Lexington Law Review
Okay, don’t tell Uncle but Aunty had ANOTHER hit on her credit score, from a beautiful and rising score of 762 and to a less beautiful score of 737. Honestly though, it really wasn’t Aunty’s fault this time.
Our hardly used GM Card (now Capital One) had a balance of $94, and Aunty did an online payment before it was due. All is well until Credit Karma notifies Aunty that her credit rating has dropped because of a payment that was over 30 days late for the GM Card. Whaaaa? Aunty paid that, got proof, even did a note on the statement and had the confirmation code and everything. They claimed that funds were not collected, from a checking account that we no longer had.
Need to be cool headed
The last time Aunty had a credit hit, it was with the Nordstrom Bank. Speaking to their nice customer service a couple of times reversed that booboo, so 2 calls were made to the Capital One group with high hopes. However, the folks at Capital One were rigid and unyielding to the point of “We’re right and you are wrong.” That’s when panic set in. Aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh! Aunty’s credit had steadily been rising into “excellent” territory, and this stupid little online computer glitch sank it back to “averagely good”.
Aunty paid the dang balance and the late fees and interest off and again called Capital One – and same answer, sorry, no can help, the error must have been Aunty’s, not theirs, so tough toe turd (or something like that). BIG difference between the customer service of Nordstrom and Capital One. Their only suggestion was to contact the credit bureaus and beg.
Call in the Cavalry
Enter into the picture, Lexington Law, who has advertisements plastered everywhere one looks for credit repair. What the hey, Aunty figures, worth a call to their toll free number.
The initial contact was a bit scary – they asked a lot of questions that felt like identity theft stuff, but Aunty had to keep telling herself that she called them and they needed some answers. Very high pressure sales from a very fast talking young man who assured Aunty the moon and then some.
How much does the Cavalry cost?
The cost was $99.95 for the initial and first month, and $99.95 for subsequent months. Would this take one month to repair? Seemed like it would since the phone salesman said that their legal letter demands often times were too time consuming for the creditors to answer to, and that would place the favor in our court. Since Uncle’s name was on the credit card too, a discount of $49.95 for Uncle’s was added to Aunty’s credit card, generating 2 different cases. Hmmmm.
Then, $12.99 for Uncle and $12.99 for Aunty was also charged in order to order the credit reports from the 3 credit agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. A user name and log in info for Lexington Law was set up so Aunty could check on the status of the repair every day. Doubt began to set in – are these guys just taking our money? Will this be worthwhile? Aunty will be waiting to see and if progress is being made, will continue for at least another month….maybe.
The charge begins
This case started on December 16. Other than the ordering and receipt of the credit reports, nothing else happened for 8 days.
Aunty was given a user name and account to check on the progress of the case.
On December 24, legal letters were sent to the 3 credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax regarding the Capital One 30 day delinquency AND a Sears Credit 30 delinquency that occurred over 10 years ago. Aunty had already dropped Sears as a credit card long ago. After 7 years, the Sears delinquency doesn’t show up on credit reports, yet it was still there on our records!
Aunty thought it unusual that Lexington Law didn’t contact Capital One since they were the ones who filed the 30 day late report. Instead, they were legally challenging the credit bureaus to show proof that a delinquency occurred, with the premise that the credit bureaus wouldn’t spend time doing the communication and research to prove the delinquency. They also sent “Goodwill Intervention” letters to the credit bureaus on our behalf.
3 down, 3 to go
Two weeks later, on January 7, TransUnion removed both of the delinquencies for Capital One and Sears (hurray!) and Equifax removed the old delinquency for Sears.
So far, Experian has not responded to the legal challenge, and the Capital One delinquency is still pending with Equifax. Because there were 2 delinquencies – one for Capital One, and one for Sears, and 3 credit bureaus, the number of outstanding negative marks were 6 (2×3), and so far, 3 have been removed.
Already a new picture!
Aunty’s Credit Karma score has increased to a point even higher than it was before! Perhaps TransUnion has more pull with the overall score, but their removal of the old and new delinquencies has done wonders so far.
Waiting some more
Not much else happened in the next 2 weeks, and meanwhile we were entering our 2nd month of contracting with Lexington Law. A charge of $99.95 plus tax was authorized, and a call from a very nice paralegal named Mele to update us on the case as well as answer any and all questions was a pleasant surprise.
Not a sales pitch
The best part about Mele’s call was that it was not a sales pitch, but rather a true customer service experience. In fact, she discovered that Uncle’s account did not have the discount applied, so BAM! a refund was issued. Also, because Uncle’s case was tied into the exact same credit card that Aunty was debating, it didn’t make sense to have him be a full-on client, and she offered a down grade of his service to just credit monitoring or closing his case.
The initial contact that Aunty made with Lexington Law was a bit too pushy, and too sales oriented. He also did not properly link Uncle’s and Aunty’s accounts for the discount to apply, even though he was the one who suggested the adding of Uncle because of the discount.
He gets a C- from Aunty, Mele gets an A+.
Giving it another month
Since Aunty paid for the 2nd month, we were in the “see and hope” phase – that all the delinquencies get cleared. Whether they do or don’t, 2 months of paying $99.95 is enough, and being 30 days late on a small balance is not too bad. Aunty is ready to ditch the Capital One GM card since the way they do business is a bit sketchy – fast to condemn, inflexible to fix.
Hearing from Capital One
Aunty’s initial contacts with GM Card Capital One’s customer service were very disappointing. Then, because of the letters that Lexington Law had sent out to the credit bureaus on our behalf, both Uncle and I received letters of inquiry from Capital One’s dispute resolution department! We were to physically mail information regarding our dispute. Better yet, a phone number to leave a detailed message was provided – eureka! Aunty left a message. (For anyone with Capital One problems like this, the phone number is 1-702-243-1040 so you bypass their initial nay sayers.)
It was a bit humbug writing out a detailed explanation, finding a copy from our credit report regarding the account, but Aunty did her homework and was about to mail the documentation out, when Capital One called. The dispute rep was very nice and said the beautiful six words, “I’ll see what I can do…”
He came back on the line and said the delinquency would be removed, goodie goodie gumshoes! It took awhile, but we did get the results we wanted.
Next step is to “unhire” Lexington Law.
If your credit picture is bad and you need to do some heavy lifting to improve it, Lexington Law is a good start. Their fees are reasonable and their services also include managing your debt. It’s a bit of an oxymoron because you will have to pay $99.95 on a monthly basis to get help, which can add up the longer you use them, but it may be what you need. Repairing and managing your credit score is important if you plan to borrow in the near term. However, if you credit is poor because of your poor credit habits, you must learn to change your habits.
For Uncle and Aunty, it was panic and meeting up with the initial stone wall of Capital One that prompted us to call and hire Lexington Law. It seemed rather foolish to sign up and pay for services that would be double of the disputed amount, but a great credit score was very important to us. A delinquency or hit on credit takes 7 years (!) to clear from credit records!
Recommended, yes indeed!
2 months had gone by since Aunty first hired Lexington Law. Even though the details of our case that we provided were not used by Lexington Law, and the “proof” that the delinquency wasn’t entirely our fault was presented to Capital One by ourselves, it was the heavy hand of Lexington Law that started the ball rolling with the least amount of effort.
Our initial goal of having the delinquency wiped out by Capital One, which they will report to the credit bureaus, had been achieved.
Nice folks, too
Today, Aunty called Lexington Law so that we could close our accounts with them. A very pleasant paralegal named Alysha looked into our accounts, and calculated the fees that were outstanding. Lexington Law charges retroactively, which means they look backwards to calculate what is owed.
Our Hawaiian Miles FIA Card Services VISA credit card was the payment method we had initially signed up with. However, because FIA Card Services has been changing out the account numbers recently (frustrating process for cardholders), Uncle’s account had an outstanding balance due to non-processing, and today’s closing fees would also be unprocessed with the credit card that they had on file. Aunty was ready to provide the “new” credit card account to payoff the balance due, but Alysha did some magic.
Whoosh! The balance due was adjusted to $0, and our accounts were closed! That was very nice!
In conclusion, Lexington Law made our creditor pay attention, helped us get rid of the delinquency, and gave us discounts over and above what was normal. That is a WOW! experience.
Call Lexington Law if your credit needs fixing. Their website is LexingtonLaw.com. Their phone number is 1-800-341-8441.
Please tell them that Aunty sent you, even though they don’t know who Aunty is, lol!