Wednesday, March 27, 2019

CONCLUSIVELY - 18 Month Research Study Linking the Impact of Credit Worthiness to the Suicide Rate..

Research Study linking the Impact of Credit Worthiness to Financial Well Being
The entire Credit Restoration Associates (CRA), team has been extremely honored to have partnered with Doctor Cathie Hughes, PHD, in her Life Changing research study. I still can't believe that it has been 18 months!

This is an absolute, exclusive and truly a revolutionary breakthrough. I look forward to moving this research to the lext level. We are currently obtaining funding to expand the regional study. Subsrcibe to this blog to recieve updates.

Read the complete text of Dr. Hughes's Expanded Abstract of the study in the link below:

Read down to page 10 of Dr Hughes’s expanded abstract paper. 

It starts to address the “Credit Restoration Intervention” as the direct remedy to remove “financial stressors” that will directly have an impact in the reduction of suicides. .

The ENTIRE credit repair community needs to come together and complete this research. The entire 288 page body of the research study will only be available to the Master Mind Group that should be put together before the end of April 2019.

The entire communication on all details will be done through NACSO's Facebook group. To be a legitimate credit repair organization, you need to be a member of NACSO. It is time for you to "bite the bullet" and join NACSO.

Joining is the best thing that you can do if you are serious in the long-term growth of your credit repair company. Please contact me or your NACSO representative to become a member of NACSO, and help participate in this research study. We are collectively going to change the world!!

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How To Read an Automotive Equifax Beacon 5.0 Credit Report

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

How To Read an Automotive Credit Report

CRA blog readers,

It has been my pleasure for many years publishing and writing articles for this blog. I found this article interesting because it was originally published in F&I Magazine, an automotive industry trade magazine.

F&I stands for Finance & Insurance. An F&I Manager at a dealership is also called the Business Manager. He or she is the individual who submits your application to banks and finance sources to get you approved for financing. This individual will also be the one who you sign paperwork with before taking delivery of your new (or new to you) vehicle.

The interesting thing about this article is that it is meant to be read by the F&I manager - who is supposed to be the credit expert in the dealership. At least that was how it was in the car business 12 years ago as I remember it. Anyway, here is some good information:

Just the Facts
A customer’s credit report and credit score are a reflection of data reported by creditors to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Trans- Union. It can predict how likely it is that a consumer will pay back his or her auto loan, which can help determine the ap­propriate interest rate and whether your captive finance company will buy it. The data is organized in such a way as to iden­tify the consumer and provide a complete picture of their credit acquisition and payment history.
Some dealerships may rely on just one bureau for credit reports. Oth­ers focus only on the score. But scores can vary across reports, and sometimes there is an imbalance. When the scores vary wildly across reports, that most of­ten means at least one of them is lacking key information.
Case in point: Not all lenders report to every credit bureau. Should a con­sumer be turned down because of a lack of, different, or negative information on a given report, the best financing deal is not achieved and lost profits ensue. If you send them home, they are probably not coming back.
 My Auto
Credit Report Breakdown
You need a general understanding of what is in a credit report to evaluate each customer’s access to credit in a timely manner. Reports produced by each bu­reau might differ in terms of layout, but each will contain the following pieces of information:
• Subscriber-provided input and in­formation: This is a record of actual con­sumer information that has been entered to locate the file.
• Consumer demographic informa­tion: This section helps verify consumer identity by providing certain information from data furnishers. This may include the consumer’s name, current and previ­ous addresses, Social Security number, date of birth, phone number, and em­ployment history.
• Special messages: This section shows any special credit file conditions and helps with compliance requirements. It highlights differences in surname, ad­dress, or SSN, includes notification of ad­dress discrepancy — which is a require­ment under the Fair Credit Reporting Act — and provides information which may help you comply with the USA Patri­ot Act. High-risk fraud alerts may appear if an address or Social Security number was used in previous suspected fraudu­lent activities, and names can be screened against the U.S. Treasury Department’s OFAC database.
• Model profile: This section is only in­cluded when you subscribe to and receive certain scores or models, such as a FICO score or a VantageScore. Each has its own algorithm and each has multiple versions. Know which version is being used should the consumer have questions.
• Credit summary: An optional com­ponent, it provides a snapshot of the con­sumer’s credit report for either the total file history, or just the last 12 months of activity, illustrating the number of nega­tive accounts from any of the assigned creditors. It also provides a total of dif­ferent trades from revolving credit, in­stallment loan accounts, and number of inquiries.
• Auto summary: This section dis­plays activity relevant to vehicles the consumer has financed, features five of most recent auto trades (both open and closed), an estimate of APR for each auto loan, and total revolving credit calcula­tion. You will also find a summary of payment, balance, months remaining, and delinquencies on auto loans, the highest amount ever owed on an account, the maximum credit approved by the grantor, the balance owed as of the date verified, any past due amounts, the sub­scriber-reported monthly payment, and the percent of credit available for each account.
• Collections: Here you will find any accounts placed with a debt collection firm along with corresponding dates.
• Trades: This section covers buying and payment activities. It shows a number of codes for type of business and the col­lateral. It shows the highest amount ever owed by the consumer and the current balance owed. “Terms” show payments, frequency, and any past due amounts. Should delinquency occur, it will list the date. “Payment history” shows up to 24 months of credit account statuses, including any past due and missed pay­ments, which stay on most reports for about seven years. Trade information also includes the abbreviated name of the credit grantor or data furnisher with whom a consumer has an account.
• Credit inquiries: This is a list of all the banks, credit unions, auto dealers, mortgage companies, and other would-be creditors that have pulled the consum­er’s credit file over the past 24 months.
• Consumer statement: A statement to protect consumers against fraud may be included.
Pertinent Tips
Dealers should be working with credit bureaus to help consumers and provide a seamless experience, and this starts with dealer education. Fraud prevention should also be addressed with solutions that F&I managers can incorporate into their workflows, such as better manag­ing the “Red Flag” alerts that will come up when a potential higher risk of fraud is presented. There can be added stipula­tions in the consumer verification pro­cess, such as income verification and ad­dress mismatch.
Overall, a person’s credit scores can vary by as much as 50 points between different bureaus due to the different in­formation reported to each bureau and the data used to calculate each bureau’s scores. For example, two of the three bureaus may place a consumer in the “prime” tier while the third may have that same consumer several tiers down, leav­ing them with less attractive financing offers. Factors such as old data or report­ing errors could adversely impact a credit score at one bureau compared to another.
Armed with a better understanding of the consumer credit report, F&I man­agers can get the most out of the lending process for their buyers, deepen their re­lationships by building their credibility with accurate information and meet auto lending compliance requirements.
Read Original Article by Brian Landau in F&I Magazine HERE

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Credit Repair Promotion 2019 for Liberty Tax Franchisees - NOW is the time

Hello Liberty Tax Franchisees and Store Managers,

Today is the 17th of January, and if you have not told your preparers to refer clients to us for credit repair, call the CRA office ASAP to schedule us to do a training session for your team. 804-823-9601. Plan on a day when everyone can be present to participate in the training. 

You are about to start getting very busy and you are Going to have an excellent 2019 tax season!!  

And as you know, referring clients to us for credit repair is a VERY lucrative "additional income" for you. View the 2019 promotion video by clicking below:  vvvvvvvvvvvvv

 Liberty Tax 2019 Credit Repair Affiliate Promotion

See our updated "Zee Net" page on the Liberty Tax Corporate resources site for talking points for credit repair services in your stores. "Financing", then "Outside Financing", then "Credit Restoration Associates" for all program details and guidelines.

You will make $50.00 per referral, X 100's of referrals this tax season!!! It will help you to make payroll.. utilities.. Liberty franchise fees.. whatever you need. 

Call Credit Restoration Associates for more information: 804-823-9601 x101

Are you interested in opening a satelite credit repair office in your Liberty Tax store(s)? Are you intersted in investing in a credit repair business opportunity? Visit our credit repair franchise page: for additional information and special offers to get started.

Credit Repair Franchise Business Opportunity Videos below:
Credit Repair Franchise Business Opportunity:

 Credit Repair Franchise Business Opportunity

 Shawn Womack Franchise Director Credit Repair Franchise Program and Business Opportunity

NOW is the time to invest in the future of your company. 

Robert Linkonis, our company President, and his company, Credit Restoration Associates, has physically attended each of the last 7 (seven) Liberty Tax conventions in Virginia Beach VA. We have had a full "Vendor Booth" in the exhibit hall of each convention  

You have most likely met Robert if you attended any of the Liberty Tax Conventions, or participated in his seminars on personal credit or business credit in the last seven years.

From Robert:
"I cannot remember exactly how many of you approached us at our vendor booth at the last 7 (seven) Liberty Tax Conventions in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach asking to buy into our franchise model. I have met thousands of you in the "breakout" sessions after each of my presentations to talk about fixing personal credit and building business credit...


Now is the time!

Call NOW to get started with the referral program (discounts for your family and your employees!) and Call NOW to schedule a conversation about becoming a full partner. (804) 823-9601.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Here’s What You Need to Know About Midland Credit Management and Midland Funding

Midland Funding is a company that buys old credit card debts at a steep discount, often without proper documentation. The company tries to collect by hiring collection agencies; if that doesn’t work, Midland will hire a lawyer to file a collection lawsuit.
If you go past due on a credit card debt, it’s going to be sold to another company. That’s how credit card companies make their money – by selling old debts that they can’t collect on their own.
The companies who buy old debts usually pay far less than face value for the account, so your $5,000 debt may be sold for as little as $500 depending on the exact nature of the account. Once the deal is done, the credit card company is out of the picture and only the debt buyer has the legal right to receive payment.
One of the major players in the debt buyer arena is Midland Funding, a unit of Encore Capital Group. Encore Capital, based in San Diego, is the largest debt buyer in the nation, buying enormous portfolios of charged-off debts each year in the hopes that it will be able to collect.
Midland Funding LLC is one of the nation’s biggest buyers of unpaid debt. Midland Funding LLC purchases accounts with an unpaid balance where consumers have gone at least 180 days without making a payment, or paid less than the minimum monthly payment.
Midland Funding LLC works with its affiliate, Midland Credit Management (MCM), to service accounts.
So there you have it – Midland Funding LLC buys the debts and hires Midland Credit Management to try to collect from you.

Midland Buys Debts, But What is it REALLY Buying?

The problem isn’t that debts are sold to other companies, or that the new company hires someone else to collect from you. If the original creditor can’t get you to pay the debt, it makes sense that the lender would want to sell the account in an effort to minimize its losses. The new buyer understandably doesn’t want to pay full price for the account, which is why these debts are sold at such steep discounts.
When a debt gets sold, there are certain documents that should be transferred from the seller to the buyer. Such items include:
  • The original agreement, including the terms and conditions under which the original lender agreed to extend credit;
  • copies of statements showing how the borrower incurred the debt, including the dates of transactions;
  • A complete accounting that shows how interest and other charges were calculated, as well as how payments were apportioned;
  • Proof that the buyer actually purchased this specific account; and
  • The terms and conditions of the sale of the account.
Midland Funding, however, buys billions of dollars worth of debt each year. To cut its costs, Midland wants to pay as little as possible for each account. The credit card companies, however, want to get paid as much as possible so that they take less of a loss on their unpaid accounts.
To compromise, Midland Funding (as well as just about any other debt buyer out there) buys nothing more than an electronic file of names, addresses, and amounts due. The company doesn’t ordinarily receive copies of agreements, statements, or anything else that would prove the amount or ownership of the debt.
The agreements covering these transactions allow Midland Funding to get more information, but it’s going to cost them more money – as much as $50 per account. That may not sound like much of an investment, but when you consider that Midland Funding is buying tens of thousands of accounts you can easily see how it can add up and cut into their bottom line.

The Midland Funding Business Model:

Midland Credit Management will usually try to collect on a debt once Midland Funding buys the account, hoping that the consumer will voluntarily make a payment. Some people will pay the debt, others won’t.
If you don’t pay the debt when Midland Credit Management comes calling, then Midland Funding will take back the account and send it to a law firm. In California Midland’s primary outside law firm is Hunt & Henriques, though sometimes they keep the account in-house and use one of their own attorneys.
That happens a lot – in fact, during November 2014 alone Midland Funding and Midland Credit Management filed 193 collection cases in Los Angeles Superior Court alone.
In the vast majority of those cases (well over 90% of the time, in fact), Midland Funding gets a judgment for the entire balance they claim to be due.

Why Midland Funding Get's Judgments So Often:

Most of the time, when someone is sued by Midland or another debt buyer, they fail to defend the case or show up in court.

With no opposition to the lawsuit, the judge grants a judgment in Midland’s favor. Once that judgment is issued, Midland can collect through wage garnishment, bank account levy, and other tactics.
That judgment, in California at least, can be renewed indefinitely. And once the judgment is issued, it’s difficult to get it lifted.

States Have Notices Midland's Shoddy Practices.

I’m not the only one who’s noticed how shoddy Midland is when it comes to filing credit card lawsuits with little or no proof.
In January 2015, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued Encore (Midland’s parent company) over shoddy practices and forced Encore to pay a $675,000 penalty and vacate more than 4,500 court judgments against borrowers.
In 2012 the West Virginia Attorney General sued Encore “for using false affidavits when obtaining default judgments against West Virginia consumers and for failing to include information required by law when suing a consumer in magistrate or circuit court for an alleged debt.”
In 2011, the Minnesota Attorney General launched an inquiry into an Ohio class action against Encore for debt collection abuses after filing a lawsuit against Encore.

If You're Contacted or Sued By Midland...

It’s not hard to see why it makes sense to defend any credit card lawsuit that’s brought against you by Midland Funding, Midland Credit Management, or Encore. The company has a long history of playing fast and loose with the debt collection process, and there’s no reason to expect that your case would be any different.
Defending the lawsuit gives you the chance to force Midland to prove up the case, including answering the following questions:
  • are you responsible for payment of the account?
  • does Midland rightfully own the debt they claim they own?
  • is the amount they claim to be due actually accurate?
  • has the lawsuit been filed within the appropriate statute of limitations for collection of a debt?
It’s about making sure that you pay the proper people the proper amount of money, and not one dime more.

About the Author, Jay Fleischman

I've been a consumer protection lawyer since 1995, working to help people end their bill problems. I'm a faculty member at the Student Loan Law Workshop, a nationally recognized speaker, and a long-time member of both the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and National Association of Consumer Advocates.

HERE is a Real-Life Example of How To Get A Midland Judgment "Vacated": 

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Experian is Eeeerrilllyy Ironic

I know that this is an advertisement intended for companies who buy customer data (marketing lists) from Experian for marketing purposes.

But, as a credit repair profressional, I find it very ironic that Experian is pointing out the obvious in the errors that are all over the data that it sells to financial institutions in the form of Credit Reports.

The FCRA demands 100% accuracy in the data that is sold to financial institutions - Banks, Credit Unions, Dealerships, any entity who "pulls credit". These entities are buying a credit report every time they use the term "pull credit". In the credit repair industry, our clients in the Mortgage and Automotive space are able to share the original credit reports that they "pull" from Experian. There are errors all over the reports. Missing information primarilly. How can a credit item be 100% accurate if anything is missing? Missing dates of last activity, missing payment history, there is rarely any account listed, good or bad that is displaying information 100% accurately.

How can this be? Eerie Errors Hidden in the Data?

This looks to me that Experian earned 4.335 Billion $ Dollars (USD) of revenue in 2017.

If a company earns 4.335 BILLION dollars, then one would assume that there are safeguards, systems, policies and procedures in place that would demand compliance with United States Federal Laws, mainly the Fair Credit Reporting Act which demands 100% accuracy in the data that it is selling.

Go figure ....

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Monday, September 24, 2018

ECMC screws up: Couldn't prove Mr. Rowe owed on his daughter's student loan

Educational Credit Management Corporation [ECMC]  is the Department of Education's premier student-loan debt collector.

ECMC has appeared in literally hundreds of student-loan bankruptcy cases, and it knows all the legal tricks for defeating a student-loan borrower's efforts to discharge student loans in bankruptcy. And most of the time ECMC wins its cases.

But not always.

 Last June, Judge Catherine Furay, a Wisconsin bankruptcy judge, ruled in favor of Thomas Rowe, who sought to discharge a student loan he said he didn't owe. ECMC claimed Rowe signed a student loan on behalf of his daughter. Rowe said he didn't sign the loan and that any signature appearing on the loan document must be a forgery.

Rowe declared bankruptcy and filed an adversary proceeding to discharge the student loan ECMC claimed he owed. A trial date was set, but neither Rowe nor ECMC filed the disputed loan document with the court.

Judge Furay ordered the parties to file briefs on the burden of proof and concluded the burden was on ECMC to prove Rowe owed on the student loan. Since ECMC did not produce the loan document, Judge Furay discharged the debt.

What the hell happened?

How could ECMC,, the most sophisticated student-loan debt collector in the entire United States, not produce the primary document showing Rowe had taken out a student loan?

I can think of only two plausible explanations. First, ECMC may have had the loan document in its possession but didn't produce it because the document would show Rowe was right-- he hadn't signed the loan agreement.

Second, the loan document may have gotten lost as ownership of the underlying debt passed from one financial agency to another.

Here is the lesson I take away from the Rowe case. If you are a student-loan debtor being pursued by the U.S. Department of Education or one of  DOE's debt collectors, demand to see the documents showing you owe on the student loan.

 Most times, the creditor will have the loan document, but not always.  And, as Judge Furay ruled, the burden is on the creditor to show a loan is owed.

And so I extend my hearty congratulations to Thomas Rowe, who defeated ECMC, the most ruthless student-loan debt collector in the business. Thanks to Judge Furay's decision, Mr. Rowe can tell ECMC to go suck an egg.

Link to source article:


Rowe v. Educational Credit Management Corporation, No. 17-0033-cf ( Bankr. W.D. Wis. June 28, 2018) (unpublished).

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Credit Report Security Freezes Are Now FREE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a reminder that, starting today, consumers who are concerned about identity theft or data breaches can freeze their credit and place one-year fraud alerts for free.

 Credit Repair Security Freeze

Under the new Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, consumers in some states — those who previously had to pay fees to freeze their credit — will no longer have to do so. The new law also allows parents to freeze for free the credit of their children who are under 16, while guardians, conservators, and those with a valid power of attorney can get a free freeze for their dependents.
In addition, the new law extends the duration of a fraud alert on a consumer’s credit report from 90 days to one year. A fraud alert requires businesses that check a consumer’s credit to get the consumer’s approval before opening a new account.
As part of its work to implement the new law, the Federal Trade Commission has updated its website with credit bureau contact information, making it easier for consumers to take advantage of the new provisions outlined in the law.
To place a credit freeze on their accounts, consumers will need to contact all three nationwide credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Whether consumers ask for a freeze online or by phone, the credit bureau must put the freeze in place within one business day. When consumers request to lift the freeze by phone or online, the credit bureaus must take that action within one hour. If the request is made by mail, the agency must place or lift the freeze within three business days.
To place a fraud alert, consumers need only contact one of the three credit bureaus, which will notify the other two bureaus, according to the FTC.
“Credit freezes and fraud alerts are two important steps consumers can take to help prevent identity theft,” the regulator stated on its website. “Identity theft was the second biggest category of consumer complaints reported to the FTC in 2017 — making up nearly 14 percent of all the consumer complaints filed last year. Consumers who believe they have been the victim of identity theft can report it and receive a personalized recovery plan at”

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