Ask The Credit Reporting Expert

Episode 1: Dennis Barton

In this episode, Dennis Barton of The Barton Law Group answers the following questions:

  1. Why are the debtors allowed to keep disputing the same past-due debt in E-Ocar? It costs us a small fortune and a lot of time to respond. I know they can change the reason but the credit repair companies just keep disputing and using a different code each time hoping we don’t respond
  2. As a third party debt collector who is a data furnisher, without running afoul of any legal prohibition, can I comply with an original creditor’s direction to remove all accounts and account history from the consumer’s credit file upon that account reaching its finality within the services they’ve hired us to provide? Basically, they want us to cancel and return ALL accounts once remedy is achieved, or attempts at remedy are exhausted.
  3. When I receive a dispute, can I just delete the tradeline rather than taking the time to investigate and respond? 

Episode 2: Rick Perr

In this episode, Rick Perr from Kaufman, Dolowich & Voluck answers the following questions:

  1. I would like to know if the statute of limitations is based on last voluntary payment reported?
  2. Can a credit reporting agency delete/remove accounts from the report once they either paid in full or settled in full?
  3. I saw a few videos of employees of credit repair companies advising people to inform the credit bureau that the agency is violating HIPPA to get accounts removed from their credit report. I’m curious if there is any accuracy to this information. Or if you have seen a trend of this happening.

Episode 3: David Schultz

In this episode, David Schultz of Hinshaw & Culbertson answers the following questions:

  1. I am asking this question from a bank standpoint. After an account comes out of a COVID-19 deferral, what, if any requirements are there for reporting the account?
  2. What basic steps can you outline for doing an audit of our data furnisher file with the CRAs we contract with and/or eOscar? How often do you recommend audits on this are performed?
  3. Is credit reporting and, subsequently credit-based recovery scores, as reliable today as has been in the past?

Episode 4: Sarah DeMoss

In this episode, Sarah DeMoss of Premiere Credit of North America answers the following questions:

  1. Over the last 18 months, I have seen an increasing number of indirect disputes (through E-Oscar) that are obviously from a third-party (not the consumer), perhaps a credit repair organization. Do we have to respond to these disputes? Should we report our suspicions to the CRAs?
  2. Should collection agencies be using the dispute codes XC and XH once a dispute has been investigated?
  3. What are the proper credit reporting (or removal) protocols when a debtor/consumer files bankruptcy? Delete accounts in bankruptcy from credit or not? And when?

Episode 5: Alicia Mckeighan

In thia episode, Alicia McKeighan, the Chief Compliance Officer at Afni, answers the following questions:

  1. Once a consumer account is paid in full, can the debtor with the creditor’s help or support speed up the process of removing the record from the report?
  2. If a consumer is disputing that an account paid off 7+ years ago but previously charged off account is still appearing a recent credit report, specifically for Equifax and TransUnion – can the FTC or CFPB force either or both credit agencies to delete this tradeline?
  3. The practice used to be for some that they would use credit reporting to drive calls, and as soon as a collector got a credit dispute, or a dispute of any kind, especially on a low dollar account, the collector would immediately stop credit reporting, send a letter explaining that the collector was no longer collecting on the account, put the account on hold to no longer collect on it, and make arrangements to return it to the creditor. If a collector were to try to adhere to the ‘old’ process as much as possible, what if any particular documentation do you need to provide as part of the return to the creditor and as part of the credit reporting? What CFPB enforcement actions, regulatory pronouncements, case law, etc., inform you regarding your description of what the new process should entail?

Episode 6: Lauren Burnette

In this episode, Lauren Burnette, a partner at Messer Strickler, answers the following questions:

  1. Compliance condition codes:
    XB While investigation is pending
    XH When investigation is complete
    XC When investigation is complete and consumer disagrees
    What compliance condition code should be used for generic or frivolous/irrelevant disputes that do not require an investigation that would satisfy §1692e(8) requirements?
  2. What is the best way to answer the famous debtor question “If I pay this you will remove it from my credit report like it never happened right?” I have noticed an increase in a pay for deletion request recently and per the FCRA the account must be reported correctly. I want to ensure to have a proper response in place.
  3. I’m not a fan of credit reporting as a collections strategy, but many leaders in our industry are. Are you aware of any studies that quantify the “lift” in recoveries due to credit reporting? All I have seen are anecdotes and supposition. I’d be interested in some sort of scientific analysis to see if credit reporting is really worth the hassle, cost and legal exposure.

Episode 7: Xerxes Martin

In this episode, Xerxes Martin, a partner at Malone Frost Martin, answers the following questions:

  1. What tasks should be included in a reasonable investigation?
  2. I would like to know if we have a consumer that is a co-signer on a charged off account and that consumer pays what we call a release of liability, can it be reported as released from liability on the that consumer’s credit report?
  3. Are there any credit reporting implications from the Hunstein ruling in the Eleventh Circuit?