Disputing a 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
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
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.