Dispute a False Credit Report
You have rights when it comes to what is being reported about you on a credit report. SmithMarco, P.C. has over 30 years of combined experience practicing law protecting the rights of consumers around the country. Contact us for a free case review to determine if your Fair Credit Reporting Act rights were violated.
Credit reporting agencies, or what are commonly referred to as credit bureaus, have been known to report inaccurate information on credit reports. Often times, this inaccurate information can lead to loss of credit by either a denied application, or by a current creditor closing or reducing a line of credit. You are not stuck with this information on your report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives consumers the right to dispute a credit report and demand a prompt and reasonable investigation into the inaccuracy.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was designed to protect consumers from the power that credit reporting agencies and creditors have over us through communications on our credit reports. The law provides for a more even playing field and requires fairness and accuracy on credit reporting. In fact, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires those that report to report with "maximum possible accuracy." If they fail to do so, and fail to take notice of your complaint into the inaccuracy of their reporting, you may be able to dispute the credit report error and recover your losses.
How to dispute a credit report error
Gather your proof - Get together what you have to show that your credit report is wrong. This includes:
- Proof of payment of a bill
- A letter from your creditor, or
- Proper identification, if any of the information contained in the report does not belong to you.
- In the case of identity theft, a police report is almost essential. In certain situations you may have nothing to back your claims except your own explanation. If this is indeed the case, take a moment to organize your thoughts for the next step.
Write a letter directly to the credit reporting agencies.
Dispute the incorrect items on your credit report. While each credit reporting agency has its own on-line credit report dispute process, you are cautioned not to use that as a mode of disputing your credit report. The on-line credit report disputing system is very limiting in what you can say to them and how you can dispute. Your credit report dispute should:
- Be written/typed and mailed to the three major credit reporting agencies: Trans Union, Equifax and Experian.
- Also be sent (a copy) to any creditor listed on your report that you are disputing. The FCRA requires that any credit reporting agency that receives your credit report dispute must investigate and promptly notify any creditors about whom you are complaining, to enlist them in the investigation. Those companies also have a duty under the FCRA to conduct an investigation to verify your claims. The investigation process can take no longer than 30 days and you will receive a response in the mail.
Get the results of your credit report dispute
If any company fails to reasonably investigate your credit report dispute within the allotted time frame, you could be entitled to receive monetary damages. In addition, the FCRA provides that if a consumer is successful in bringing a claim under this law, not only could you be entitled to compensation for these damages, but your attorneys' fees and costs are covered. Thus, you can force the credit reporting agencies to report your credit information with accuracy and fairness and hold them accountable if they are have violated the law and your rights.
Do not hesitate to contact SmithMarco, P.C. for any questions concerning disputing an erroneous credit report. Be sure to know your rights!