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Equifax Malignity - Help/Ideas

AgentSmithV2
New Member

Equifax Malignity - Help/Ideas

Situation.

Back in 04, my ex-wife and her CPA father, found a loop hole in the tax code that allowed them to refile all years of our tax returns. This resulted in my ex receiving ANOTHER REFUND (still pisses me off) and I was slapped with a 19K federal tax debt. Over the years, I paid it off. However, in 08, I received a notice from the state saying they were placing a lien on my credit and that I owed around 4,000 (including penalties & interest) for one of the years she refiled. Apparently, the notices were going to my ex’s house and she was just tossing them in the trash. Around the same time, she took my daughter to the ER for something and a $200.00 bill was generated. I was also unaware until the collection notice showed up.

 

Already devestated financially, I couldn’t really fight. So, I paid both off. As a note: My credit was spotless other than these two issues. The lien was released in 2012 and I requested it to be expunged from my credit. It did. I disputedthe lien and the collection. They both dropped off my credit.

 

I went on my happy way.

 

This year, I was in the process of buying a truck. The guy selling it to me called and said there is a problem with your credit. I buy all of my vehicles from the same person so he knew that my credit didn’t look right.

 

I looked and a credit card company reported I was late three times on payments. I looked in my records and I was not. I disputed the issue with Equifax immediately. I provide proof of payments, etc. I called Equifax and asked that they hurry this process along because I was in the middle of buying a vehicle. They refused. I asked them what it would it take. They said that the creditor would have notify them directly and it would fall off in 30 days. I explained that this was not acceptable as I had done nothing wrong and could prove it. They didn’t really listen.

 

I called the bank and it turns out there was an issue with online payments and they were not being applied properly after a digital banking change over. The bank apologized and agreed to contact Equifax. They also provided me with an apology letter.

 

I called Equifax again and this time, it didn’t go well. I am not sure why but they seemed to very annoyed that I was doggedly pursuing the issue and absolutely refused to take the new information into consideration.

 

I talked to the lender that was going to finance the vehicle and too my amazement, they took the letter into to consideration and gave me the best rate I qualified for at my score prior to the false reports (I keep copious records regarding my credit). However, after everything was cleaned up previously, I stopped the monitoring service. My bad. I signed back up and a few weeks later, I was notified that my credit changed. I figured it was the late payments dropping off.

 

That did happen. However, at the same time, the old public lien and the collection re-appeared. What’s worse, they showed us being REPORTED in July. I noticed it was the exact same date as when the late payments fell off.  Thinking this was a glitch, I called Equifax. This might have been the single most frustrating call of my life.

 

They insisted the lien and collection were reporting correctly. I was incredibly confused. As I kept trying to understand what was happening, the CSR seemed to be very annoyed that I didn’t understand. Finally, I asked her, who asked Equifax to put this information back on my credit report? The CSR stated that the creditor did. I was dumbfounded.

 

I asked: Wait, are you telling me that the state government and this collection agency, noticed that an EXPUNGED tax lien (I.E. No record of it) and a $200.00 paid off collection, were not being reported, decided this was a travesty and notified Equifax that they should put these items back on my credit report?

 

The CSR said. Yes. I told her I straight up: "I don’t believe that." She then said: Maybe you should ask them why they never responded to the previous dispute. Note: The dispute from 5 years ago. 

 

Now, I am angry. I explained that this is not my job. I explained that they are not judges. They don’t get to sit back and decide that someone “should” have responded. I asked to speak to her manager. Waited on hold for 20 minutes. She came back on and at first, sounded different. I started talking until I realized it wasn’t her manager. I again asked for her manager. Waited another 10 minutes or so.

 

The manager hops on. Listens to my issue. Then states that the items are being reported correctly. I explained and he started saying: “It can stay on your credit 7-10 years from the date of last activity.” I didn’t think this was accurate, I thought it was from the first date of delinquency (I still need to look into that) but I tried to tell him it didn’t matter.

 

He started repeating the same phrase no matter what I said.

 

  • Him: “It can stay on your credit 7-10 years from the date of last activity.”
  • Me: I get what you are saying but...
  • Him: “It can stay on your credit 7-10 years from the date of last activity.”
  • Me: I am not talking about...
  • Him: “It can stay on your credit 7-10 years from the date of last activity.”
  • Me: It doesn’t matter they were both previously removed because…
  • Him: “It can stay on your credit 7-10 years from the date of last activity.”

Finally, I hung up. I immediately filed a complaint with CFPB. I also called both the collection agency and the state government.

 

The State Government was pretty easy to deal with. However, the information on the credit was inaccurate. It stated a city and county where the lien was filed or reported but they don’t handle liens out of that department. I did a ton of research and finally called the state department of revenue. They stated the case # would be one of theirs but they COULD NOT FIND the lien. I forgot to tell them it was previously expunged. My point with this is even IF Equifax or a third party called to verify the information THEY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO. Per the DOR, the response would be WE HAVE NO RECORD OF that lien. They eventually found the record of expungement and mailed me a copy. They stated both verbally and in email that they never contacted Equifax about putting anything back on my credit report.  Also, the amount that was being reported isn’t accurate. I considered that maybe it was my father’s issue (same name but I am a Jr.). He had no liens.

 

The collection agency was more difficult. They failed to understand what I was asking. They kept insisting that the collection was accurate and they don’t understand why it was ever removed. I explained that I disagreed (It should have been my ex-wife’s collection) but that isn’t the point. The point is that IT WAS REMOVED because the collection company failed to respond to the dispute. After at least an hour of debating, they finally answered my question. Whether they agreed with the outcome or not, NO ONE CONTACTED EQUIFAX and asked them to put the collection back on my credit. To point, they didn’t even know it wasn’t on there, so there would be no catalyst for contacting Equifax about it.

 

Although, I am not done with this story, here is what I think happened.

 

If I am being charitable, there was some kind of glitch when the disputed and inaccurate late payments dropped off. Either the issue would need to be corrected above the CSR’s paygrade and she didn’t understand, or they realized the mistake but didn’t want to admit to it.

 

If I am being skeptical, maybe the way I aggressively pursued getting the late payments removed, pissed someone off and they saw a chance to “get me back.” Seems like a stretch but considering people at the NSA were using their equipment to spy on friends, family and exes, I don’t really put much past the pettiness of humans.

 

Now, to the rest of the story.

 

Equifax just today responded to the dispute stating that both the collection and the LIEN are reporting ACCURATELY and will not be removed.

 

I want to be angry and mad but honestly, I feel defeated. The collection is definitely sticky and I may have to wait that one out. I think it should fall off because it was previously removed, the original date is past 7 years and I didn’t receive anything notifying me that it was going to be re-inserted. The public lien has no cause being on my credit. I have no idea where the information is coming from and even the state government is stating they couldn’t and wouldn’t verify if anyone called.

 

At this point, I feel like they should be punished for all of this. I’m trying to buy a house and this is causing me severe problems. How can they just do what they want, ruin people’s lives or at the very least create havoc for them? I bet if I get this all straightened out, not only will there be no thought to compensating me for my time and effort to fix THEIR PRODUCT, I won’t even get a “sorry.”

 

Does anyone, have any suggestions?

Message 1 of 5
4 REPLIES 4
RobertEG
Legendary Contributor

Re: Equifax Malignity - Help/Ideas

1. The tax lien

Goverenment publiic record information is not "reported" to the CRAs by the agency who posted the public record information, such as a state department of revenue for a tax lien, or a court for a civil judgment.  The CRAs commission their own research of public record information, and insert the information into their files based on the presence of the information in the public record document.  Similary, verification of accuracy of public record information in response to a dispute is NOT done by referral of the dispute to the government agency or court, as they are not the "furnisher" of the disputed information.  The CRA investigates by rechecking the current public record posting.

 

The procedure for verification of public record information has been the recent subject of civil action against the CRAs.  See James Jenkins, et al. v. Equifax Information Services LLC, U.S. District Court, E.D. Va, Case No. 3:15-cv-00443-MHL, and the resulting class action settlement agreement as posted on https://eclaim/kccllc.net/caclaimforms/eqj/Faqs.aspx.

 

As an ungoing atttempt to settle the litigation, the CRAs announced, as part of their "National Consumer Assistance Plan," new procedures that included deletion of any tax liens or civil judgments that did not show adequate information to verify its applicability to the named consumer, and also required updated verification at least once every 90 days.  In the posted scenario, they cannot verify currently or every 90 days since the lien is no longer showing in the public record, and thus the CRA is not in compliance with their own policy, as set forth in their National Consumer Assistance Plan.

 

2.  The collection.

 

Any information that is deleted based on a prior dispute can only be reinserted by a CRA if they have complied with the reinsertion provisions of FCRA 611(a)(5)(B), which explicitly requires the debt collector submitting the request for reinsertion to include a Certification of Accuracy of the information, which provides the prviously lacking verification that was the basis for the prior deletion by the CRA. 

If the debt collector provides the Certification of Accuracy and the CRA reinserts, the CRA is required to send specific written notice of the reinsertion to the consumer no later than 5 business days after they reinsert.

Lack of compliance of the CRA of the clear reinsertion requirments of FCRA 611(a)(5)(B) subjects the CRA to dispute of the disputed information, complaint to the CFPB for violation of the FCRA, and/or civil action by the consumer.

Message 2 of 5
AgentSmithV2
New Member

Re: Equifax Malignity - Help/Ideas

Robert, 

 

Thank you. I appreciate the information. Although I didn't have it at my fingertips, this is what I was trying to get across to them when I was discussing it with them. Unfortunately... even though it appears to be against their policy (law?), they are still doing it. Since CFPB doesn't seem to be able to fix the issues, is the only option a lawsuit? 

 

Message 3 of 5
A1Credit
Established Contributor

Re: Equifax Malignity - Help/Ideas


@AgentSmithV2 wrote:

Robert, 

 

Thank you. I appreciate the information. Although I didn't have it at my fingertips, this is what I was trying to get across to them when I was discussing it with them. Unfortunately... even though it appears to be against their policy (law?), they are still doing it. Since CFPB doesn't seem to be able to fix the issues, is the only option a lawsuit? 

 


Sorry that you are going through all of this and I surely hope you get it all sorted out.

 

I just wanted to respond to your comment on CFPB.  They don't seem to be pretty helpful when attempting to resolve issues such as yours.  If you file a complaint and the company responds and refuses to remove or adequately address your complaint, CFPB just relays the response but does not step in on your behalf even if your complaint is legitmate. I know that they have been weakened recently under the new political admin but something should be done to help consumers deal with these issues.

 

Good luck to you and I will be following your thread.

***Gardening 3/29/2018 until 9/25/2018***

FICO 8 Scores: EQ~692 l TU~657 l EX~669
Message 4 of 5
RobertEG
Legendary Contributor

Re: Equifax Malignity - Help/Ideas

The CFPB will send out inquiry lettters, but if the party feels that whatever action is not in violation of statute or reg, the CFPB does not independently hold court and make a binding legal order.  They must file a civil action, usually via the FTC, to force compliance. 

 

The FTC has had a long-standing policy of not normally bringing civil action based on individual consumer complaints.  They gather info and may choose to pursue civil compliance action if they receive numerous complaints.  The CFPB has continued to follow that general policy.

 

 

Message 5 of 5
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