How do you tell the difference between an industry-standard best practice and a bunch of magic beans?
Well, on this week’s podcast I’m going to talk about FACTUAL DISPUTING, what it is, why it’s a hot topic, and what it means for your business and our industry!
There have been several topics trending throughout the CRC Community recently: Metro2, Tradelines, FTC court cases…and Factual Disputing.
We recently discussed Factual Disputing in-depth during a previous Podcast about Repossessions…
But due to confusion in the community, some of it bears repeating…
Factual Disputing is when you are disputing an item based on the fact that something about the item is inaccurate, outdated, or incomplete.
Factual Disputing is not some crazy new trend or buzzword.
Factual Disputing is not crazy or new…It’s considered a “Low Hanging Fruit” dispute in our Basic Disputing Course that comes with our Credit Hero Challenge and also with the free trial of Credit Repair Cloud.
In fact, Factual disputing is actually the basis for all credit disputes… and (arguably) the bedrock of all credit repair…coupled with Credit Building.
When you Factually Dispute, you are simply pointing out something that is undeniably false.
You file a Factual Dispute when you find ACTUAL errors, inaccuracies, and outdated or incomplete information.
And…you can even file a Factual Dispute about a negative item that’s accurate and true because very often, there is something inaccurate about how that item is being reported.
So, to be clear, the PROCESS of Factually Disputing might be varied and different based on circumstances…but what you’re disputing is not…
Now, some opportunists are using confusing marketing to turn this time-tested ethical process…into a suspicious-sounding trend…
But it’s not a trend. It’s how credit repair already works… and couldn’t be simpler…
Are the facts on your side? If yes…Then you’re filing a Factual Dispute.
Are there inaccuracies with how the item is being reported? If yes…Then you’re filing a Factual Dispute.
At the end of the day, Factual Disputing has always been and will always be an industry “best practice.”
What you need to watch out for are the deceptive, bad practices…the bogus guarantees, false promises, and quick fixes that are potential threats to your business and our industry.
You may have seen a few scary stories in the news recently…
For example, there’s a current court case where the FTC alleges that a very large credit repair company misled and deceived people, combining fake promises with the offer of a bogus money-making opportunity…also known as a pyramid scheme.
The FTC alleges the company claimed to boost people’s credit scores by hundreds of points in a short time by permanently removing negative information—like collection accounts and late payments—from credit reports and adding positive information.
And according to the FTC, the company did neither.
The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) also requires that specific information be provided to all customers, including signed contracts that disclose the services provided, the total cost of services, and the refund and cancellation policies…But the company withheld this information from its customers.
Now, wild guarantees of “huge credit score boosts” in short periods of time and claims of permanent deletions might make for a hip and effective ad campaign…but Credit Repair is not hip. It’s not a fast and easy process…If it was, everyone would have perfect credit.
There’s also an additional, unrelated FTC case alleging that a separate company marketed a business opportunity that essentially asked for people to turn over their COVID-19 government benefits to them in order for them to learn how to start their own credit repair businesses.
Wow, that was scary to read!
Cases like these are proof that time-tested, ethical processes must be followed…And new flash-in-the-pan quick fixes, computer language “hacks,” and magic bean promises of overnight success…must be looked at with suspicion and be held up for scrutiny.
“Here’s why this is important”.
We have a responsibility to our customers.
Schedule a consultation with them. Discuss and establish clear expectations.
Always be upfront about what you can offer and give them a realistic timeline for accomplishing it.
And explain to your customers their role in the credit repair process.
Your customers need to learn…quick fixes don’t make lasting results.
Our financial system is broken, and our industry is a bit of the wild west. But even still, there are laws that you must follow.
You cannot make false promises or guarantee results. Doing that is illegal. But you can explain the process and show customers the results you’ve had with others.
A customer might have a clean credit report…you may have eliminated all negative items…and their score might still be 400…or lower.
This client might be continuing to apply for things or pay their bills late, and that is going to affect your outcome. So it’s important to establish ground rules for your client on ways they must participate to improve the outcome.
If your client isn’t an active participant in their credit repair process, they will become a return customer for the wrong reasons.
We must establish and follow the best practices, or our entire industry will suffer.
Factual Disputing nets long-term results when coupled with financial literacy. And if you decide to offer Financial Literacy or Credit Building courses as additional services, terrific! Get paid for the work you do.
But make sure you’ve established proper expectations with your customers early on, or you might be the recipient of a negative review.
“Here’s what you need to know.”
I don’t want this talk about bad practices and Federal cases to scare any of you new to the business.
I’m simply saying don’t lie to or mislead your customers. If you do, you will get in trouble.
The companies that are under investigation made false claims, promised the moon, charged high prices up front, delivered nothing…and ripped off a lot of people.
These bad practices are recipes for disaster.
Financial Literacy and ethical practices beat buzzwords and magic beans any day of the week.
I’ll end with an example…
Many customers seeking Credit Repair don’t understand that once you remove an outstanding debt from their credit report…it doesn’t remove the actual debt…The debt still exists…They still have to pay or risk being sued over it…But more than that…not only does the debt still exist…that debt can be SOLD. And if that debt is sold, it can come back from the dead and return to the customer's credit report…
Then the customer has to go through the entire credit repair process all over again.
This story illustrates why Financial Literacy and Credit Building might be viable additional services for your company to offer. They’re honest and ethical practices…just like Factual Disputing.
Overall, it will be better for your business, better for your customer's long-term financial health, and better for our entire industry if you are honest and ethical in your practices and your messaging.
If you’d like to learn more about Factual Disputing, it is one of the many topics we cover in our Credit Repair Cloud Basic Disputing Course that comes with our Challenge!
If you don’t already have a Credit Repair Cloud account, check it out. It’s the software that most Credit Repair businesses in America run on. Just sign up for a 30-Day Free Trial at CreditRepairCloud.com/freetrial
And If you’d like me to hold you by the hand as you launch your own credit repair business, check out our Credit Hero Challenge!
It’s an amazing program where you’ll learn the processes that have made millionaires, and it costs less than you'll spend taking your family to McDonald’s for dinner.
We’ve got another challenge starting in a few days, so grab your spot right now at CreditHeroChallenge.com!
Until then, remember, keep the facts on your side…
And keep changing lives!
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