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Credit Education
Credit Revolution
Chapter 10

Getting Help with Credit Improvement

During the middle ages, when the "great" western libraries consisted of under 100 books, scholars could actually know everything known to man. A person could read every book ever written, could learn every bit of math ever devised and could understand every theory of science conceived by the brain of man. There just wasn't that much information floating around. You could learn it all.

Since that time, information has exploded at a rate that boggles the mind. It's ridiculous to imagine that you can even know a tiny fraction of the knowledge accumulated by the human race. Even lawyers, doctors and scientists must specialize their careers down to the tiniest slices of specialty in order to be true "experts." No longer can you claim to be a one-stop "lawyer," but now you must be a "litigator" or a "patent lawyer" or a "consumer lawyer."

John Heath is a co-author of this book and a Lexington Law Firm attorney. Today, John focuses his practice on credit error correction. But it wasn't always so. John began his career as a public service lawyer. It became apparent to John while he was at his first job that he could never know every, single thing about the law. On the contrary, he learned that in order to become an effective attorney, he would have to focus his practice in specific areas. No attorney is expert in every area at once. No lawyer is at the top of many fields at the same time. Divorce, bankruptcy, litigation, collections, tax negotiation, patent law, contract law, etc. all require specific knowledge and specific experience for a lawyer to be proficient.

Credit correction law is much the same. The laws that govern credit reporting, lending, collection agencies, credit service organizations and extensions of credit in general are complex and ever-evolving. Even more importantly, the policies and procedures of the credit bureaus are constantly shifting. An attorney needs to stay current in all of these areas in order to be worthwhile to his clients. Not just any attorney can hang out his credit correction shingle and go to work. There's a lot to learn before an attorney will get good results.

Like other attorneys who have picked up the cause of credit correction, John has had to focus a great amount of time and energy to its research, study, and practice with clients. Studying the law is an important part of staying current with credit correction. However, an even bigger job is staying current with the policies and procedures of the credit bureaus, credit lenders and credit scoring companies.

For example, in 2007, credit repair clinics began to blatantly manipulate the credit scoring system and they created an industry outcry. John had to watch events carefully because the outcome would effect how he coached his own clients.

Previous to that year, when a client was looking to increase their credit score, John would counsel them to find a family member who would legitimately add them as an authorized user to one or more credit cards. By becoming an authorized user, it would add positive listings to the clients credit file and the client's credit score would usually go up (depending to some degree on the "negatives" showing up on the client's file).

But, credit repair clinics had run amok with this strategy. The credit doctors had begun to pay people to "rent out" their good credit listings -- adding dozens of strangers to their credit cards in exchange for cold, hard cash. This perversion of the credit scoring model made credit industry people angry and caught the attention of regulators as well. The credit scoring company, Fair Isaac, took notice and announced that it would change the credit scoring algorithm to ignore authorized users.

It would seem that the days of getting credit mileage from becoming an authorized user were over. But, John looked deeper and continued his research. Drawing from classes that Lexington had received at the hands of the credit scoring companies themselves, John went back to their notes. Even though the credit scoring companies had announced that authorized users would no longer receive a credit "bump," John realized that these changes would take almost a decade to implement. The credit scoring programs, John knew, were hard-wired into the lenders' computers. They change out credit scoring programs very rarely and often run old programs for many years just because they're so difficult to modify. Therefore, contrary to the announcements, John realized that the authorized user approach would continue to give people a positive score increase for many, many years to come. So, the Lexington attorneys could continue to recommend becoming authorized users for family members.

This isn't something that any attorney would know (and this is one bit of knowledge among a library of credit correction information that an attorney must watch). Credit correction, like all other areas of law, requires a considerable amount of specialization.

These days, to be smart ISN'T to know everything or even to know a LOT...


Load more of this Chapter

Credit Revolution: Path of the Smart Consumer 2007 John C. Heath, Esq., Dr. Randy Padawer, Jayson R. Orvis. All Rights Reserved. Published by Far Cliffs Multimedia, LLC

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