How to Delete Charge-Offs

A charge-off is a debt that a creditor has essentially written off and deemed \”uncollectable\”. In order to understand how to go about disputing these, we need to dig into some details that will affect the process. First of all, there are two types: paid an unpaid. In terms of credit scoring, a paid charge-off is far better than an unpaid one. An unpaid charge-off that has not yet gone to collections, however, could give you an extra option for removal that you wouldn\’t have if the debt had already been paid.

Another potential issue is that of multiple charge-offs for the same debt. This issue commonly pops up on credit reports, and it is (in our opinion) the result of anti-consumer policies on the part of the credit bureaus.
Why do we believe this? Because, under certain circumstances the credit bureaus (through the \”METRO 2\” documentation) instruct creditors to create new account numbers for charged off debt, such as in the case of a debt that is partially charged off. The result of this is that the consumer can end up with multiple charge-offs on their credit report under multiple account numbers, even though they originally only had one account with the creditor. It is unclear what gives the creditor and the credit bureaus the authority to create new account numbers and multiple accounts for a consumer out of \”thin air\”. It is certainly more damaging to the consumer\’s credit score. (That\’s probably why they do it that way!) As a result, the validity of these extra accounts can and should be called into question. Another thing that has to be considered is how old they are. An older paid charge off, for example, probably has relatively little impact on your credit score. Believe it or not, because of the user of the \”scorecard\” system by both FICO and Vantage score, it is perfectly possible that removing a paid charge-off could actually LOWER your score.

So how do you delete charge offs from your credit report?

If there are multiple charge-offs for the same account, you can simply dispute every invalid account as such. If the bureaus and/or creditor fail to respond appropriately, you can follow up with complaints to the BBB, state attorney general, and more. Remember that it\’s important not to copy and paste credit repair letters from the internet or to use ones that you find in a credit repair book. If you have unpaid charge-offs and have funds available to settle, the best ethical and legal way to remove them from your credit report is to attempt to settle with the creditor in exchange for removal.

Start with the newest account (which is likely the most damaging) and work your way to the oldest account. The account must not have been placed with collections. If it has, you need to be able to get it sent back to the creditor. Write the creditor and ask them either to delete the account in exchange for settlement, or at least to not verify the item when you dispute it with the credit bureaus. Always try to get everything in writing. If they end up not deleting, it isn\’t exactly the end of the world. A paid charge off is better than an unpaid one. If they have agreed to do so, persistence may pay off but either way your credit will be better off when they are paid (whether they are removed or not).

Author Bio: Jay Peters is the founder of Credit Repair Publishing and has been publishing credit repair information since 1994. For their free eBook titled \”28 Credit Secrets the Banks, Collections Agencies and Government Don\’t Want You to Know!\” Visit their website at: http://www.creditrepairpublishing.com

Category: Finances
Keywords: credit report,delete charge-offs,credit repair,credit score,credit bureaus,charge-offs

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