Any credit report, belonging to anyone, can be breached: Identity theft, unauthorized access, data-management errors, and other activities can seep into our credit reports without our knowledge. Credit reports from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian can contain costly errors; and even one undiscovered error can cause your credit score to plummet.
Credit Karma reveals that 35% of Americans never check their credit reports; and this can prove to be a grave mistake. If your credit score is lowered due to errors on one or more credit reports, you could be denied a mortgage or car loan in addition to being subjected to higher interest rates or overlooked for a job position or promotion – the consequences of diminished credit scores are very real. If you suspect any suspicious entries or activities on your credit reports, immediate action should be taken.
A 2012 report from the Federal Trade Commission indicates that almost 25% of Americans discovered a minimum of one error on at least one of their credit reports. Obtaining a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major CRAs is vital. Go to: www.annualcreditreport.com.
The Dispute Process
The Federal Government's Fair Credit Reporting Act was designed to shield consumers from false, incomplete, or inaccurate information on credit reports. The dispute process is your ally that allows you to take action against damaging credit-report entries that shouldn't be there.
Credit-Report Disputes with Credit-Reporting Agencies
The dispute process, with CRAs, involves some basic steps:
*** 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 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 appropriate documentation.
*** The dispute letter would need to be sent by certified mail, with 'return receipt requested'.
You can, also, submit your dispute, on line. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion websites permit dispute claims; or you can detail your disputes by phone or mail. When dealing with a CRA, however, delays are not uncommon since a credit reporting agency must, frequently, verify disputes with the creditor or collector, known as data furnishers, who would need time to do an investigation and communicate back to the CRA.
If you believe the results of a CRA dispute investigation are unsatisfactory, you could potentially initiate a cause-of-action against the CRA, detailed in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Call me now for a free consultation.
Call James Foley PLLC for a Free Consultation
If you credit reports indicate errors of any kind or if you have been treated unethically by a CRA or furnisher, call Foley Law today. You will receive a free credit consultation as well as a complimentary credit-report review. I may be able to dispute any discrepancies on your credit reports as well bring a possible suit against the CRAs and/or furnishers.
James Foley PLLC ~ 817-738-1633 ~ Fort Worth, Texas