First, Can Foreclosure Really Be Removed From Your Credit and Is it Legal?
Most people typically assume if they actually went through a foreclosure and as a result, a foreclosure entry is on their credit report, nothing can be done. That’s not always true.
It’s well documented that banks, lenders, and credit bureaus almost always make mistakes and fail to follow all the conflicting laws when it comes to not only just reporting foreclosure on your credit report, but also all the way back to the foreclosure process, the loan servicing process, and lending process.
That being said, the core issue of removing a foreclosure from your credit is not so much whether you had a foreclosure or not, but is EVERY aspect correct and were the laws followed properly all along the way.
Each person’s situation is different and you’ll need to use your own moral compass about what to address and how. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Our opinion is you should not assume or take anything for face value and provided you aren’t lying, there’s nothing wrong with questioning and challenging your foreclosure.
Ok, on to the 5 main options to remove a foreclosure from your credit report:
- Wait 7 years for it to drop off – Sure, it’s not exactly the preferred option if you’re on this page. However, we’re compelled to point out that if you don’t need good credit, have a stable rental place to live for the foreseeable future, and don’t want to bother with much, the negative scoring effects of a foreclosure sort of diminishes after a couple years.
- Ask Your Former Lender to Remove it – It never hurts to ask right? While they may not be agreeable simply by asking, it’s always possible. A better scenario though is if you have a legitimate dispute with them over the foreclosure itself, the reporting of it, or can come to another type of agreement such as an offer to “pay for deletion” in exchange for settling a deficiency for a small amount of what was owed.
- Dispute The Listing With The Credit Bureaus – As with just about any delinquent or negative entry, there are almost always inaccuracies. Be specific and look out for inconsistencies or inaccuracies in amounts, dates, etc. Conflicting information between two entries is a prime area to address. If it can’t be verified properly within 30 days, it must be removed or corrected. Credit bureaus and lenders are typically sloppy about verifying disputes, so even if it comes back verified, you can request a “method of verification” to hold their feet to the fire. You can either do this yourself with more research, or get help from a professional credit repair firm.
- Sue the Credit Bureaus and Lenders – It’s VERY common for violations of the FCRA, FCBA, TILA, UCC, etc. to occur. Sometimes just the very idea of hassling with a lawsuit will cause a bank or credit bureau to cave and condede to remove the entry and/or settle. By far the best group of ethical attorney’s in the country to consult for these issues are members of naca.net. They typically charge nothing to at least look at the basics of your situation.
- Be a Major Pain in the Butt! – The more you keep after the credit bureaus and lenders with any combination of points 2-4 above in regards to your foreclosure, the more likely they are to eventually decide you’re simply not worth the hassle and want you to go away. They HATE dealing with educated and feisty consumers when there’s so many other unsuspecting fish in the sea.
The bottom line here is, be persistent and very thorough. If you don’t give up easily, more often than not you’ll come out ahead. And again, only you can decide what’s best based on your personal situation with your foreclosure, your moral compass, and how you feel about the credit system in general.
In our eyes, many people who have a foreclosure are good people who simply had unfortunate circumstances, made a couple bad decisions, or mistakenly got caught up in the brainwashing of a system that’s designed to trap consumers. That error shouldn’t cause those people to be plagued with years of trouble just getting an apartment, a job, or even a lousy cell phone.
If you need further help, please visit the following pages for more information on DIY credit repair manuals and reviews of professional credit repair firms: