Recently, a mortgage broker reached out to me if I can assist his client. He needed to get a 90 day late, which was reported by US Bank, removed from his credit report.
The client first reached out to the mortgage broker a year ago, when he first started looking for a house to buy and wanted to see how much he can afford. The mortgage broker-assisted him and even gave him a pre-approval letter.
At that time, his score was a solid 800. But now, when he came back a year later, after finally finding the perfect home for him and his family, he was in absolute shock to find out that because of that 90 day late, his score dropped all the way down to 692. This would cause his monthly mortgage payments to be almost $300 more per month!
The client needed to close within 30 days! This was making the problem even more significant since such a small timeframe was leaving us with no time to play.
The Bank Error
The first thing I did was call the client to hear his side of the story on why the late payment happened.
The client explained to me that it was because the bank failed to send him statements in the mail. For whatever reason, from one day to the next, the bank decided to send his statements to his previous address. He emailed me copies of the statements, and it confirmed what the client had told me. It was for a full 4-month span that the address on the statements was my client’s previous address.
The TILA (Truth in Lending Act 12 CFR 1026.5(b)) requires banks to send statements to consumers stating the balance due and details of all transactions 21 days before a payment is due. The bank needs to take reasonable measures to make sure the statements are correctly delivered to the address given by the consumer. So the error of US Bank in not sending the statements to my client’s proper address would be a violation of the TILA. That would mean that the bank cannot report the late payments on my client’s credit report.
No Time To Waste
Now that we had a strong case, we needed to get to work right away, as the client needed the job done ASAP. I knew that a standard dispute with the credit bureaus won’t work in this case, as the credit bureaus are only legally required to respond within 30 days. Usually, their first response is just a simple draft letter that claims the item was verified (true or not). It’s only after a protracted fight, which may make it possible to get the credit bureaus to act and investigate something seriously. In this case, there was no time for all this.
I needed to get serious attention to this matter ASAP. Therefore, I decided to try a different route.
I did a search within a particular database, and I was able to find email addresses of several high-level executives within US Bank. I drafted a very nice email explaining the entire situation and why I think the late mark needed to be removed from my client’s credit report. I, of course, added that the client is currently trying to buy a home for himself and his family, and this late mark is making it financially impossible. I pleaded to them to try and help out by getting this corrected immediately. I attached to the email six months of statements proving the case (including some statements to his new address, and the ones which were sent to the wrong address afterward).
I emailed the draft to a few executives, but I did not receive any responses. I followed up with all of them daily. After a few days, Boom! I received a response.
It was from the office of the president stating that they received my complaint, and after investigating the matter, they have contacted the credit bureaus to update the correction!
We live in a country where there are many laws that protect consumers. If you’re ever mistreated by a bank or credit card issuer, by being knowledgable in these laws you will know how to fight back and protect your rights. Here, at Help Me Build Credit, our goal is to make sure you know your rights! So follow our blog and be in the know.