If information on your credit report is inaccurate, incomplete, or contains misleading information, contacting the creditor directly does not necessarily help you to resolve the inaccuracy. Creditors can ignore your letters disputing the account because they face no threat of a lawsuit unless you follow the correct procedure. If they ignore your letters, you could have major problems obtaining financing for a home, car, credit card, or other financial items that you need to help yourself and your family.
Our firm recently settled a case for $77,500.00 where a credit bureau and two furnishers of credit information failed to correct inaccurate credit information despite repeated requests by our client to do so.
An inaccurate credit report can quickly destabilize many aspects of your life. These mistakes could mean higher interest rates on loans or even mortgage denials. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) aims to promote accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information. The legislation requires credit reporting agencies to adhere to specific procedures when addressing credit report inaccuracies.
To reinsert credit information on your report, the reporting agency must first verify the information through an investigation. After authenticating the claims and reinserting the information, the reporting agency must send you written notice within five business days. The notice should affirm the report update and provide contact information for the company that furnished the information.
The FCRA stipulates the only way to file a lawsuit is to first dispute the claim with a consumer reporting agency such as Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian. You can dispute a claim online through their websites, but the online disputes do not really provide you with an opportunity to give a full and complete explanation of the problem nor do they generally allow you to submit documentation. Keep copies of whatever you submit, even if it’s the online form.
Next, the consumer reporting agency will inform the creditor who reported the debt of your dispute. That creditor must investigate the dispute reasonably and report any inaccuracies. The credit reporters will then provide you with information regarding the investigation and, hopefully, they will correct the inaccuracy. If they fail to fix the problem then, and only then, can you file a claim against the creditor.
If you believe your credit report dispute was handled incorrectly, we may be able to help. Our firm handles FCRA cases on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t owe attorneys fees unless we recover compensation. Maginnis Howard handles FCRA cases across North Carolina.