When you have poor credit, it can affect your ability to get loans, credit cards, and insurance. It can even get in the way of employment opportunities.
If you have a bad credit rating, you want to do all you can to improve it. That includes having inaccurate information removed from your credit report.
If companies are refusing to remove inaccurate information from your credit report, you need a reliable Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) lawyer on your side. Read on to find out more about the FCRA and how the right lawyer can help you straighten out your financial situation.
What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was put into effect in 1970. It was enacted to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies. It provides consumers with the following rights:
- To notify if information in your files is being used against you
- Access to information in your file
- Knowledge of your credit score
- The ability to dispute inaccurate information
- The ability to have verified inaccurate information removed
- Ensuring outdated negative information is not reported
- The ability to limit access to your credit report
- Mandatory consent for providing reports to employers
- Removal of your name from consumer reporting agency lists for unsolicited offers
- The ability to seek damages, costs, and attorney’s fees from violators
Violations of the FCRA
TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax are the three primary reporting agencies that keep track of consumer credit ratings in the United States. When these companies make an error, it can lead to serious financial problems for consumers.
The FCRA offers consumers protection from credit reporting agencies, banks, lenders, and debt collectors who violate the act. Common violations include the following:
- Failing to accurately report a discharged bankruptcy debt
- Reporting negative information that is over 7 years old
- Reporting old debts as new
- Inaccurately reporting debts that have been settled
- Applying late fees to debts that were paid on time
- Reporting negative credit information on cases reported as identity theft
- Mixing credit information of multiple parties
- Failing to correct inaccurate information that appears on a debtor’s file
Violations can also occur when financial institutions that report to (Credit Reporting Agencies) CRAs engage in the following actions:
- Failing to notify CRAs that a debtor has disputed a debt
- A failure to investigate a disputed debt within 30 days
- Failing to provide the debtor with the information they need to complete the dispute process
- A failure to report the results of an investigation to the debtor
- Submitting information to a CRA that they know to be incorrect
How Do I Dispute Credit Errors?
Consumers should review their credit reports regularly to determine if there are any inaccuracies or issues. There are steps you can take to identify and dispute errors. These include:
Request a Copy of Your Credit Report: Consumers are eligible to receive one free copy of their credit report each year.
You can request a report at annualcreditreport.com. They will require you to provide personal information including your name, date of birth, social security number, and information from your credit history.
Dispute Letter: If you find inaccuracies in your report, you can send a dispute letter. This letter must be sent to the CRA and it must include detailed information on each item that is being disputed and why it is being disputed. You will also need to provide any documents that support your dispute and make it clear that you are requesting that the inaccurate information be removed.
The letter should be sent certified mail with a return receipt required. This will document that your letter has been sent and received.
Dispute Investigation: Once a dispute letter is received, the CRA will have 30 days to investigate it. The process involves information being sent to the reporting entity which will then review the information and report the results back to the CRA. If the dispute is resolved, all three major CRA’s must be notified to update your report with the correct information.
If the investigation does not resolve the dispute, you can ask for a statement of the dispute to be included in your file.
Post Investigation: After the investigation, the CRA must notify you of the results of your dispute. They must also provide you with an updated copy of your credit report if any changes were made. The new copy must also be sent to anyone who requested a copy of your credit report in the last six months.
Getting the Right Representation for Your CRA Lawsuit
If there is inaccurate information on your credit report and you are having trouble getting it removed, you may need to team up with a reliable FCRA Attorney. If you are looking for representation in the state of Louisiana, Samuel Ford of Scott, Vicknair, Hair & Checki can help.
The SVHC team has years of experience in the field of consumer protection. They consult their clients in every step of the legal decision-making process. Their aggressive representation has helped them build a strong winning record.
Bad credit can get in the way of your quality of life. If you feel inaccurate information is pulling your score down, fight back.
Samuel Ford of SVHC offers free consultations and, if you have a claim, you may be able to recover all associated costs and attorney’s fees, meaning SVHC may be able to represent you at no cost to you! Contact Samuel Ford today!