How To Dispute And Correct Credit Report Errors
Credit reporting agencies, or what is commonly referred to as credit bureaus, have been known to report inaccurate information on credit reports. Oftentimes, 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 have rights when it comes to what is being reported about you on a credit report.
At SmithMarco, P.C., we are credit law attorneys with more than 30 combined years of experience practicing law. From law offices in Sarasota and the Chicago area, we work to protect the rights of consumers around the country. If you find credit report errors on your credit report, we can help you determine if your Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) rights were violated.
About The Fair Credit Reporting Act And Your Rights As A Consumer
You are not stuck with this information in your report. The FCRA gives consumers the right to dispute a credit report and demand a prompt and reasonable investigation into the inaccuracy.
The FCRA 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 in credit reporting.
The FCRA requires those that report to report with “maximum possible accuracy.” If they fail to do so and fail to take notice of your complaint about the inaccuracy of their reporting, you may be able to dispute the credit report error and recover your losses.
How To Dispute Credit Report Errors
Gather your proof – get together what you have to show that your credit report is wrong. Your evidence may include the following:
- Proof of payment of a bill
- A letter from your creditor
- Proper identification, if any of the information contained in the report does not belong to you
- A police report if identity theft has occurred
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 online credit report dispute process, you are cautioned not to use that as a mode of disputing your credit report. The online 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 or typed and mailed to the three major credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, 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.
Obtain Your Credit Report Dispute Results; If Necessary, Reach Out To An Attorney
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 credit reporting agencies to report your credit information with accuracy and fairness and hold them accountable if they have violated the law and your rights.
Do not hesitate to contact SmithMarco, P.C., for any questions concerning disputing an erroneous credit report. We are consumer rights attorneys who are well-equipped to ensure that you know your rights. Call 888-915-0836 or email us to schedule a consultation.