Last Week on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took on the credit reporting industry in a segment that consumer lawyers only wish they could play for a jury. In an explicit mix of humor and outrage, John Oliver exposed 60 years of credit bureau apathy toward American’s ability to obtain housing, employment, insurance, and transportation. John Oliver highlighted news stories over the past 60 years which cited “staggering” and “frequent errors” in 25-33% of credit reports. While complacency in the credit reporting industry is nothing new, their audacity reached new heights when they celebrated that credit reporting errors ONLY AFFECTED 10 MILLION AMERICANS. Given that the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires consumer reporting agencies to adopt and implement policies to assure maximum possible accuracy, it is hard to see success in such a widespread failure.
In addition to the general unreliability of credit reports, John Oliver highlighted many of the absurdities consumers must navigate to protect their credit history. For example . . . Want to prove you aren’t dead? Good luck, dead people cannot obtain copies of their credit reports. Want to know if you are inaccurately listed as a terrorist before applying for a job or apartment? Sorry, that information typically isn’t available until after the fact. Credit bureau have you mistaken for someone else? Maybe it is you who are mistaken. Wondering what evidence there is that your credit report is relevant to your ability to do your job? None, but that doesn’t stop credit bureaus from marketing credit reports to employers for that purpose.
If you are interested in learning what is in your credit report, you can obtain a free copy once a year from Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax through annualcreditreport.com. If you happen to be among the 25% of Americans with inaccurate information in your credit report, you can dispute it through annualcreditreport.com and the credit bureaus will have 30 days to investigate your dispute and correct any inaccurate information. When they fail to do so, contact a consumer protection attorney with experience handling Fair Credit Reporting Act claims. The consumer protection attorneys at Maginnis Law, PLLC regularly handle claims arising under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act on a contingency fee basis. We provide free consultations and do not get paid a fee unless we succeed in obtaining fair compensation for you! Contact Consumer Rights Attorney Asa C. Edwards at 919.526.0450 to schedule your free case evaluation today.