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credit repair companies Archives | Ovation Credit Repair Services

Somebody’s Watching You…

By | Consumer Rights, Credit Laws, Credit Repair, Credit Reports, Credit Scores

No, we’re not reminiscing about the 80’s hit by Rockwell…this is more sinister. From hacking computer systems to trapping codes at ATM machines, identity theft is rampant and can have a devastating impact on your life. It can affect your ability to buy a car or a home, it can prevent you from getting a job, and there have been (albeit rare) cases of innocent people being arrested for crimes committed by an identity thief. Keeping a close eye on credit reports is an excellent way to detect fraudulent activity, and credit monitoring can be a helpful tool to do just that.

The three credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian – are required by the federal government to provide an annual copy of your credit report at no charge. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to order it and monitor your own credit by reviewing it carefully to ensure all information is accurate. Doing this once a year is the first step toward thwarting thieves.

The next step would be to hire a company to monitor the credit reports real time and inform you, probably via email, of any changes. Most notices would regard changes in account balances on credit cards or an inquiry for a line of credit at a retail store. In an identity theft scenario though, a thief might use your social security number, stolen while dumpster diving at a local bank, to apply for a new credit card. The timely credit monitoring service notification of this fraudulent application for credit could mean the difference between a small hassle and full-blown, financially crippling identity theft.

Sadly though, not all credit monitoring services are created equal. The ones managed by the three credit reporting agencies are typically pretty good, and the timeliness of the information is excellent – which is the most important element in the detection of fraud. Some of the second tier services though report outdated information since they have to pay for the data and retrieve it periodically from the primary agencies. Another potential problem with the second tier services is that they may offer a free credit report (mimicking the government-mandated service), but once the consumer accepts the free report, they are unwittingly enrolled in a potentially expensive service. What a sneaky and underhanded thing to do – it sure doesn’t make us want to trust them with our financial information.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a program called “Deter, Detect, Defend: Avoid ID Theft.” It is a good program, especially in its education about how to protect personal information (and thereby deter ID theft). Combine this with credit monitoring by a high quality provider and good financial decision-making, and we will stop letting the identity thieves bully us.

Information on Credit Reports

By | Consumer Rights, Credit Laws, Credit Repair, Credit Reports, Credit Scores, Fair Credit Reporting Act

Credit Reports generally contain five types of information:

Identification Information: Information such as the name of the individual, current and previous residential addresses, and Social Security number.

Trade Line Information: Detailed information reported by creditors and other furnishers on each current and past loan, lease, or other debt (such as utility and medical debts).

Public Record Information: Information derived from financial-related public records, such as records of bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens, garnishments, and other civil judgments.

Collection Account Information: Information reported by collection agencies regarding credit accounts and other debts.

Inquiry Information: Identities of individuals or companies that have requested information from an individual’s credit file; the date of inquiry; and an indication of whether the inquiry was by the consumer, for the review of an existing account, or to help the inquirer decide on a potential future account or relationship.

Unfortunately, an alarming number of these files (credit reports) contain serious errors and could cause the denial of credit, a loan, or a job, so monitor your credit report and minimize or eliminate future credit problems.  A recent study of consumer credit found that 3 out of every 4 credit reports contain errors, some large enough to cause credit denials.

  • Twenty-five percent (25%) of the credit reports contained errors serious enough to result in the denial of credit;
  • Seventy-nine percent (79%) of the credit reports contained mistakes of some kind;
  • Fifty-four percent (54%) of the credit reports contained personal demographic identifying information that was misspelled, long-outdated, belonged to a stranger, or was otherwise incorrect;
  • Thirty percent (30%) of the credit reports contained credit accounts that had been closed by the consumer but incorrectly remained listed as open.

Credit Repair: How Can You Tell The Good From the Bad?

By | Consumer Rights, Credit Repair, Fraud Protection

It’s a jungle out there! The following list identifies a few things you should consider when selecting a credit repair company:

1: Does the company identify their owners/attorneys, or addresses?
Unfortunately, the internet allows many scammers to appear as legitimate companies through legitimate looking websites. Before you give your hard earned money and personal information to anyone, make sure you can verify the company’s information and credentials. You can verify Ovation’s information from a number of independent sources including the Florida Bar, the Florida Department of State, and the Better Business Bureau.

2: Does the company have significant Better Business Bureau Complaints (or are not even affiliated with the Better Business Bureau)?
While any company can accrue a few random BBB complaints, significant number of complaints may be an indication that the company does not operate fairly towards its customers. Check BBB reports frequently and avoid companies that manage to accrue hundreds of complaints. To check for complaints, visit www.bbb.org and click on “Go to Local BBBs”. Question any company that chooses not to be affiliated with the Better Business Bureau; they may be trying to hide the truth about their organization. Our history with the Better Business Bureau dates back to 1976.

3: Does the company request fees in advance?
The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) requires that credit repair company charge for services only after they are  rendered. Requirements for large upfront payments are tell-tale warning signs of unethical companies. We only charge for work that has been completed in full. Learn more about the CROA in our Learning Center.

4: Does the company disclose your rights?
Consumers have the right to conduct their own credit report repair. You don’t have to hire someone to do if for you. For those that do, Ovation offers its services to individuals seeking legal professionals to manage their credit report repair. Ovation discloses your rights to you on every page of our website as well as in your signup package. We want you to be informed and you should steer clear of any company that doesn’t want you to know your rights.

5: Does the company advocate illegal tactics such as creating “new” identities?
Creating a new identity by applying for a Employer Identification Number to merge or replace a social security number is a serious crime and can lead to significant personal liability. To learn more about this type of illegal credit tactic, visit our Learning Center.

6: Does the company advocate fraudulent reporting of credit lines?
Purchasing a listing on someone else’s credit lines for the purpose of reporting a positive account is unethical at best. Trying to con the credit bureaus and your future and current creditors is a significant issue that can lead to personal liability. To learn more about this type of illegal credit tactic, visit our Learning Center.

7: Does the company simply dispute all your negative items without requiring any input for the client?
Regardless of how they market themselves, this is a key indicator that the company is a “rookie”. Not only are these types of companies violating federal law by disputing on your behalf in bad faith (which could lead to personal liability), these companies are making it more difficult for you to achieve sustainable results. To learn more about this type of illegal credit tactic, visit our Learning Center.

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