Four Smart Tips For Disputing Credit Report Errors

Four Smart Tips For Disputing Credit Report Errors

Four Smart Tips For Disputing Credit Report Errors

By: Robert J. Nahoum

A Federal Trade Commission study of the U.S. credit reporting industry concluded that 25% of consumers had errors on one of their three major credit reports.  With 322,583,006 people in America that means that more than 80 million Americans have errors on their reports.

Common errors found in credit reports include:

  • Outdate information (usually older than 7 years).
  • Accounts incorrectly reported as delinquent.
  • Information that is not yours because of confused names, addresses, etc.
  • Reported debts incurred as a result of identity theft.
  • Delinquent accounts reported by multiple creditors.
  • Information from an ex-spouse.

Mistakes on your credit report can lead to increased interest and insurance rates, rejected as well as rejected credit, employment and housing applications.  You should regularly monitor your credit report to ensure their accuracy.

Here are four smart tips for disputing mistakes on your credit repot:

  • Dispute errors with both the credit reporting agencies and the furnishers at the same time.
  • Always make your disputes in writing by written letter.  NEVER use the automated system found at the credit reporting agencies websites.  If you use their automated systems, you may be waiving your right to take them to court if they fail to correct the errors.
  • Send all correspondence by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • When making your dispute, provide as much information and evidence as you can to make your case that the entry is wrong.

Federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governs how the credit reporting agencies handle consumer credit information.  The FCRA is intended to protect the accuracy and privacy of consumer credit information.  The FCRA mandates that credit reporting agencies and the entities that report credit information to them (called “furnishers”) to ensure that credit information is fair, accurate and kept private. The FCRA provides consumers with the right to access and correct any inaccuracies.

If a credit reporting agency, a furnisher or a user of a credit report violates the FCRA, the consumer can sue for damages including to $1,000.00 in statutory damages, plus actual damages (for example pain and suffering) and most importantly, reasonable attorneys’ fees.  Like many other consumer protection laws, the FCRA is what is called “fee shifting” – meaning that the obligation to pay the consumers attorneys’ fees shifts to the debt collector.

If you’re rights under the FCRA have been violated, contact us today to see what we can do for you.

The Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C
(845) 232-0202