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IDENTITY THEFT RIGHTS & THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT

Consumers have identity theft rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers have the right to request their free credit report if they have reason to believe they are a victim of fraud or identity theft. The right to a free report due to identity theft is in addition to consumers’ right to a free annual disclosure. Once you receive your report, you should review it for any credit report errors, including incorrect previous addresses and accounts that you did not open. These inaccurate items could be a red flag that someone has stolen your identity.

If you find errors on your Equifax, Experian or Trans Union credit report due to fraud or identity theft, you should dispute the credit report errors in writing to the credit bureaus and ask the bureau to add a fraud alert to your credit file.  You should include a police report and a statement that you did not open the account or authorize someone else to open the account in your name.

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Consumer Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

  1. Place A Fraud Alert on Your Credit File – Initial Alert & Extended Alert
  2. Two Free Credit Reports – per 12 months
  3. Active Duty Alert – stop promotional mailers while on active duty
  4. Referrals – Consumer reporting agencies must refer your fraud alert to other bureaus

Once you have disputed the fraudulent account to the credit reporting agency such as Experian, Equifax or Trans Union, the reporting agency must block the fraudulent information from appearing in your file within 4 business days of receipt of your identity theft report and identifying information.

A consumer reporting agency must block fraudulent information from appearing in your credit file.  Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681c-2.  A consumer reporting agency may decline your request to block the information or may rescind its block if the consumer reporting agency reasonably determines that the information was blocked in error or a block was requested by the consumer in error; the information was blocked, or a block was requested by the consumer, on the basis of a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer relevant to the request to block; or the consumer obtained possession of goods, services, or money as a result of the blocked transaction or transactions.  Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681c-2(c).

Have you disputed errors to the credit bureaus and the disputed information was “verified” as belonging to you?  Have you been denied credit because of credit report errors caused by identity theft? You may be entitled to money damages under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Contact us 24/7 at 1-800-263-9091 for a free case review.

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