the detriment of the owner. I would take them to the local police department so they may be returned to the rightful owner.

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  • What can I do about a website that contains personal information about me? I think someone is trying to get my idenity b/c of it

    I have been receiving text messages trying to get into my account and I think they got my personal information from a background check website. On the website it does state to use the information with discretion and that they could be forced to re...

    Amy’s Answer

    Contact a consumer advocate in your state. www.naca.net has an attorney search feature that may help you. If someone is obtaining a background report about you, it may well run afoul of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

    If you believe you are an ID theft victim, here's a link that may benefit you. http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/id-theft.jsp;jsessionid=F1203E104FD91970093262AA12FF5733

    Good luck to you.

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