How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask socrateaser Your Own Question

socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 36190
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
Type Your Consumer Protection Law Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, I have a question that relates to my credit score. I

Resolved Question:


I have a question that relates to my credit score.

I have a good credit score and I make all my payments in full and on time since the credit accounts were opened. My wife is the one making the payments. In June this year we received an e-mail (we are paperless) from Citi letting us know that there is an amount due to be paid on a Sears card. My wife logged in to the sears account online and saw a 0 balance. She assumed its a mistake and did nothing. A few weeks later we got another notification this time by phone and she told the rep that when she logs-in the balance is 0... the rep said OK and hang up... Then a letter came in the mail about a past due amount (It was $40) this time I told her maybe we have another card from sears... she did not remember that we even applied to one (its on my name) but after very thorough investigation on our part we discovered that what happened was we were at the sears store one day in March or April and were offered to apply for the store card which I did and received an instant credit but then the rep also offered anther sears card which can be used anywhere and approved me for that one also (apparently it was in my purse and I used it one day at the supermarket for 1 purchase of $40). What happened was that when my wife was logging in the computer recognized her for the store card and did not show her anything else (the debt was on the other card) We immediately called the card issuer and explained the situation. We paid the debt in full (they took off all the late fees) and that was it. We don't use this card now even tough it has 7K credit limit on it. The problem is that this $39 delinquent charge started to appear on my otherwise perfect credit report and my credit score has dropped dramatically because of this. As you can see this was a whole misunderstanding and not a result of negligence or no ability to pay. If I understand correctly this delinquency can stay on my credit for up to 7 years! What can I do to delete this delinquency from my credit report? I would appreciate your help on this. I'm available for any questions that may rise and hope I did not confuse you completely. Thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), creditors and a credit reporting agencies are required to provide accurate information concerning a borrower's account status as part of any credit report. 15 U.S.C. § 1681(a). You have admitted that you were late on a payment, therefore, the credit report is correct, if it lists your payment as delinquent. Consequently, neither the creditor nor the credit reporting agency is in violation of federal law concerning the report of your account status.

That said, it is also true, that your error was based upon a good faith mistake. Creditors have the authority to remove a negative credit report entry as a "clerical error." Thus, your recourse is to write to the creditor, explain everything that happened, exactly as you have done to me, and simply make respectful request that the creditor delete the negative entry as a clerical error.

Assuming that your letter reaches someone who is reasonable, the creditor is likely to honor your request. If not, then unfortunately, you are stuck for the next seven years -- because given your stated facts, the credit report is accurate, and so you can't sue for a violation of the FCRA.

The good news is that every month that your payments are timely, your credit score will rise. After about two years, your score will return to where it was before the negative entry, despite its remaining on your account for seven years.

Please let me know if I can clarify my answer or provide further assistance.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 36190
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • Infolawyer


    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
< Last | Next >
  • Infolawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    17 years legal experience including consumer protection law.
  • Barrister's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Attorney with 15 years experience in various consumer protection areas
  • P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons


    Satisfied Customers:

    16+ yrs. of legal experience.
  • Andrea, Esq.'s Avatar

    Andrea, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    25 yrs. of experience in employment law, real estate and business law, family law, criminal defense and immigration.
  • LADY LAWYER's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Consumer Lawyer