Over 400,000 Credit Report Complaints Made to CFPB in 2023

Credit Report Complaints

In a recent analysis of grievances submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) outlined in a comprehensive Consumer Affairs review, a notable surge in disputes regarding “inaccurate information” within credit reports from industry giants Equifax®, ExperianTM, and Trans Union® has been observed and now documented. The figures speak volumes, escalating from 200,273 complaints in 2022 to a staggering 403,552 in 2023. As we delve into 2024, the situation appears disheartening, with a significant 101,516 complaints already made to the CFPB as of February 26. If this trend continues, the credit reporting agencies may receive over 600,000 complaints by the end of 2024!

Diverse Credit Report Complaints

While credit reports have never been flawless, the current post-COVID consumer landscape, can be characterized by a frenzy of purchases and increased credit utilization, has intensified the frequency of reported discrepancies. Consumers who are seeking credit are now beginning to review their credit reports. When errors are found, consumers should make disputes directly to the credit reporting agencies and to the CFPB. Click HERE to make a complaint to the CFPB.

Time to Review Your Credit Reports

For those with a commendable credit score, hovering above 600, concerns about report accuracy may seem negligible. However, a closer inspection might be in order. Four common credit report errors are frequently overlooked by consumers in their credit reports. Disputing and correcting the credit report errors could potentially elevate a mid-600 score enough to over 700 or 800 and garner more favorable terms on credit card interest rates or mortgages. Click HERE to learn how to order your free credit reports. 

Common Credit Report Errors

**Mixed Files** 

A mixed file occurs when information that relates to Consumer’s A’s credit appears on Consumer B’s credit report. This often happens when the consumers share similar personal identifying information, such as names, dates of birth or zip codes. Surprisingly, mixed files occur despite unique personal identifiers, such as Social Security numbers. The credit reporting agencies have been aware of mixed files for over 40 years! Thompson v. San Antonio Retail Merchants Ass’n, 682 F. 2d 509, 513 (5th Cir. 1982) (“SARMA’s verification process failed to uncover the erroneous social security number”). 

**Identity Theft** 

Identity theft continues to pollute victims’ credit reports. In 2003, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was amended “to combat identity theft.”  Under the FCRA, identity theft victims have the right to dispute accounts that appear on their credit report due to fraud. Upon receipt of an identity theft report, the nationwide consumer reporting agencies, Equifax®, ExperianTM, and Trans Union®, must block fraudulent information from appearing on an identity theft victim’s report within 4 business days. 15 U.S.C. § 1681c-2(a).

**Reported as Deceased** 

Too often, consumers are unable to get approved for credit because a credit reporting agency is inaccurately reporting the consumer as deceased. This can happen because of a number of different reasons, such as mixed files or a creditor inaccurately reporting the “X” ECOA code for the account holder when the consumer is actually alive! Either way, when a consumer is reported as deceased, the credit bureaus will sell a credit report to potential creditors, but they will not provide a credit score. As a result, the consumer will not be able to get approved for credit because he or she does not have a credit score.

**Public Record Errors**

Public record errors on credit reports can also prevent consumers from being approved for credit. For example, a consumer may file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and include credit accounts. If the bankruptcy court approves the bankruptcy petition and enters a discharge order, then the consumer is no longer obligated to pay certain debts included in the bankruptcy. Accordingly, the consumer’s creditors (and the credit reporting agencies) can no longer report a balanced owed on accounts included in the bankruptcy. 

Got Credit Report Errors? We can help!

The Adkins Firm represents consumers who have errors on credit, employment background and tenant screening reports. We help our clients clear their names. Do you have errors on a credit report, background report or tenant screening report due to fraud?  Have you disputed the error and the fraudulent information was verified that it belongs to you? If you answered yes, then you may have a claim under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Please note, there is a statute of limitations that may bar you from recovering for your damages. Don’t wait.  Contact us for a free case review.