Interview with industry leader and credit repair expert Bladimir Mercedes, Co-Author of the book “Improve Your Credit Score Now”;
CEO & Founder
Mercedes Enterprises INC
Bladimir Mercedes is the CEO and Founder of Mercedes Enterprises INC, an Advanced Credit Repair Company based in New York. He has taught and helped thousands of people improve their credit since 1998. He is an acknowledged credit repair expert and industry leader, responsible for developing the most compliant and successful credit repair business model in the industry, known as Pay-Per-Delete. He’s also the co-author of the book “Improve Your Credit Score Now” which he wrote and published with attorney Kerry Lutz.
Question 1: Bladimir, first of all, thank you for coming to the show?
Answer 1: It’s a pleasure to be here, thanks for having me.
Question 2: Bladimir, what got you interested in credit repair and the business of helping people improve and restore their credit?
Answer 2: Well, as most great things usually are: It was a total accident. We’ve all heard that Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the U.S. Right? Well, I was a victim of identity theft. In the process of trying to fix all the damage the perpetrator had done, I discovered what a nightmare it can be when dealing with the credit bureaus and creditors. I also discovered the real reason why identity theft is such an easy crime to commit in the first place and I must tell you….It is shocking: Did you know that if the credit bureaus and creditors put just a few minor restrictions in the way that consumer’s information is accessed they could significantly reduce identity theft almost over night? That’s not happening any time soon though.
Question 3: That is just amazing! And why do you think it is so easy for Identity thieves to commit these crimes?
Answer 3: I have to say it’s a combination of both: easy access to consumer data and how easy the credit bureaus make it for creditors to retrieve a credit file. When I was fighting to clean up my own credit from things that someone else had fraudulently taken out, I discovered that the perpetrator was able to open accounts without identification, using a different variation of my real name, a different date of birth and an address from a state that I’ve never lived in. This person, who never got arrested by the way, was able to get access to credit by just having a variation of my name and my full social security number. This raised some disturbing questions as you might imagine. The answer to those questions is what has lead to this incredible journey of educating and helping consumers fight back against this flawed system full of errors and inconsistencies.
Question 4: I can begin to see the big picture here Bladimir. How difficult would you say it is for an average American who has become a victim of Identity theft to regain control of their credit?
Answer 4: It’s extremely difficult in most cases. When I realized how difficult it was for me to gain my credibility again, I did not want to even think what a person with less experience and resources would have to go thru. I was familiar with the credit bureaus, I knew how to read a credit report, having been a finance manager for the auto industry in the past, and I had a very frustrating experience fixing that mess. The first thing an Identity theft victim should do is report the crime to the authorities followed by a series of interactions with the creditors and credit bureaus. This sounds easy but the problem is that the credit bureaus and creditors some times ignore these requests to correct the errors even when a police report and fraud affidavit are provided. In chapter 8 of my book I go into further detail about the things one should do when facing identity theft issues, including filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
Question 5: Let’s talk about your book for a second here. What made you write this book about improving your credit?
Answer 5: I want to educate consumers and provide them with a simple resource that can help if they face potential issues. Identity theft is just one issue out there that consumers are facing. A recent study conducted by the National Association of State Public Interest Research Groups discovered that 79 percent of all credit reports contain some type of error – and 25 percent contain such serious errors that those individuals could be denied credit.
54 percent contained inaccurate personal information such as misspelled names, wrong Social Security numbers, inaccurate birth dates, inaccurate information about a spouse and out of date address. For example, one credit report listed a man’s business partner as his spouse.
30 percent listed “closed” accounts as “open.” For example, listing a student loan that was paid off years ago as still outstanding. Another report listed several credit cards, a mortgage and an auto loan all as open.
22 percent of reports had the same mortgage or loan listed twice. This mistake often occurs when loans are serviced or sold.
8 percent of reports simply didn’t list major credit, loan, mortgage or other accounts that could be used to demonstrate the creditworthiness of a consumer.
Anyway you slice these statistics the results are devastating to the consumer.
Question 6: What is your suggestion to people who have credit challenges out there?
Answer 6: Fist of all, people need to identify the problems they are having with their credit. Once you identify what’s wrong, you’ll come closer to finding a solution. If you feel you cannot fix problems on your own, you should hire someone competent enough to help you.
Question 7: How can people obtain a copy of your book?
Answer 7: Just go to www.CreditMercedes.com and request a free copy, which you’ll receive in the form of a PDF. If you want a physical copy of the book, you can also order it for free, just pay for shipping and handling.
Question 8: Well Bladimir, thank you for coming to the show and for providing such valuable information.
Answer 8: It’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me
In this interview, Bladimir Mercedes answers a series of questions related to identity theft issues and how people should hire a competent credit repair expert when they cannot fix credit problems on their own.
For more information visit www.CreditMercedes.com