A reader asked the following question about a debt reported to Chexsystems:
Q: I just pulled my Chexsystems report and found an item on if for $50.00 to ARJAYDATA. I don’t recognize that as a place where I used a check, and so need to find out who exactly the check was made out to. Also, I just received a full bankruptcy discharge and it was my understanding that checks written and reported prior to that date were included in my bankruptcy. Please let me know if you can help me as it is very hard to call you and actually get to talk to someone.
A: Chexsystems is one of the national consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) that collects and sells information about how consumers handle their bank accounts. I’ve written previously about Chexystems here.
ArJayData is a payment transaction processing company located in Northern Virginia. According to their website, they provide check verification, check cashing and check guarantee services. It sounds like you either cashed a check at a retail location, or wrote one to a retailer that uses their services, but it bounced. That non-sufficient funds (NSF) check was reported as a result.
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It’s important to understand that while bankruptcy may wipe out the balance on a debt, it doesn’t erase the negative information about that account from your consumer reports. If you did write a check that was not honored, that negative remark can remain for up to five years – the length of time Chexsystems reports negative information. However, if your balance on this account was wiped out by your bankruptcy (double check with your attorney) that account should be listed with a current balance of zero.
Chexsystems is required to follow the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which means you have the right to request a free annual disclosure of your file, if one exists, and you have the right to dispute information you believe is inaccurate or incomplete. You’ll find information about how to file a dispute with Chexsystems here. I recommend you put your dispute in writing, send it certified mail, and keep a copy for your records.
You also have the right to request contact information for any company that appears on your report, if not already listed, and Chexsystems is required to provide it. Ask Chexsystems for the contact information for ArJayData and dispute the item with them if you believe it’s inaccurate or need more information.
[Specialty Consumer Reporting Agencies: Chexsystems, Certegy Check Systems and Telecheck]
I’ve heard complaints over the years that these specialty consumer reporting agencies can be difficult to deal with. Keep copies of all your correspondence with them, and notes of any conversations you have. If they refuse to investigate your dispute, or you can’t get the information you need to initiate a dispute, consider filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Agency and your state attorney general’s office, or contact a consumer law attorney with experience in FCRA cases.
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