A charge-off account may be removed from the credit report under the any of the following circumstances using a special dispute letter, and using the specific dispute reasons listed below :
- Unrecognizable Account: If the account in question is one you do not recognize, the account can be disputed as such. You will need to dispute the account as “no knowledge of account”
- Fraudulently Opened Account: If you are certain the account is indeed fraudulent, where an identity thief opened an account without your knowledge, then you will need to file identity theft reports. These will need to be filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the local authorities. After which you will need to forward these reports to both the creditor and the credit bureaus in order to dispute the account as a “Fraudulently opened account.”
- Fraudulent Charges on Account: If you incurred fraudulent charges on an account you opened that led to late, then the item can be disputed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act under the provisions afforded to fraud victims. You will need to file the requisite fraud reports, as described in the section above for fraudulently opened accounts. You will be disputing this item as having “ incurred fraudulent charges” and would specifically need to point out the fraudulent charges and then will need to submit the fraud reports to the credit bureaus and the creditor.
- Incorrect Amount, Last Payment dates, Payment history: If the account or any data pertaining to it, such as high credit, last payment date or charge-off amount is reporting incorrectly, then the specific part of the account may be disputed with the credit bureaus. This may result in complete deletion of the account if the information is not verifiable. In the event, the account is not reporting as a charge-off and simply just showing late payments then you can take this issue up directly with the creditor.
- If You Were an Authorized User on the Account: In this case, the account may be disputed with the three credit bureaus. There would be a high chance of removal for this type of account. You can dispute the item as “was authorized user on the account, please delete.” In addition, it would be advised to call the creditor directly and ask you be taken off the account as an authorized user.
- For Debts That Were Paid Over 7 Years Ago: If you believe the account was last paid over 7 years ago, the account may be disputed under the 7-year statute for credit reporting and will be removed by the credit bureaus. You can dispute the account as “account for over 7 years old, please remove.” Keep in mind the 7 year period starts from the time of last payment on the account and not from the account opening date.