Credit Repair vs. Consumer Protection

I think it’s important to provide a friendly public service announcement to explain the difference between “credit repair” and “consumer protection.”


I do not provide credit repair services as an attorney. I assist people in correcting mistakes or incomplete information on their credit reports. The difference?


Credit repair is an industry in which someone who has something completely accurate on their credit report pays someone else to try to trick the credit bureaus or agencies into changing or deleting accurate information.


Here’s an example:


Joe takes out a car loan with a credit union. Joe falls on hard times and can’t make his car payments, and the credit union takes the car back. Accordingly, and unsurprisingly, his late or unpaid car payments show up as a blip on his credit report, as well as the repossession.


Joe gets his financial house in order, and wants to refinance his mortgage, but can’t because of the blip on his credit report. In order to “clean” his credit report, Joe finds a credit repair outfit who will send bogus letters to credit agencies questioning whether that blip is actually Joe’s, or some other maneuver to lead these agencies into removing the “questionable” account.


I would not represent Joe. His credit report was accurate, he just wanted it “cleaned.”


Here’s how Joe would become a client: if the car loan belonged to Joe Jr (Joe’s son), but the account ended up on Joe Sr’s credit report. That is an inaccurate entry on Joe Sr’s credit report and is a violation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
The other big difference between a credit repair agency and a consumer protection attorney? A consumer protection attorney will not charge you fees for a legitimate case.