Lexington Law Firm Credit Repair Reviews
An Introduction to Lexington Law
Utah-based Lexington Law has been one of the most trusted and leading law firms working in the sphere of credit repair over more than 25 years now. The firm’s principal mission has been to ensure that its clients’ credit reports are always fair and accurate.
The Utah Department of Commerce certifies the Lexington Law Firm as a DBA. It’s a law firm specializing in consumer advocacy, focusing on aiding consumers to verify that all information on their individual credit reports are fair and accurate and are in stringent accordance with all relevant consumer protection laws.
When representing clients, the firm receives specific information and directions from them, makes a careful analysis of their credit reports, and subsequently drafts the appropriate correspondence to their creditors and credit bureaus. Lexington also has the appropriate services to inform and educate clients on the concept of credit scoring and his individual credit reporting circumstances more particularly.
However, before any legal work commences, all clients receive disclosure statements and subsequently sign the engagement agreement. All clients are required to make payments within five to fifteen days after the contract is signed and then on a monthly basis thereafter.
This again is strictly subject to all work actually done by the firm before such payment is made. With Lexington, there are no advance payments for any legal services that are yet to be rendered, with clients also having the option to cancel any time.
The time length for a client to engage the services of Lexington depends on factors like the client’s own credit goals, complexity of the case, credit information newly added and the client’s personal circumstances. Since outcomes are not exactly predictable like in any other legal service, the firm neither promises nor guarantees results in advance.
Why Lexington Law?
- In the year 2015, Lexington Law removed a whopping 7.5 million negative items from the credit reports of its clients.
- Every client had 10.4 negative items erased from his credit report within the first four months.
- Lexington Law’s strong and highly professional relationship with all the three major credit bureaus empower it to have direct communication to discuss and settle disputes faster and more efficiently.
- Different credit repair levels are offered to ensure that any client’s needs are catered to.
- Services also provided online.
- A nationwide lawyer network to get legal assistance from lawyers of all other states.
- A rated by the BBB.
- One of the oldest firms in the credit repair business with long standing goodwill in the market.
- Charges are reasonable at $59.95 payable monthly, with an initial fee of $99.95, including a guarantee for relief.
- Equipped with a full team of experienced and qualified lawyers and paralegals with ample exposure to consumer protection law.
- Runs a customized solution called Focus Tracks to deal with your unique credit situation regarding medical expenses, military service, student loans, identity theft, and
- Enables clients to keep perpetual track of all updates and changes on their credit reports 24x7 from anywhere by way of alerts, credit monitoring, and appropriate advice, so that clients know what’s impacting their credit exactly and how.
- Free services like personalized credit consultation, an audit of the credit report on all accounts, and access to a summary of the client’s TransUnion report. Other free services include score evaluation as also recommended solutions
- Lexington Law enables its clients to rebuild their scores while the repairing process is on. This assumes special significance as the process of repair may take anything between three to six months but the time taken to rebuild a credit may be longer.
Definition of Credit Repair
In simpler terms, credit repair is a process that involves fixing bad credit in any shape, way or form. However, most people generally refer to the term more as disputing errors on their credit reports. Every credit holder has the right to go through the dispute process free of cost with any of the leading credit bureaus on his own by filing a complaint with the bureau or bureaus in question online.
When raising a formal dispute, it is mandatory that the credit holder explains the nature and content of the error in details and also submit any appropriate supporting documentation along with it. He stands to get his current credit score for free, and his credit card isn’t required either. Moreover, signing up does not impact his score.
In most cases, however, it’s seen that most people either don’t understand the legal nuances and procedures of making them or don’t have the required time for it. That’s why a company or law firm specializing in credit repair services is hired to dispute and settle such errors on their behalf.
Even though these companies or legal firms charge a certain fee for their services, it comes in handy in certain cases where the credit holder is unable to tackle the situation himself such as multiple errors in all credit reports or as an unfortunate victim of crushing identity theft.
How Do Credit Repair Services Help?
The first thing that an efficient credit repair company or law firm specializing in credit repair does is to repair your past. They work with all your creditors as also credit bureaus to challenge the existing negative items on your reports affecting your personal credit score. They ensure that your credit history is accurate, up-to-date and honestly reflects you.
They also monitor all current activities by way of alerts and credit monitoring and alerts 24x7. These keep you constantly aware of all updates and changes on your report, while also providing customized advice and information on how such reported items have affected your score.
Thirdly, credit repair companies and law firms specializing in credit repair matters help you build your future. They have their own educational approach, customized tools as also proven technology to guide you through all actions and tasks that need to be performed to accomplish all your credit goals and maintain a perpetually healthy credit score.
For instance, this is what a reputable and efficient credit repair company or law firm can do for you when you are unable to tackle the problem yourself. Say, there’s an outstanding collection amount to your account which got sold to multiple debt collectors and has appeared on your credit report numerous times.
In this case, even though the information is correct, one debt has dinged your credit score numerous times, which again is not only incorrect but unfair as per given standards.
It’s prudent to mention here that all items mentioned in a credit report have to meet three given standards for someone to actually consider credit repairing. This is because errors are far too common. In fact, a study conducted by the Federal Trade Commission has revealed that 20% consumers find errors in at least one credit report.
This calls for checking your reports for any existing errors by browsing the site AnnualCreditReport.com once annually for free. There’s also Credit.com for you to check your credit summary which is updated every 30 days. Credit.com breaks down a credit score into 5 major factors, giving each factor a grade.
You also get an action plan comprising tips on methods to improve such credit factors that happen to pull your score down. What’s more, checking your personal scores and credit reports does not hurt the credit score at all in any way.
Business of Credit Repair
Any newcomer to the concept of credit repair may always ask how the credit repair business works. To begin with, credit repair leverages the legal right of any credit holder to 3 fundamental standards: The credit report has to be fully accurate with no room for errors and also be fully fair and substantiated.
However, it’s also seen that the smaller credit repair agencies or professional firms tend to overlook the last two standards that also involve regular communication with creditors to sort out the problems eventually.
The first action that a truly efficient and professional credit repair agency or legal firm takes is to extract your credit reports from all the 3 leading credit reporting agencies to correctly identify your credit-related problems, their intensity, and nature.
The reason for using all three agencies is necessary because each agency comes with its own lenders, debt collectors, and credit card issuers called data furnishers who supply these agencies with all your credit information. Moreover, there could be errors appearing on one credit report, which fail to be seen by others. This way it has been seen that 79% of consumers disputing errors on credit report successfully got them removed.
On identifying such errors, you may have to give your chosen or appointed credit repair agency or professional all supporting documentation that strengthens the justification of your claim. For instance, there’s an amount for a bill on the credit report that your spouse did the actual spending even when there was a divorce decree; the document could be used to prove that it can’t impact you.
However, in certain cases, it becomes difficult to exactly determine what is to be included in terms of supporting documentation. This is yet another sphere where credit repair companies may advise you appropriately.
For instance, for victims of fraudulent accounts and identity theft appearing on the credit report, it often becomes tough to prove it that isn’t yours because you do not have any necessary documents that relate to such accounts.
When the data furnishers and bureaus receive details of the dispute as also the supporting information, they then contact the credit repair agency to ascertain if at all such items should be eliminated from the credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is the principal law that stipulates a consumer’s rights as far as credit reporting is concerned. However, it isn’t the one and only law working in your favor in a case of credit repair.
A truly professional and efficient credit repair agency studies and approaches all questionable items on a credit report with other laws as well. It refers to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, overseeing collection agencies; the Fair Credit Billing Act that regulates original creditors; as also other statutes that address assorted life events like military service, medical illness, and student status also.
Time Taken for Credit Repair
Once your credit repair agency or professional gets inaccurate and negative information eliminated from your credit report, your credit scores start improving immediately. On top of this, credit bureaus are required to respond to and promptly resolve any dispute within 30 days.
This period, however, may be extended to 45 days in exceptional cases. It apparently is a short period of time and helps consumers wanting to buy a new home or car or apply for a new credit card fast because they lack the time for waiting to build up good credit in any other way.
The law provides every American with multiple consumer protection facilities in terms of credit. Lexington Law is on such firm that helps its clients understand such rights clearly and to suitably leverage them in order to ensure that they get a perfectly accurate, substantiated and fair credit report.
However, it will be unable to exactly predict when a client’s credit score will spiral again because the credit issues of some consumers are generally more complicated than others.
This is more so since a credit report and every case is unique, which makes it difficult for any firm to make an ethical prediction of the exact outcome.
That’s why when you select a credit repair agency to fix a bad credit situation, instead of asking about the future, ask what their clients have benefited from in the past. Here the agency’s past success plays a more crucial role than what it is capable of doing in future.
Charges of Credit Repair Agencies
The fees for credit repair services generally vary and depend on the agency, your state of residence, and the type of services you want. That’s what makes it extremely important to first understand what you stand to gain in the long run before signing a contract which will spell out the exact services on offer, how much needs to be paid and when a customer will be billed.
How to Gauge the Trustworthiness of Credit Repair Agencies?
Selecting the right credit repair agency is often a time consuming and tedious task which requires time and careful thinking before selection. Often you see advertisements of companies that promise to make your credit score jump by a 100 points overnight.
These are the typical fly-by-night, canny operators because they’ve already flouted the basic legal norm that prohibits them from making such promises. Just steer clear of them.
Also note that credit repair agencies, under the provisions of the Credit Repair Organizations Act, are prohibited from demanding and/or accepting any advance payment by the FTC. This implies they can charge you only after they’ve done the work to your satisfaction. So anybody asking for money upfront or promising a new credit file in a jiffy is best avoided.
Before signing the contract, a credit repair organization worth its salt will painstakingly explain your rights regarding consumer credit to you and patiently answer any question that you may have on those rights. Any deviation from this standard procedure calls for suspicion and investigation before signing on the dotted line.
They would also want to know and understand why an item on your report is being disputed in order to uphold the three aforementioned standards of accuracy, full substantiation, and fairness.
They will also explain in full details, what they will do to represent your case to the credit bureaus and also admit their limitations and/or weaknesses so that the range and extent of their services are fully known and understood by you.
Is DIY Credit Repair Possible?
Another ethical standard that truly honest credit repair agencies or professionals maintain is that they also tell you that you can repair your own credit. This is more applicable to simple cases with one or two typical errors that you yourself can fix.
However, when adopting a DIY approach, be concise and clear about your disputes with all bureaus while also getting your documentation right. Write them a letter voicing your concerns, disputing each error with each bureau because they don’t clean up credit reports of their competitors. Or you may even go for online submission at the websites of each credit reporting agency.
Remember, if your documentation is straight and your claim is justified, the law will always stand by your side for a quick and fully satisfactory settlement.
On the flip side, should you decide to select the services of a professional credit repair agency, ensure first that it’s reputable and ethical.
Improving Your Score
It pays to remember that there are many reasons for your credit to be in bad shape, reckless spending habits being a principal cause. So, if you miss a couple of payments or the level of your debt is too high, say over 30% of the total credit limit available, your disputing an error won’t really help your case.
Rather, you’ll have to make some serious efforts for improving your personal credit scores. This may, however, take time and negative information may take as long as 7 years to be get erased finally from your credit report. This is despite the fact that your negative score effects will reduce over time, so long as no new dark patches evolve.
Don’t let this dissuade you from starting. Always remember that a bad or poor credit score could set you back substantially in terms of cash, even hundreds of thousands of dollars!
Now that is a fairly shocking sum and bad credit could also lead to much higher interest rates for loans as also more insurance premiums which add up to a sizeable sum over a period of time. Moreover, bad credit can also prevent you from achieving your principal life goals such as owning a house, taking up further education, going on a dream vacation and even going into retirement on schedule.
Better Business Bureau
In the Lexington Law Firm signed a settlement agreement with the MCFR or Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation to settle allegations of the firm engaging in the credit repair business without being properly licensed for all its entities, individuals, and locations.
It was also alleged that the firm collected money from consumers without requisite licenses, based on the latter’s credit repair contracts.
It was also alleged that Lexington Law Firm collected up-front fees and monthly payments from their Maryland-based customers before rendering full services; was in violation of MCSBA regulations by not providing requisite information before entering into contracts; and failed to provide detailed description of its services including figures of all payments that consumer would need to pay for services.
Under the Assurance terms, Lexington Law Firm has paid a civil penalty of $300,000 and promised to settle all outstanding issues and allegations made under Maryland law. Strangely, however, the assurance was given as a means of settlement purposes only and should not be construed as an admission of any guilt or finding of legal violations.
Reviews on Yelp have been largely in favor of the Lexington Law Firm. Most customers seem satisfied with its services with some even reporting a hike of 150 to 200 points on their credit scores in just nine months. However, some reviews have pointed out that it is not accredited by the BBB or Better Business Bureau and its rating is 60% negative, 3% neutral and 37% positive which could indicate that its claim of having an A+ rating could be false.
Its phone calling strategy, as pointed out by some reviewers, raises suspicions as they ask for credit card numbers and advise you to sign before you can read any of its documents.
Consumer Affairs reviews are mostly negative. The majority of complaints are similar to the allegations made by the MCFR and MCSBA mentioned above.