Here’s an interesting fact; ChexSystems doesn’t profit from reporting your negative issues with your bank. In their eyes whether you have a negative or a positive report it doesn’t make a difference. The problem that you have is not that ChexSystems is out to get you but that, as a federal government institution, they are incredibly hard to deal with. Once you land on their system with a negative report you’re there for 5 years in their eyes and, unless you do something about it, on their naughty list is where you will stay.
Luckily there are certain laws that have been set up to protect you as a consumer in the United States and, if you do it the correct way, getting out from under the thumb of ChexSystems is possible. In some cases it takes only a little effort and in some a little bit more but it is possible. It also depends on how much of a mess you (or an identity thief, or your ex-spouse) made with your bank, when you made it and with which financial institution it was made. But still, it is possible.
The most important bit of information that you need to understand before we begin is this; ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency. Just like the Big 3 credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) they must follow Federal laws that have been set up to protect the consumer. (That’s you.) These laws are known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and they are
your best friends.
Using these 2 laws as your ally against ChexSystems you should be able to get your negative information off of their report and, once it’s been removed, you can go and open up a new bank account with no problem.
What we’re going to show you is not illegal. We’re also not here to debate moral issues about debt but only to show you how to get your negative information removed from ChexSystems and be able to get a bank account once again.
(If you have been the victim of identity theft there is a separate section for you here.)
In order to get off of ChexSystems’ database you will need to follow the directions below as precisely as possible. They have been put together based on real-world experience and tested by hundreds of people with excellent results. What you have to do doesn’t take a rocket scientist’s brains but need to be done correctly so that the results you get will be the removal of your name from the ChexSystems database and the restored ability to get the banking services that you need.
**NOTE** The information you’re going to receive from us should not be misconstrued as legal advice. We’re not lawyers and nothing that we say should be misinterpreted as the advice of counsel. If your problems were caused by illegal activities that you were engaged in you may want to seek the advice of an attorney before proceeding and even if they weren’t you may wish to do that. Good luck.
Step 1 – Order your free report
On your laptop, tablet, PC or whatever device you use to enter the internet surf to the ChexSystems official website and give it a click. You’ll find them here at
ConsumerDebit.com. Once there you will see a list of clickable links on the left hand side. Click the link that says Order Consumer Report. By law they have to send you a copy of this report for free. Once you click you will be prompted to answer a number of questions about whom you are and why you want your free report. Answer them and, when you’re done, you’ll be sent to a new webpage where you will be asked to enter in all of your pertinent information. Name, address, social security number, driver’s license number, date of birth and so on. They will also need the addresses of any other residence you have had in past five years (they only ask for 3) so you might want to have that info handy.
Once you’re done hit the ‘send’ button and your info will be submitted to ChexSystems. Normally it takes tell than a week for the report to arrive at your home. When it does you’re ready for step 2.
Step 2 – Send the correct letter(s)
Once the ChexSystems Report has arrived at your home go over it completely, make sure that they have the right person (should be you, of course) and read through all of the problems that they have linked to you, financial-wise, that you’re going to have to clear up. It may be one it may be more depending on what happened. (Hopefully none of them will be a complete surprise to you.)
Once you’ve done that type an exact copy of Letter #1 below except to put in the personal information about you and your case where necessary. Do this exactly and, when you’re done, it’s time to go to the post office.
The reason this is important is very simple and very vital; it will specifically document the exact TIME and DATE that ChexSystems received your letter. Since ChexSystems, a consumer reporting agency, is governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act they must investigate and respond to your letter WITHIN 30 DAYS.
What this means is that, if they fail to respond within 30 days, anything that they have on file about you MUST BE DELETED. Since the vast majority of the time they do NOT respond within 30 days you will get your banking life back with 1 simple letter.
Step 2a – Sometimes they will respond within 30 days. If they do don’t lose heart because there’s still a good chance that you’ll be able to get things fixed with Letter #2 below.
Step 2b – If they don’t respond to your letter within 30 days (which is good news) Letter #3 below is what you need to send next.
Step 2c – If they respond saying that your information is verified or they don’t respond you can also send Letter #4 below. This should actually be sent to the original bank that reported you and to ChexSystems also.
* Below the sample letters we also have additional information and notes that you should read and digest.
** You can easily copy and paste the letters below into your word processing program of choice like MS Word. Once done make the necessary changes to make it ‘yours’.
*** You’ll notice at the end of all the letters it says “cc: enter attorney’s name here”. We don’t recommend you get an attorney but you may want to make up a false name and fill it in so that ChexSystems and your old bank take your letters seriously. Feel free to do this at your own discretion.
Note; In the letters below the words in BOLD are the places where you need to put in your own information.
Letter # 1 / Dispute letter that you will send directly to ChexSystems
Letter # 2 / This 2nd letter is the one you need to send if you receive a letter back from ChexSystems within the 30 day time period saying your account was verified by ChexSystems as a legitimate claim by the bank that made it
Letter # 3 / Send this letter if ChexSystems fails to respond to letter # 1 within 30 Days – instead of sending them letter #2
Letter #4 / Send this letter to the bank that reported you to ChexSystems
Here is some additional information that you may need to know
As a citizen of the United States it is your legal right to be able to dispute and charges or other items on any credit report for any reason. This goes for ChexSystems as well as credit reporting agencies like Experian. Once you send your letter documented proof must be provided to you within 30 days or, by law, any charges, errors or other information MUST BE REMOVED.
This is the reason it’s so important to send your dispute letters with certified mail. This will ensure that the letters get where they are going but more importantly will DOCUMENT THE EXACT DATE AND TIME THAT THEY WERE SENT.
If everything goes correctly the letter we have provided should permanently end your problems with ChexSystems. In some rare cases however your name and info may only be removed for a few days. For this reason it is imperative that, as soon as you receive a letter from ChexSystems telling you that your name and negative info has been removed, you go out and OPEN A FEW BANK ACCOUNTS RIGHT AWAY.
The reason for this is that many banks may not verify your negative information until after the 30 day period. If this happens your negative info will be deleted at the end of the 30 day period but, within a few days when the bank catches up, will be restored to ChexSystems by your bank. If you get a few accounts opened before this happens you will be golden.
Working directly with the Bank that reported you to ChexSystems
Letter #4 is to be sent directly to the Bank that reported you to ChexSystems. Once this letter has been sent (certified mail again here too) the bank has 30 days to send you any proof that they have that you violated a contract that you had with them. This could be for anything including holding a negative balance for too long a period of time, bouncing checks, unpaid fees or whatever. Their proof must be tangible proof, meaning that it has to be something physical that you can see and touch. A good example of this would be a signed contract by you from when you first opened your account but it must be specific to the actual problem that you (supposedly) caused.
Here’s the good part; even if the Bank does come up with the evidence that they need to show that you caused a problem, still owe money or were negligent in some way they are REQUIRED BY LAW TO REPORT TO CHEXSYSTEMS THAT YOU HAVE FORMALLY DISPUTED YOUR NEGATIVE INFORMATION WITH THEM.
This is a key point. The Banks NEVER do this and this one factor is your way out of ChexSystems.
If this happens what you need to do is go back to the beginning and REQUEST YOUR CHEXSYSTEMS REPORT ANOTHER, 2nd TIME. You will need to do this 30 days after your letter is received at the bank, no less. You’ll know when it’s been 30 days because you
sent the letter with certified mail and know exactly when they received it. (You’re welcome.)
Once you get the newest Report you need to check it over completely to see if your Bank has reported your dispute. The Report will say these exact words; “Consumer disputes as per FCRA” if they have.
If your new Report does NOT have this somewhere from your Bank then
they are in violation of Section 623 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). What does that mean? It means that THEY have broken the law and now the ball, as it were, is directly in YOUR court. (Do a little dance here, it’s OK.)
Once this happens you’ll need to send a letter to your Bank and let them know that, since they are in violation of Section 623 of the FCRA you are going to sue them within 30 days if they don’t remove completely any and all records of negative activity about you from ChexSystems. This is huge leverage for you because now THEY have violated the law. Let them know that you will discontinue your plans to sue them once your negative info has been cleared from ChexSystems.
If their response is not exactly that (in 99% of the cases it will be) then you will need to actually take them to small claims court which costs less than $30.00. When they are served notice that they will need to fight you in court they will settle over the phone. The reason; they just don’t have time or money to waste fighting you in court for a few (to them) measly dollars. Sending a lawyer to court would cost them thousands and would not make good business sense. Better for them to just cave to your demands and settle the dispute over the phone.
Now, in 1% of the cases where they DO decide to go to court you will STILL win because the fact is you are NOT suing them over a debt you are suing them because they failed to follow the letter of the law and report your dispute to ChexSystems. Whether or not the debt is actually yours at this point is completely irrelevant. You are not there to dispute your debt you are there to say that your Bank broke the law, WHICH THEY DID. We know people who have had to do this and all of them WON because of this simple fact.
The one thing to remember is that you’re not doing anything even remotely illegal by doing all of the steps that we have outlined. Again, whether the debt is truly yours or not is irrelevant. Banks and ChexSystems are both bound to legally do certain things under Federal law and, if they don’t do that, they open the door for citizens like you and me to get our lives back.
The simple fact is this; banks and ChexSystems are both so overwhelmed with complaints, letters, phone calls and emails that there’s no way in heck for them to keep up with all of them accurately and keep within the time frames required by the Federal laws that govern them. You are simply using that fact to your legal advantage.
This is VITAL.
Always proof read your letters! The last thing you want to do is send out a letter that has improper information or, even worse, has some of your notes or chicken scratch on it. This is serious business and needs to be handled that way. If you have someone you can ask to proof read the letters before you send them that would be a great idea. The people that work at the Banks and ChexSystems may be overwhelmed with work but they’re not idiots so make sure that your letters are perfect.
Small claims court information
The chance that you will end up in small claims court with ChexSystems is small but, just in case, we’ve added information here that you can use to fight them.
The fact is this; even if you wrote all the letters and still didn’t get the results you needed you can still take ChexSystems to small claims court. If that sounds scary or expensive it really isn’t (we promise) and, in some cases, you may actually get a settlement. That’s right, sometimes ChexSystems actually pays YOU money to settle the court case! Even if they don’t they will delete your records without ever showing up in court.
The reason is very simply that ChexSystems doesn’t benefit from reporting your negative information. Because of this they will not pursue any small claims court procedure if they could possibly lose money. Add that to the fact that ChexSystems just doesn’t have the capacity to keep up with all of the people, letters, emails and phone calls and what you get is a foolproof ultimate weapon.
The reason that they can’t win in court (and won’t try) is that they broke the law. If they didn’t do what the FCRA says they have to do they are at fault and you can use that against them. Think of it this way; if your bank couldn’t verify your debt to YOU how could ChexSystems be verifying it? They can’t and, if they did, they broke the law. Remember, verification has to be in writing and has to be within 30 days of receiving a letter asking for verification. If you’ve done everything correctly you should have all the proof you need to prove beyond doubt that they did not follow the law.
These are the specific parts of the FCRA guidelines that you can reference in your case with ChexSystems.
Section 623(a)(3) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act:
§ 623. Responsibilities of furnishers of information to consumer reporting agencies [15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2]
(a) (3) Duty to provide notice of dispute. If the completeness or accuracy of any information furnished by any person to any consumer reporting agency is disputed to such person by a consumer, the person may not furnish the information to any consumer reporting agency without notice that such information is disputed by the consumer.
Section 807(8) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:
§ 807. False or misleading representations [15 USC 1962e]
(8) Communicating or threatening to communicate to any person credit information which is known or which should be known to be false, including the failure to communicate that a disputed debt is disputed.
If your Bank violates these guidelines they can typically be sued in small claims court for $1000.00
This is what you can sue them for;
“negligent and willful failure to reinvestigate the disputed entries in violation of sections 611(a), 616, and 617 of the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681i(a), 1681n, 1681o”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I sent my dispute letter as instructed and ChexSystems sent me back my Report showing that the information that they have is accurate. They also did this within the 30-day window. What is the next step, if any, that I can take now?
A: If you get a Report like this you should immediately send a request for a new copy of your ChexSystems Report. This is because, by law, they have to note on your newest Report that you have disputed a charge with them. The fact that it has been verified or not makes no difference. If they send you a new copy that does not have the inquiry you made reported they have broken the letter of the law and you can now take them to small claims court. (See info about Small Claims court in another section of this eBook.)
Using certified mail is again vital here so that you can show an exact timeline of what happened in the unlikely event that your case will ever make it to court.
Q: After sending the letter to my Bank I received a reply stating that my account was valid and that it had a negative balance. Is there anything I can do now to still get off ChexSystems?
A: Yes there is. By law your bank must produce records and original documents with your valid signature written on them, agreeing to the terms of your account and thus to their use of ChexSystems. If they can’t produce those docs they have no physical proof that you agreed that they could use ChexSystems.