How Long does a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Remain on a Credit Report?

While the Fair Credit Reporting Act provides that bankruptcies may stay on a consumer credit report for ten years, all three of the big three consumer reporting agencies treat completed Chapter 13 cases differently from Chapter 7 cases, whether completed or not. Because a Chapter 13 plan is usually completed in five years, this means […]

The difference between using a debit and credit cards

Surprisingly, it does make a difference. The most important thing you need to know is that using a debit card does cannot help improve your credit score. This is because, with a debit card, you are not borrowing money like you would with a credit card. Unlike with a credit card, you don’t get a […]

GLA Collection Co. on your Credit Report?

GLA Collection Co., Inc. is a Louisville, Kentucky based collection company that focuses on the collection of medical debt. Medical debt is one of the most common types of debt on consumer credit reports. A recent study found that “43 million Americans have overdue medical debt on their credit reports.” And medical debt is the leading causes […]

O’Connell Greenman & Assoc.: Another Arbitration Scam?

I have a client who was recently  contacted by an outfit identifying itself as O’Connell Greenman & Associates. This debt collector made a number of dubious claims on a recorded message that appear to be false, including threatening to sue the client. The debt collector ended in the call with an ominous, “Good luck in Court.” […]

BBB Accredited Bankruptcy Attorney

Lawson at Law, PLLC is an accredited Better Business Bureau (“BBB”) law firm offering affordable low-cost bankruptcy solutions for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcies.  I’ve been practicing consumer bankruptcy law since 2008 serving consumers in Jefferson and surrounding counties for eight years. You can find out more about my bankruptcy practice and services […]

CFPB: Consumer Credit Report Study

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently published a study concerning the reporting of medical and non-medical debt on consumer credit reports. Some of the pertinent highlights of the study are: Information from recent studies of credit report accuracy and from other sources raise particular concerns about the accuracy and interpretation of collections tradelines, the vast […]

How to Write Effective FDCPA Debt Validation and Verification Letters

Debt validation is a specific right you have under the FDCPA. 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(b). Writing effective debt validation and verification letters is key to exercising this right. Within 30 days of a debt collector’s “initial communication” with a consumer, you the consumer have the right to send a letter to the debt collector disputing […]

4 Medical Debt Myths That Can Cost You Dearly

            Medical debt on consumer credit reports is huge problem in this country. As reported by the International Business Times: According to a study by the Commonwealth Fund, 22 percent of adults—approximately 41 million consumers—were contacted by a collection agency over unpaid medical bills in 2012. Another study, by Ernst & Young in 2012, found that medical […]

Banks Allow Discharged Debts to Survive Bankruptcy

 By law, bankruptcy is supposed to kill certain debts: credit card debt being chief among them. But it turns out that the banks have been trying to do an end around the bankruptcy rules. After a discharge, some creditors–banks that issue credit cards included–do not update their tradelines to a status of “in bankruptcy” and […]

Bad Credit Decision

There’s a saying that “bad decisions make good stories.” But when it comes to credit, bad decisions just leads to bad or worse credit. Taking out your frustrations on the bank that issued you a credit card in connection with a beef you have with a creditor does not end well. Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/creditsesamecom/what-not-to-do-with-your-credit_b_6115048.html

Midland Funding, LLC and Your Credit Report

Who is Midland Funding, LLC? Midland Funding, LLC is one of the country’s biggest junk debt buyers. Midland buys old, charged off debt (usually credit card debt) for pennies on the dollar. Midland then attempts to collect the full amount of this debt from hapless consumers. Junk debt is often referred to as “Zombie Debt” […]

Medical Debts no Longer Part of FICO Credit Scores

I have some very welcome news. FICO is changing its scoring method . Medical debt will no longer count against you. As explained in a recent New York Times article: The creator of one of the most widely used and influential credit scores, FICO, said on Thursday that the latest version of its score would […]

Terrific Article on the Great Recession’s Impact on Consumer Credit

The fine folks at the National Consumer Law Center recently posted a great article concerning the impact of the mortgage crises of 08 and beyond on consumer credit reports. It’s well worth the read. I’ve included some excepts below that really leaped out at me: Credit reporting has become the determining factor for many essentials […]

U.S. Accused of Ruthless Debt Collection Practices

The Educational Credit Management Corporation is the main private entity hired by the Department of Education to fight student debtors who file for bankruptcy on federal loans. The ECM has been accused of overly aggressive tactics and other abuses. As reported by the New York Times: A panel of bankruptcy appeal judges in 2012 denounced what […]