This is Part 2 of our 3 Part Series on credit reporting and associated claims.
Your credit report contains the information provided to the three major credit-reporting bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – related to your loans, purchases and other financial transactions. If you find an error on your credit report, you have the right dispute that information, have it corrected and to seek damages if the error is not corrected.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) is a federal law that regulates the conduct of the credit reporting agencies and the companies that furnish information to these agencies. To protect your rights under the FCRA you must first notify the credit bureaus in writing of the disputed information. You should send your dispute letter to not only the three credit bureaus, but also to the company which furnished the information that is in dispute. It is also a good idea to send these letters by certified mail so that you have proof of delivery. A sample dispute letter is on the from the Federal Trade Commission website at: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0384-sample-letter-disputing-errors-your-credit-report
When the bureaus receive your dispute letter and supporting documentation, they must investigate and also notify the company that provided the disputed information, such as a bank or credit card issuer. The bureaus and the company which provided the information must then investigate your dispute and verify whether the information is correct. If accuracy of this information is not verified within 30 days, then the credit bureau has to remove that information from your credit report.
If the information is reported as being “verified” and accurate then it will remain on your credit report. If you believe that the information is not accurate, even after it was verified, then the FCRA provides you with certain rights and remedies and you should consult an attorney to protect those rights.
By Edward Angwin, February 27, 2017