Don’t Fall for Credit Repair Scams When Trying to Rebuild Your Credit

For the last year, almost every economist and politician has developed a theory on who or what is to blame for our current recession.  The reasons range from government inaction to the foreclosure crisis.  Regardless of how it started, the recession is still here and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is grossly aware of its impact on consumers. This week, the FTC made several announcements that should help you as a consumer as you begin to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy.

The first announcement involved the accuracy of credit report information.  After bankruptcy, a consumer should get a copy of their credit report to review for inaccurate information.  To assist consumers, the FTC will be issuing a set of guidelines “specifying the actions for furnishers to take to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the information they furnish to credit reporting agencies.”

The guidelines will provide that agencies should report additional information to keep the information they report from “creating a misleading impression about a consumer’s creditworthiness.”  The new guidelines will also expand your ability to dispute information directly with the debtor, in addition to the consumer reporting agency.

After bankruptcy, you should not have any further debt collection issues .  If you do, however, and have requested that a debtor cease communication with you, the new guidelines do allow them to respond to a dispute and communicated with you solely for the purpose of resolving the dispute.

The other FTC announcement this week involved a law enforcement crackdown on scammers.  The recession has spawned even more scammers trying to take advantage of consumers.  The FTC announced they would be targeting schemes, such as “promising non-existing jobs, promoting over hyped get-rich-quick plans, bogus government grants, and phony debt-reduction service; or putting unauthorized charges on consumers’ credit or debit cards.” To help consumers, they have also produced and posted an educational video on their web site that teaches you how to protect yourself as a consumer from these scams.

The bottom line is that you worked hard through bankruptcy to get your financial future back on track.  Once you get through bankruptcy, rebuilding your credit is the next step.  There are now more opportunities and support for you to combat inaccurate information as you start rebuilding.  In the process of rebuilding, be careful not to fall for scams.

For every scammer that the FTC catches, there is another one waiting to take advantage of your new eagerness to rebuild or “get ahead.”  If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Don’t be tricked into squandering your efforts in bankruptcy by a con.