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DOES YOUR LANDLORD REPORT YOUR PAYMENT HISTORY?

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Traditionally, the nationwide consumer reporting agencies have not reported rental payment history, but that is about to change.  Experian, a nationwide consumer reporting agency, has announced that it has added a reporting section to consumer reports for tenant history, including late-pays, bounced lease checks and early move-outs.

Over 35% of the US population rented housing in 2010.  Accordingly, the accuracy of the new rental history segment will affect millions of consumers.  The credit reporting industry says the new reporting segments will give additional credit history to those who generally have minimal credit history, such as consumers who recently divorced students and recent college graduates.  Other credit reporting agencies, such as CoreLogic and FICO, have announced plans to include payday loans, child support and cell payment history in their credit reports.

While incomplete credit reporting can help some consumers, it can also decrease credit scores for many other consumers.  This about the consumers who have do not own a home, recently graduated or are attending school, and obtain pay day loans.  These are the consumers who are most at risk for inaccurate credit reporting!

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, landlords do not have to report data to consumer reporting agencies. Credit reporting agencies that report information on your credit report must maintain and follow procedures to assure the maximum accuracy of your credit report.  15 USC 1681e(b).  Consumers have the right to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information on their credit report.  When consumer reporting agencies receive a dispute from consumers, the credit reporting agency must perform a reasonable investigation.  15 USC 1681i.  If the credit reporting agencies do not conduct a lawful investigation and delete the inaccurate information then you have the right to sue them in federal court for actual or statutory damages, including attorneys’ fees.  15 USC1681n and o.

You can help protect yourself from the negative effects of incorrect information on your credit report by requesting your free credit report from CoreLogic, Experian, Equifax, Trans Union on a regular basis.  When you find incorrect information on your credit reports you should dispute the information in writing to the consumer reporting agency that is reporting the inaccurate information.  Contact us 24/7 at 1-800-263-9091 and ask attorney Micah Adkins for a free consultation concerning your credit reporting issue.

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