If you've been in the credit industry for a while, chances are you've had a client approach you about performing a credit sweep. I'm going to tell you why this practice is immoral, illegal, and detrimental to your reputation as a Credit Hero.
Credit sweeps are a super aggressive credit repair tactic where every item on someone’s credit report gets disputed all at once.
Credit sweeps are usually advertised to someone who has experienced identity fraud, usually by an illegitimate credit repair company posing as a legitimate one.
The only way to perform a “credit sweep” is if your client has a police report indicating they were a victim of identity theft, and in fact, every single item on their credit report is fraudulent, but more often than not, this isn’t the case.
Are Credit Sweeps Legal?
Let me put this plainly. Credit sweeps are illegal.
There are tons of super fascinating threads about credit sweeps on the Credit Repair Cloud Community Facebook page. One of my favorite responses is from Credit Repair Cloud Software super-user (and expert in student loan credit repair), Bruce Politano:In very rare instances — like if the victim of identity theft is a child — then it could be possible to dispute everything on a credit report. However, for the majority of your adult clients, they have likely applied for a credit card, car loan, mortgage, etc. at some point in their life. That means not everything on their account is fraudulent.
If you conduct a credit sweep which disputes everything in your client’s credit history, but even just ONE of the accounts was opened by your client, you are committing fraud.
Watch Out for Credit Sweep Scams
When you see other credit repair companies guaranteeing fast results, be wary of copying their methods.
Not only is it immoral and illegal to make untrue or misleading statements to credit repair clients under the Credit Repair Organizations Act, but the path to achieving fast results can also lead to criminal charges.
Unless your client has a police report proving their identity was stolen, the term credit sweep should not even pop up. If your client says they know of a company that has a workaround or can retroactively file a police report, it’s time to sit your client down for some “real talk”.
Unfortunately, there are some bad apples in the industry that will go as far as to file false police reports to remove negative items from a credit repair super fast. You have a moral responsibility to protect your client from this type of scam that could potentially land them in big trouble.
For example, in 2013, after a year-long investigation by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service, a company called Tradeline Pros found themselves in hot water for credit sweeps.
On its website, Tradeline Pros promised to “remove 75% of negative items from your reports in the first month.” As it turns out, these unbelievable results were just that. Unbelievable.
Tradeline Pros forged 174 police reports indicating their clients were victims of identity theft, when in fact, they were not.
The defendants in the case were charged with a slew of felonies including racketeering, establishing a forgery laboratory, and forgery.
What is a Better Alternative to a Credit Sweep?
Disputing in phases — with the factual dispute methodology — is an effective and, more importantly — legal —way to get the best results for your clients.
With a factual dispute, you’ll comb through a client’s credit report to find inaccuracies and create a strategic plan to dispute them.
Inaccuracies can be anything from incorrect account numbers, dates, account status, account types to incomplete information about accounts like missing dates, account numbers, and balances.
You can look for inaccuracies or discrepancies in:
- Late payments
- Incorrect/Conflicting Personal information
Credit bureaus might also be missing back-up documentation for everything listed on a credit report, which is grounds for a dispute.
Going through the factual dispute process is the only legitimate way to practice credit repair.
If you have not already done so, I highly recommend you take our Basic Disputing Course. In this 3 hour course, our resident Credit Repair Expert Corey Gray goes into detail on exactly how to tackle the first 8 rounds of disputes. He covers all the topics, laws and strategies including Factual Disputes.
Operating morally and ethically is the cornerstone of your reputation, what will help your clients the most, and what helps show people all over the country that credit repair is a legitimate industry that can provide incredible results!
Do Factual Disputes Take A Long Time?
The appeal of a credit sweep is that it’s fast, far-reaching, and requires less paperwork (unless you get slapped with criminal charges.) But, even if credit sweeps were completely legal, it’s still worth noting that factual disputes don’t take any longer than one foul credit sweep (if you’re using the right tools.)
When you use Credit Repair Cloud software for disputes, you can automate the process to save you time and ensure you’re working morally and legally for your clients:
- Perform a 1-click credit report import and audit
- Create a round 1 letter including multiple dispute items in just a few clicks
- Our new "Letter Finder" feature helps you find the perfect letter (for round 2 and higher) and will automatically fill in all the client and dispute info for you!