• Don’t End Up in Credit Jail

    If there is an error on your credit report, it can have a negative effect on your financial future. This is why it is essential to check for credit inaccuracies and have them fixed. If you see an error on your credit report, it could be due to a creditor or a credit reporting agency failing to update your information. You can begin a credit dispute with the credit reporting agency, which can either correct the mistake or investigate it further. It is a wise idea to work with a credit lawyer in Fairfax during this process, as it can be time-consuming and complicated. In some cases, you may end up having to file a lawsuit in order to get your credit report fixed. Check out this infographic from the credit lawyers at Blankingship & Christiano to learn more about getting your credit report updated. Please share with your friends and family.

    infographic - credit reporting agency in Fairfax

  • Signs You Are Being Targeted by an Abusive Debt Collector

    The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which is a federal law, spells out certain consumer rights that protect individuals from abusive debt collectors. If you think that there is a chance you may have been the target of abusive debt collection practices, you might consider talking to a credit lawyer about suing the debt collector in Fairfax. It is important to keep meticulous records of your correspondence with the debt collector. Your credit lawyer will need this information in the event that a claim is filed.

    credit reporting attorney in Fairfax

    The debt collector has threatened violence or other consequences.

    It is unlawful for a debt collector to threaten violent actions against you if you do not pay the debt. Similarly, debt collectors are barred from threatening other dire consequences, such as having you arrested and pressing criminal charges. They may not threaten wage garnishment unless they have already obtained a judgment against you. In fact, debt collectors cannot even threaten to file a lawsuit; however, they can inform you that they will file a lawsuit if they truly intend to do so.

    The debt collector has used abusive language.

    It is illegal for debt collectors to use profane, obscene, or abusive language when corresponding with you. Abusive language includes hateful language such as racial slurs. If you do encounter abusive language, you can inform the debt collector that you will be recording the conversation.

    The debt collector has made unreasonable calls.

    Another sign that you have been targeted by an abusive debt collector is that the agency has made numerous calls in an attempt to harass you. There is no set limit on how many times within a certain time period a debt collector is allowed to contact someone. Make a record of each call you receive, along with the date and time. It is left to the discretion of the court to determine if the number of calls constitutes harassment. Similarly, debt collectors are barred from contacting consumers before eight in the morning and after nine in the evening, unless consumers have specifically instructed the debt collectors to call at these times.

  • Get a Better Understanding of Your Credit Score

    Your credit score is integral to your financial health. It can persuade lenders to extend a loan or line of credit, and it can influence the rate you receive. There are many different credit scores sold to consumers, and those scores can differ in scoring models from the scores used by a lender who is underwriting a loan. The best path to a higher credit score is to review a copy of your credit file for inaccurate items. You do not need to pay for your credit score from a credit reporting agency to obtain a copy of your credit file. If you find an inaccuracy, your credit reporting rights include the right to file a credit report dispute in the Fairfax area. A credit lawyer can discuss with you the nature of the dispute that you need to make with the credit reporting agencies, which can ultimately boost your credit score if the inaccurate item is removed. If the inaccurate item remains on your credit report, the credit report lawyer can assist you in taking legal action.

    When you watch this video, you will learn more about your credit score with the help of Leslie and Andy, two fictional characters who earn the same salary. Leslie is financially responsible and never misses a payment, whereas Andy lives beyond his means and does miss payments from time to time. As you might expect, Leslie will get a better rate from lenders than Andy. However, both of these characters could benefit from consulting a credit lawyer if their credit scores are affected by errors.

  • Defining Good Credit Scores

    With credit scores, a high number is desirable. If your credit score is less than 720, you can expect to pay more in interest over the life of the loan. Or, you may not be approved for a loan at all. It is advisable to check your credit reports and your scores before applying for a loan. If your credit reports contain errors, you may need to contact a credit lawyer who can serve as your consumer advocate. A credit lawyer in Fairfax can help you successfully dispute the erroneous information to restore your credit history.

    Consult your credit lawyer for information about credit report disputes or watch this brief video for further guidance on credit score ranges. These credit experts discuss some of the factors that can affect the minimum credit score needed for a loan.

  • Are You Eligible for Damages After a Credit Report Error?

    If you have suffered harm as a result of credit report errors, you may be entitled to seek compensatory damages. Consider talking to a credit lawyer about your situation. For individuals who live in Fairfax and beyond, consulting a consumer advocate is a necessary first step toward recovering damages for financial problems caused by errors. The credit lawyer will need to know if the credit report errors have caused you to be turned down for a loan or mortgage, forced you to pay higher interest rates, or perhaps cost you a job or your security clearance.

    For many consumers, the financial impact is only the beginning. Many people suffer severe psychological harm as a result of the credit report dispute. Mental stress can manifest in physical symptoms, including debilitating headaches, hair loss, insomnia, and nausea. Credit report errors may even trigger the deterioration of family relationships. Keep track of all the ways your credit report errors have affected you and discuss these problems with your credit lawyer.

    Disputing Errors on Credit Reports in Fairfax

  • Get the Facts on Employer Credit Checks

    You may already know that if you have poor credit, you may have difficulty obtaining a car loan, mortgage, or credit card. But did you know that you could also jeopardize your candidacy for a job? Many employers run background credit checks on job candidates. By reviewing a candidate’s financial history, it is thought that employers are better able to weed out candidates who have previously demonstrated irresponsibility or who may be more likely to pilfer from the office petty cash. Unfortunately, many responsible job candidates are at risk of being turned down for a position because of credit report errors. If you have suffered damages of this nature, consider talking to a credit lawyer located near Fairfax. A credit lawyer at a consumer law practice can help you get these mistakes corrected.

    credit lawyer located near Fairfax

    Checking Your Credit Reports

    If you are in the market for a new job and there may be a possibility that potential employers will check your credit history, it may be a good idea to check your credit reports in advance. It can take months to fix credit report errors; staying on top of your financial information is crucial. If you do find errors, consider contacting a credit lawyer for help fixing them.

    Signing a Release Form

    Employers are not allowed to check your credit history without your permission. You will be asked to sign a release form. Of course, you can choose not to sign the release form. However, refusing your permission for a credit check is not likely to lead to a job offer. You should retain copies of all documents that you sign or that you are provided by prospective employers including any application that you complete.

    Consider Disclosing Additional Information

    If you choose to sign the release form and you already know that your credit history is less than favorable, you could provide an explanation to the hiring manager. For example, you could say that you are currently disputing erroneous information on your credit report and that the information currently available is not an accurate representation of your fiscal responsibility. If the information is accurate, but unfavorable, you could still offer an explanation if you choose. You might say that you have unpaid medical bills due to a family member’s long, unexpected illness, for instance, and you are working to repay these bills. However, it is your choice whether to disclose your financial information to a prospective employer.

  • Attorney Spotlight: Hugo Blankingship

    If you’re in need of a highly qualified and experienced credit lawyer in Leesburg, look no further than A. Hugo Blankingship, III of Blankingship & Christiano, P.C. Mr. Blankingship began his distinguished career as a federal court litigator after receiving his law degree from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary in 1986. He began working as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia before founding a consumer advocate law firm in 1993 that would ultimately become Blankingship & Christiano, P.C. with fellow credit lawyer, Tom Christiano.

    Attorney Spotlight: Hugo Blankingship | Leesburg Mr. Blankingship has aggressively represented the rights of clients facing a variety of issues, from automobile fraud and construction litigation to credit fraud and abusive debt collectors. His other practice areas include consumer credit compliance, consumer collection defense, and truth in lending. In these areas and many others, Mr. Blankingship has argued his clients’ cases in both state and federal court, including the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Supreme Court of the United States. For his dedication to his clients, Mr. Blankingship has earned numerous professional awards and recognitions. In addition to being a top-rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell, Mr. Blankingship is a member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and the Alexandria Bar Association.