Q. My credit is very bad because I let a family member take over payments on my car in 2017. My

Q. My credit is very bad because I let a family member take over payments on my car in 2017. My family member didn’t pay any money or give the car back to me. I had to call the police, but there is nothing they can do because I gave it to them. I could take them to court, but that might end up costing me more money. What can I do?

A. You should be able to go to court and have the car returned to you since you let your family member take over the payments and they defaulted on that. Figuring out how vigorously you want to pursue that will depend on how much the car is worth.

I guess you can choose your friends but not your family, and that is a whole other story. Giving credit to a family member is not a smart thing to do, unless you’re very, very certain of their integrity.

Q. I looked up my credit report and found that I had two pending hospital bills in the amounts of $950 and $1,349 that the Veterans Administration refused to pay. I went ahead and paid them both. My credit report is still saying that I owe money, and I still am getting hassled by creditors. I have proof of the payments. How can I clear this up?

A. If you have written proof that you paid both bills in full, supply this to the credit reporting company and explain to them that because of their error in not reporting the bills paid, you’re still being hassled, which is unfair and unreasonable. In almost every case, the credit reporting company will accept your documentation and remove the bad information from your credit report.

Send questions to bruce@brucewilliams.com. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.

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