5 On Your Side

Credit Hassle Over Vehicle Drives Woman To Five On Your Side

Posted August 17, 2005 4:45 a.m. EDT

— Whether it is fraud or a simple mistake, anything involving your credit can cause big problems. As one Wake County woman found out, even when an error is acknowledged, it still does not mean the problem is fixed.

Clearly, Bettie Byrd and her husband love Fords. They have two Ford trucks and an Expedition. However, right now they are in a "lover's quarrel" with the company.

"It's probably the most frustrating thing I've ever had to deal with," Byrd said.

The problem involves a Ford that they do not even own. In September 2004, Ford Motor Credit called to collect a delinquent payment for a loan the company said Bettie Byrd co-signed.

"Well, I had not co-signed for a car. I had not co-signed anything for anybody," she said.

After lots of conversations with Ford's fraud department, Byrd got the name of the buyer and dealership, then went to visit the manager. He could not find any paperwork with Byrd's name or social security number.

Byrd called Ford Motor Credit again and was told her name was removed from their system, so everything was taken care of.

"I said, 'Fine. Hung up. That was the end of it. I felt, 'Ok, they've done something about it. This guy is going to take care of it,'" she said.

In June, Byrd checked her credit report and found "Account 30 days past due" five times.

"I was livid. I actually came unglued at that point," she said.

Byrd started calling all over again.

"It's frustrating that they know they made a mistake or someone has done something that they shouldn't have done, and no one is willling to take accountability for it," she said.

Byrd called Five On Your Side, who called Ford. Spokeswoman Meredith Libby told Five On Your Side the whole thing was a "clerical error" involving "one digit." She said Ford submitted the correction to the three credit agencies in September and again in June.

After Five On Your Side's calls, it was sent yet again. This time, the credit bureaus confirmed it. Byrd hopes this time it is really fixed and the right person is held responsible for late payments.

"If they're not paying their bills, it should be on their credit report, not mine," Byrd said.

Ford also said it will pay for Byrd to get a copy of her credit reports, so she can be assured that everything is fine. Byrd plans to take them up on it.