Credit Card Security Breaches:
How to Find if YOU Have Been Effected.
How to Protect Yourself Moving Forward
The recent breach in security at multiple well-known retail stores has Credit Card holders more than a little nervous and concerned. Rightly so ...
These breaches have led to a number of my clients (those currently in the Mortgage Process and past clients as well) to inquire ...
- "How do I check to see if I'm a victim of these security breaches?"
- "What should I be doing about my account?"
Unfortunately, there isn't one definitive answer that completely addresses all the various scenarios that may exist concerning these credit breach issues. I typically suggest to my Mortgage clients that they call Customer Support at their Credit Card Company, aka the Creditor, and request the current status of their account to ensure its complete accuracy. Taking this action will also reveal whether their account has been compromised in any way.
IF there is, or has been suspicious activity on an account, the account should be closed immediately ... and if desired, a replacement Card and new account number assigned. (Don't forget to destroy old cards and update any automatic payments that are being made via the account.)
Next, the Credit Bureaus should be notified of the need and reason for the closing of the original account/Card number. The action taken will then be reflected in your updated Credit Report from that point on.
This is very important, should you presently be in the Mortgage Process or entering it soon ...
DO NOT DISPUTE the account status or history of your account, but rather make a formal statement (i.e. written statement) and send it to the 3 major Credit Bureaus. Those Bureaus are:
Your written statement should include the following info:
- My account with (include the name of your Creditor) was closed due to a Credit Card breach by others".
- The statement should include the specific instructions provided you by the Credit Card company
Again, do not dispute ... or use the word dispute, within the statement you send to the Bureaus. Credit Lines that are referenced by "In Dispute" will cause concern for Underwriters if you are seeking a home Mortgage, or soon will be.
Automated Underwriting Systems (AUS) now used in the Mortgage Industry will specifically denote "Disputed Accounts" and can potentially cause a denial for new credit if there are several such reported accounts.
Credit Security Breaches: How to Find if YOU Have Been Effected. How to Protect Yourself Moving Forward ...
The Bottomline is: When in doubt, talk to your Credit Card company's Customer Service Department. If you're already in the Mortgage Process, talk to your Mortgage Lender.
If you're planning to be Pre-Qualified or Apply for a Chicagoland Mortgage soon, contact me prior to taking action. I can then successfully assist and guide you through the entire action and process.
And remember to monitor your Credit Report consistently in the future to guarantee that the correct actions and information are being reflected there and no further issues arise ...
* Hoping to Buy, Refinance, or Construct a home in New Lenox, another Lincoln-Way Community, Will County, or elsewhere in Chicagoland? Contact Me now! I'll put my 36 years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
I can be easily found at:
Cell or Text: 708.921.6331
Click HERE for your FREE Mortgage Consultation!
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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender, a Lender with 36 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking: Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including: The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL.