It may come as a surprise to learn that credit reports from any credit reporting agency – including well-known Equifax, Transunion and Experian – can contain false, or outdated information. Your credit reports could be compromised without your even realizing it!
There are any number of reasons errors can be embedded in credit reports – from identity theft to data management errors, and more. Certain errors can result in lower credit scores which, in turn, can prevent you from being approved for a loan; they can subject you to higher interest rates; you can be overlooked for a job position – the consequences can be painful.
Because your credit report could contain errors, it is prudent you obtain an annual, free copy of your credit report from each of the three CRAs. Simply go to: www.annualcreditreport.com.
The Dispute Process
The US Federal Government enacted the Fair Credit Reporting Act to protect consumers against false or inaccurate information in credit reports. According to a 2012 Federal Trade Commission research project, almost 25% of Americans found a minimum of one potentially concerning error on at least one of their credit reports.
If you discover any errors that could negatively affect your credit, a dispute process should be pursued, as quickly as possible.
The Dispute Process with CRAs
You have the right to dispute any errors with any credit reporting agency. The dispute process must follow certain protocol:
*** Send a dispute letter to the CRA. A sample of this letter can be found in the FORMS and RESOURCES section of my website.
*** The dispute letter must be include full identifying information concerning yourself and account details. Include your first, middle and last name as well as account number(s), social security and driver's license numbers, and any relevant documents.
*** The dispute letter would need to be sent by certified mail, with 'return receipt requested'.
Another option would be to offer your dispute information, online. The three main CRAs offer online assistance with disputes. One can, also, submit disputes over the phone or by mail. There can be delays, however, when contacting a CRA since they must, often, verify disputed information with the creditor or collector, known as data furnishers. Once the furnisher is contacted, it would need to report back to the CRA.
If one or more CRAs were to not follow through with a satisfactory reinvestigation, you would want to explore pursuing a cause-of-action against the CRA, as stipulated in the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Do you have information on one or more credit reports that you believe to be inaccurate? If so, contact James Foley for a complimentary credit consultation. All your accounts would receive a free credit-report review; and if any discrepancies are found, I may be able to dispute them as well as bring a possible suit against the CRAs and/or furnishers.
Call Our Office Today
Don't wait, call our office today. Things can get complicated with credit-report disputes – make sure you have a seasoned professional on your side. Foley Law can help!
James Foley PLLC ~ 817-738-1633 ~ Fort Worth, Texas