Pasadena small business owner aided in ABC-13 credit probe

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A small business owner is getting a fresh start after a big mistake on his credit report (KTRK)

January is when most people take a closer look at their money - from paying off holiday bills, to making plans to save in the New Year. Now, thanks to an ABC-13 investigation, a Pasadena small business owner is also getting a fresh start to his finances and closure to big mistake on his credit report.

At 67, most people are retiring or at least considering it, but not Charlie Hinds.

The man with a pet deer named Ginger is unpredictable.

He's actually expanding his Pasadena auto body shop to include aluminum work, but it's been a bit rough.

Hinds says he was denied an upgrade based on his credit.

And for a man who prides himself on a reputable family business of 40 years, it doesn't set well.

Hinds said, "It really hurts."

Hinds is also a landowner. In 2008, he fought the county in an eminent domain lawsuit.

Hinds said, "They're wanting to pay me bottom price when the value was up here. ... The county generally wins."

But Hinds won this one. He received $29,727 for a slice of his property along Sens Road.

But the credit bureaus had it going the wrong way.

Hinds explained, "They assume the judgment was against me when in fact the judgment was against Harris County in my favor."

For several years, he sent letters to the big three credit bureaus. Even Harris County attorney Vince Ryan provided certified letters assuring them "does not owe Harris County any monies."

He was still denied. After years of fighting Transunion, Experian eventually corrected the reports. But not Equifax.

When we contacted the credit bureau to bring the longstanding issue to their attention, we got results...

Our experts were able to remove the disputed judgment and have mailed a fully revised copy to Mr. Hinds.

Meredith Griffanti, senior director of public relations of Equifax Inc., wrote, "Thank you so much for bringing it to our attention."

Hinds wants his story told. He said, "You need to stand up for yourself and try to get people involved and let them know what's happening."

Now with the issue resolved, he can focus on expanding his southeast side business and relax a little more at home.

Hinds said, "I plan on being here a long time."

A Federal Trade Commission study of the U.S. credit reporting industry found that one in five consumers had errors on one of the their three major credit reports that could affect them paying more for everything from car loans to car insurance.

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