When time is money, every minute counts…
That’s why on this week’s Podcast, I talk about Credit Bureau STALL TACTICS: what they are, how the Bureaus use them to intentionally disrupt your Credit Repair process and everything you need to know to fight back and get results!
Today we’re going to talk about STALL TACTICS…which are what the credit bureaus do to delay the Credit Repair process and discourage people from using Credit Repair services.
I’ll cover what to expect once you’ve begun the dispute process, the types of Stall Tactics the Bureaus are using, the best responses to their tactics, and most importantly…how to keep yourself and your clients from getting discouraged when the bureaus start playing games.
Ok, let’s get into this…
Whether you’re fixing your credit, helping a friend or family, or you have a Credit Repair Company, it’s important to remember that most of your time will be spent waiting for results.
A “Stall Tactic” or a “Stall Response” is a common practice that the Bureaus use to slow and extend the Credit Repair process.
Now…whether you believe their reasons for stalling and playing games are mean – or that they’re just being lazy, their ultimate goal is to discourage you from repairing credit because that costs them money.
These tactics are very effective for confusing and even scaring people who don’t understand what they are. And if you don’t recognize and prepare for these Stall Tactics, it may even cost you some clients.
BUT DON’T WORRY!
STALL TACTICS ARE COMMON!
They are very annoying, but they’re a standard part of the process.
All of the Bureaus use Stall Tactics, and nearly everyone who repairs credit has to go through it.
Stall Tactics are one of the reasons we say the keys to Credit Repair are: pressure, persistence, and keeping the law on your side!
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that the Bureaus must send a written response to your letters. That means, after you send your first round of dispute letters, you should expect Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to EACH mail a response. All three keep different records, so all three will send different responses.
The Bureaus have 30 days from the date they receive your letters to respond, but the process can take as long as 45 days - although most responses are under 30 days.
Now, one or more of the Bureaus may completely fail to respond, but if that happens, don’t worry. They are required under Federal Law to conduct an investigation and respond.
You just need to politely remind them to comply with Federal Law.
In Credit Repair Cloud, we have a LETTER LIBRARY that includes the exact “No Response” letter template to use in this situation.
That all being said, you will probably receive responses from all Three Bureaus.
Those responses will either be the investigation results (letting you know whether or not the disputed information was modified or removed, and then you do a happy dance with your client). Or the response might say that the item was “verified,” which you can challenge.
Or you may get a Stall Letter.
And at this point in the Industry, it seems like the Stall Letter has become the Bureaus default, automatic first response to everything.
Here’s why this is important…
When their Stall Tactic is successful, this usually causes a person in a desperate financial situation to give up. And we can’t let that happen!
You can’t give up, and you can’t let your clients give up.
Keep them informed and updated throughout the process.
Explain to your clients what Stall Tactics are and how to fight them. If you don’t, they might think it’s your fault the process is taking so long.
And remember, all correspondence from the Bureaus, including these stall letters – are sent directly to your client!
If your client isn't expecting them, these letters might freak them out. They can make your clients think that Credit Repair is a bad thing. So be prepared to reassure them. Tell them not to worry when they get one of these letters in the mail. Remind them that Credit Repair is a waiting game, and this is just a Stall Tactic. This is normal. And the Bureaus MUST forward all the letters to you (which they can easily do in their portal if you use CRC.
If you establish realistic expectations for how long their Credit Repair may take and their role in the process, and you do it EARLY, you will have a good chance of keeping them calm.
Of course, all these recommendations are case by case, assuming your client is honest with you and all disputes are legal and factual.
The most important thing to remember is since Bureau Stall Tactics are part of the process, then YOUR RESPONSES TO THE STALL TACTICS ARE ALSO PART OF THE PROCESS…
If you have the correct responses for each Stall Tactic, you will make the process as fast as possible, you will break through the walls they built, and you will eventually make serious progress.
But you have to keep applying pressure, you have to keep being persistent, and you have to keep the law on your side!
Here’s what you need to know…
As Stall Tactics and Responses become more and more common every day, it’s essential to learn how to recognize and fight back against them.
Deciphering these Stall Responses may seem complicated, but it's not. They are all essentially saying the same thing…“We refuse to comply for whatever reasons.”
A “Stall Letter” can take several forms:
- It might say we received a “suspicious” request to access your credit file.
- It might say, “Your request was deemed frivolous and will NOT be investigated.”
- It might say that the Bureau or Furnisher requires additional documents to verify your identity.
- Or it might even say that the request you sent was not legible.
Each of these Stall Responses will slow the process down by another 30 to 45-day wait period. EVERY TIME.
Do you see why this can be so frustrating?
And that’s what they want! That’s their goal. To FRUSTRATE you!
The communication pattern is basically once a month, and that’s if they don’t ghost you. Just know that this is all designed to get you to give up – But don’t.
As I was saying, there are three primary types of Stall Letters:
- Suspicious Request
- Frivolous Request
- Insufficient Identification
Insufficient Identification is pretty self-explanatory, but it can also be tied in with a response that’s considered a “Suspicious Request.”
A Suspicious Request seems to be the most common Stall Letter, and I’ll cover that in-depth in a moment.
A Frivolous Request usually happens when you attempt to dispute too many items (or every single item) all at once.
In our Basic Disputing Course that comes with our Credit Hero Challenge, we recommend that you don’t dispute more than 5 items at a time with each Credit Bureau.
Sure, you can dispute more, but if you try to dispute a zillion things all at once, the Credit Bureaus may automatically deem your disputes as “frivolous” and essentially throw them all out. And now you’ll have to start over.
So don’t put yourself or your clients in that position.
In my opinion, the only true justification for disputing more than 5 items at once is in the case of actual Identity theft. But that’s a separate topic.
Now, back to the primary types of Stall Responses…
The Suspicious Request…
TransUnion, for example, has really increased their use of Stall Tactics, which include sending form letters like this one…
It says, “We applaud your recent efforts to take charge of your Credit. We want you to know we’re on your side, and we’re here to help support you on your path toward credit health.
We recently received a request that included your information, but it didn’t appear that you or a properly authorized third party sent it to us. We take the privacy and security of your data very seriously, so we won’t process requests unless they come directly from you or an authorized third party. If you’re working with a third party such as a credit repair company or “credit clinic,” they have to identify themselves in their communications to us and provide proof that you’ve authorized them to communicate with us on your behalf.
It’s important to know that if you see something on your TransUnion credit report that you believe is inaccurate, you can dispute it easily and securely on your own for free, without paying a fee to any company. Find out more about how to manage the information on your TransUnion credit report at TransUnion.com/repairletter.
If you’ve hired a credit repair company and they insist on payment upfront, encourage you to misrepresent your credit information, or instruct you not to contact a credit reporting agency directly, they are not acting lawfully. Learn more about credit repair and your rights at TransUnion.com/repairletter.
You can count on us as a resource as you work to achieve your credit health goals - we want you to be able to get the financial opportunities you deserve.
Your TransUnion Support Team.”
At first glance, the letter is acceptable. It provides helpful information, support options, and reminders of your rights under the law.
I’m glad the Bureaus are concerned about consumer security and financial safety. Everyone should be. Scammers exist in all financial situations, and it’s important to be cautious.
But when you constantly see these types of letters, and they seem to be automatically sent to everyone working to repair credit, you realize it’s just a very well-constructed Stall Letter.
It implies that you’ve done something wrong or that working with a Credit Repair Organization is wrong (when it’s actually your right under the law).
This Letter and ones similar to it are often referred to as an “Accusation of Credit Repair.”
You will probably receive a letter like this no matter how you prepare your documentation, even if you’re working on your own credit and you just pulled some letter templates off the internet. So don’t worry.
And as a reminder, if you’re repairing your own credit or if you’re working with a CRO, either way, technically speaking, ALL Credit Disputing is done by the Individual. Credit Repair Companies simply provide the document processing.
All this letter really means is that your timeline for Credit Repair just got 30-45 days longer. You will probably need to resend your previous letter with a minor tweaking or an addition of another form of ID, etc. You can even just hand write in the corner of their letter, “sorry, here are pictures of my additional ID,” and then resend it.
Just remember, Stall Tactics are designed to discourage you.
When people experience enough of them, they usually just give up.
But that’s why the Bureaus and Furnishers do this!
They want you to walk away! It saves them time, and it saves them a lot of money!
But if you keep applying pressure, you’re persistent, and you keep the law on your side, you will SUCCEED!
If the process goes on and on and the Bureaus CONTINUE to stall…you do have options…
You may want to file a complaint with the CFPB, FTC, or State Attorney General or even bring in an FCRA attorney to take them to court.
We cover Stall Tactics and Stall Responses in our Credit Repair Cloud Basic Disputing Course and Advanced Disputing Course. They include step-by-step, letter-by-letter responses to each stage of the disputing process.
Our Letter Library has over 100 templates to assist you in crafting personalized responses, including a response to the accusation of Credit Repair.
We also provide support, and our amazing Facebook Community allows you to get questions answered by thousands of credit experts.
We know this process can be slow and frustrating. The Bureaus and Furnishers want the system designed this way. That’s why we’re here to help.
I’ll end by saying…
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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