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HOW DO I DISPUTE CREDIT REPORT ERRORS?

HOW DO I DISPUTE CREDIT REPORT ERRORS?

Do you have errors on your credit report?  Credit report errors can keep you from getting credit.  Credit report errors can also cause you to pay higher interest rates. So what do you do if you find errors on your credit report?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that gives consumers the right to dispute credit report errors.  Consumer reporting agencies must comply with the FCRA.  Consumer reporting agencies must perform a reasonable reinvestigation of information disputed by a consumer.  If the consumer reporting agencies don’t follow the law, then a consumer has the right to sue them for damages, including credit denials and emotional distress.

Step 1: Draft a credit report dispute letter

Your credit report dispute should be made in writing.  Don’t make a dispute online or by telephone.  You want a record of the dispute, and your dispute letter will document your disputes.  The dispute letter should be short and to the point.  For example, here’s what you could say if you find an account on your credit report that does not belong to you:

            “My name is ______, and I am disputing account ABC 123456789 because it is not mine.  Please delete this account from my file.” 

Also, include your personal identifying information, such as date of birth, address and social security number.  The consumer reporting agency must reinvestigate the account and send you the dispute results.  Don’t agree to let the agencies send you results by e-mail.

Step 2:  Make a copy of your completed credit report dispute letter.

Your credit report dispute letter should be copied for your records.  The consumer reporting agencies scan mail that comes in, including credit report dispute letters.  The dispute letters are usually produced in litigation.  However, if the consumer reporting agency cannot locate your dispute letter, it may claim that you never made a dispute. Hence, a copy of the dispute letter will come in handy to support your claims if you have to sue the consumer reporting agencies later.

Step 3: Mail your dispute letter by certified mail.

Your credit report dispute letter should be sent by certified mail return receipt requested.  Again, the postage receipt will document your dispute.  The postage receipt will show when you made your credit report dispute and when the consumer reporting agency received the dispute letter. Also, out-of-pocket expenses may be recovered as actual damages under the FCRA.

Step 4: Keep any responses to your credit report dispute letter.

You should keep any responses you receive from the consumer reporting agencies.  Under the FCRA, the consumer reporting agencies must provide you with the results of their reinvestigation.  The results will tell you whether the disputed information was verified, deleted or updated.  If the consumer reporting agency verifies incorrect information, then you may have the right to sue the consumer reporting agency and the data furnisher.

Step 5:  Contact a Credit Report Error Lawyer (FCRA Lawyer).

Your credit report is important.  If the consumer reporting agencies receive your disputes, but they do not correct your file, then you may not be able to get credit, housing or a job.  If you have followed steps 1-4 above, and the credit bureaus verified inaccurate information, then you need to speak with an attorney who represents clients with credit report errors.  A lawyer who knows the FCRA can tell you your rights under federal law.

If you have credit report errors because of a mixed file or identity theft, then we can help you.  Contact FCRA attorney Micah Adkins for a free case review. We represent clients all over the country, in federal court, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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