Ask Bill your personal finance question

Information on Credit Letter of Deletion

What is a letter of deletion? Can it be used to remove a negative item on your credit report?

What is a letter of deletion? Can it be used to remove a negative item on your credit report?

Read full question
Bill's Answer
4.5
/5.0
(7 Votes)

Updated: Oct 20, 2014

Bills.com | Find Learn Save

A letter of deletion is a request to remove inaccurate marks from your credit report.  I have included a sample letter of deletion, below, along with instructions on how to submit it online for free.

No one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report. The law allows you to ask for an investigation of information in your file that you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete. There is no charge for this. If you paid the accounts in full and as agreed, then you can try to get them removed. If you have an unpaid debt and want to remove its history from your credit report, you first have to bring the debt down to a $0 balance, by paying it off or by reaching a settlement with your creditor.

Following up with the credit bureaus might be a time consuming proposition, depending on how many items you have that need to be removed. In order to get these items removed from your credit report you have two options:

Removing Inaccurate Reports on Your Own

Do it yourself. The Federal Trade Commission provides extensive information and self help resources that are available at FTC.gov. You will first need to obtain a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. You can get free credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com, or through the mail at: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

Check your reports for the action items. Keep in mind all the bureaus now have provisions to dispute items online, but in most cases you will need a copy of the respective report and other information to do so. Once you are ready, contact each of the three consumer credit reporting agencies, commonly called credit bureaus, using the information provided below:

Tell the consumer reporting company, in writing, what information you think is inaccurate. Include copies (NOT originals) of documents that support your position. In addition to providing your complete name and address, your letter should clearly identify each item in your report you dispute, state the facts and explain why you dispute the information, and request that it be removed or corrected. You may want to enclose a copy of your report with the items in question circled. Your letter may look something like:

FTC Sample Letter of Deletion

Date
Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code

Complaint Department
Name of Company
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. The items I dispute also are encircled on the attached copy of the report I received.

This item (identify item(s) disputed by name of source, such as creditors or tax court, and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.) is (inaccurate or incomplete) because (describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why). I am requesting that the item be deleted (or request another specific change) to correct the information.

Enclosed are copies of (use this sentence if applicable and describe any enclosed documentation, such as payment records, court documents) supporting my position. Please investigate this (these) matter(s) and (delete or correct) the disputed item(s) as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Your name

Enclosures: (List what you are enclosing)

Once you resolve the issue with the credit bureaus, tell the creditor or other information provider, in writing, that you dispute an item. Be sure to include copies (NOT originals) of documents that support your position. Many providers specify an address for disputes. If the provider reports the item to a consumer reporting company, it must include a notice of your dispute. And if you are correct — that is, if the information is found to be inaccurate — the information provider may not report it again.

Using Professional Credit Repair Services

Some people pay for the services of a credit repair firm. There is nothing a credit repair firm can do for you that you can't do for yourself, for free. Nevertheless, some people prefer to pay for professional help, to avoid having to do the work themselves. It is important to know, however, that even if you hire a credit repair firm, you have to devote time and effort to make the process effective.

The federal government strongly cautions anyone considering hiring a professional credit repair firm.

By law, credit repair organizations must give you a copy of the “Consumer Credit File Rights Under State and Federal Law” before you sign a contract. They also must give you a written contract that spells out your rights and obligations. Read these documents before you sign anything. The law contains specific protections for you. For example, a credit repair company cannot:

  • Make false claims about their services
  • Charge you until they have completed the promised services
  • Perform any services until they have your signature on a written contract and have completed a three-day waiting period.

Your contract must specify:

  • The payment terms for services, including their total cost
  • A detailed description of the services to be performed
  • How long it will take to achieve the results
  • Any guarantees they offer
  • The company’s name and business address

I hope the information provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

10 Comments

Recent Best
1500 characters remaining
  • BA
    Jun, 2010
    Bill
    By law, the collection agency should not have accurate information deleted from your report.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2010
    Chris
    I just paid off two debts listed on my credit report. (They went to collections and I just paid them off). My wife and I are trying to get a home loan right now, though, and were told by our mortgage company that I need to obtain letters of deletion concerning these debts being paid off. Can I contact the original debt-holders (not collection agencies) and ask for these letters myself or do I need to have a credit repair agency do it?
    25 Votes

  • BA
    May, 2010
    Bill
    You may be a victim of identity theft. See the link I just mentioned to learn the steps you need to take to rectify this situation.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    John
    I recently checked my credit and notice there were inaccurate info on it. I wrote to equifax stating my case and unforntunely it came back as verified. I then wrote to the credit card place asking them to provide me with proof that this account belongs to me. I sent the letter certified mail and gave them 30 days to respond which they never did. I then called equifax back and told them that by law the credit card co has 30 days to respond to my request which they did not so the credit breau needs to deleted the item. Equifax said they can't do that and that they would have to reinvestigate my case. For some reason the credit card co will respond to the credit reporting agency but not to me what can I do from here?
    0 Votes

  • BA
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    If you have a lump-sum -- say 40 cents on the dollar -- to settle the debt that would be a terrific idea because you clear the debt without it impacting your credit score and you give the collection agent (who bought the debt for 10 or 15 cents on the dollar) a nice profit. Be sure to make it clear that the settlement is conditioned on the fact that it not be reported to the credit reporting agencies.
    0 Votes