There is information out there that says a foreclosure will remain on your credit report for a minimum of seven years. The truth is a maximum of seven years.
This information is wrong; the truth is credit reporting is entirely voluntary on behalf of the lenders. A lender can remove a negative mark from your credit at any point in time and do not have to report the negative mark in the first place.
However I suggest you first try and dispute the foreclosure with the credit bureau. This is done by writing a dispute letter and sending it to each credit bureau.
In this dispute letter you must include why the listing is inaccurate or invalid. Reasons why include; account paid in full, not my account, information is wrong and etc.
The credit bureau will receive your letter and probably deem it invalid. This means they will respond with a letter to you requesting more information. This is nothing more than a stall tactic and is used because it only cost bureaus money to conduct an investigation.
You will have to send your dispute letter again; if you are persistent you can submit a valid dispute letter. The bureaus will then conduct an investigation into your negative mark.
If the foreclosure can not be verified then the mark must be removed from your credit. With the housing crisis many lending institutions have gone under or are in financial turmoil. Thus there is a chance they will not be able to verify the foreclosure.
If you are having trouble submitting a valid dispute or the foreclosure is verified then I recommend a credit repair service. They often have credit lawyers on their staffs that have an expert understanding of credit laws. These lawyers can use advanced dispute tactics or if necessary even take your case to court.
We expect some new case precedents with the increasing number of individuals going through foreclosure. Thus it may be in your interest to hire a service, especially if the foreclosure is not your only negative mark.
There is one last option. You can negotiate a settlement offer with the lender. You must negotiate that in exchange for your payment they will remove the foreclosure from your credit report.
In sum, negative items do not have to stay on your credit. You can have them removed and can have a clean credit report.
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