Credit Report Errors

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Credit Reports

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Credit Reports

John Oliver on the Credit Reporting Industry

Earlier this month, HBO's John Oliver of Last Week Tonight did a segment on credit reports. The segment highlights studies which report major problems in the credit reporting industry. The studies reveal that credit reports contain a shocking number of errors. One study found that 25% of consumers had errors in their credit reports. That means that 1 and 4 credit reports have an error. The study further states that 1 and 20 credit reports contain sufficient errors that would make a consumer pay more for a car loan or a mortgage. Credit report errors vary by type and may be serious enough to deny an application for credit, housing or employment.

Stop Errors in Credit Use and Reporting (SECURE) Act Introduced by Sherrod Brown

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, has introduced the Stop Errors in Credit Use and Reporting (SECURE) Act to ensure that all have accurate information on their credit report to ensure they are being treated fairly.

According to the article published by Senator Brown, "[t]he SECURE Act would require credit reporting agencies to improve their processes for collecting

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Reports on Received Complaints

Federal Agency to Oversee Credit Reporting Agencies

In July of 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) became the first federal agency to oversee credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. The CFPB receives complaints directly from consumers relating to credit reporting, mortgages, bank accounts and services, private student loans, consumer loans, and money transfers. In July 2013, the CFPB released a report which provides a snapshot of the complaint process and a analysis of the complaints they received. The report states that between the July 21, 2011 through June 20, 2013; 14,200 credit reporting complaints where received by consumers in the marketplace.

$18. 6 Million Verdict Against Equifax for Not Fixing a Mixed Credit Report

Equifax Slammed with $18.6 Million Jury Verdict for Violations of the FCRA

A federal jury recently awarded Julie Miller of Oregon with $18.6 Million.

In 2009, Julie Miller applied for credit and was denied. The denial was a result of credit information belonging to a different Julie Miller being mixed with the credit report of the applicant. The inaccuracies consisted of:

  • Wrong Social Security Number
  • Wrong birth date
  • Accounts that were not hers; and
  • Erroneous collection accounts.

The mixed credit report resulted in a lost opportunity to obtain credit.

Class Action Against Green Tree Challenging Accuracy of Joint Account Holder Bankruptcy Credit Reporting

Lawsuit Filed Against Green Tree for Reporting a False Bankruptcy

June 7, 2013

Today, Cento Law, LLC attorney G. John Cento filed a class action lawsuit against Green Tree Servicing, LLC alleging numerous violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In the suit, Plaintiff alleges Green Tree inaccurately reported his mortgage account to the consumer reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and/or Trans Union) that he had included his mortgage in bankruptcy even though Plaintiff had never filed bankruptcy.

Class Action Against Experian, Wells Fargo and Citimortgage Challenging Accuracy of Reporting of Consumer Short Sales

Cento Law, LLC attorney G. John Cento, through local California counsel, filed a class action lawsuit against Experian Information Solutions, Inc., Wells Fargo Bank and Citimortgage alleging numerous violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In the suit, Plaintiff alleges the consumer reporting agency, Experian, and credit data furnishers, Wells Fargo and Citimortgage, inaccurately reported his short sale on his credit report

Out-of-Date Entries on Your Credit Report

Negative information such as: delinquencies, bankruptcies, charge-offs, loan defaults, foreclosures, lawsuits and judgments, and tax liens are barred from forever appearing on your credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires credit reporting agencies to remove most negative information from your credit reporting after the credit reporting time limit has expired. Reporting old, out-of-date information is against federal law.

According to the FCRA, credit reporting agencies cannot report negative information for an undetermined amount of time. In fact, negative information can only be reported for a specific amount of time.

40 Million Americans Have Mistakes on Their Credit Reports | Is your credit report accurate?

A new government study reports that over 40 million Americans have mistakes on their credit reports; and 20 million Americans have serious mistakes on their credit reports. Just before the government study was released, 60 Minutes aired a story about their investigation into the credit reporting industry. As explained by 60 Minutes, both the government study (which was conducted by the Federal Trade Commission and was the largest and most comprehensive such study ever done on the credit reporting industry) found these mistakes are often almost impossible to remove from your credit file.

Highlights From FTC Recent Study On Credit Report Inaccuracy

The Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) recently released its fifth interim report on a national study of credit report accuracy. This was the first national study to include participation from consumers, lenders/data furnishers, FICO and the national consumer reporting agencies (the “CRAs”). The FTC found that:

  • “26% of the 1,001 participants in the study identified at least one potentially material error on at least one of their three credit reports.”
  • Only 21% of participants had

Are Consumers Ordering Credit Reports Online From Experian Being Billed For Monthly Credit Report Service Without Their Consent?

Possible Unauthorized Charges By Experian Cento Law is currently investigating claims that Experian, a national consumer reporting agency, directly or indirectly through its various other websites, such as FreeCreditReport.com, ProtectMyId.com, LowerMyBills.com, ClassesUSA.com, Pricegrabber.com, may be charging consumers for credit reports or credit reporting services without their authorization and consent. 

Limitations of the e-OSCAR System | Credit Report Disputes

In a study released this month by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the CFPB found that there are specific limitations on the e-OSCAR system; the electronic system used by the national consumer reporting agencies (Trans Union, Experian and Equifax) (CRAs) to process consumer disputes of the accuracy of their credit reports.  Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the CRAs are required to send data furnishers a notice of a consumer dispute that includes “all relevant information regarding the dispute that the agency has received from the consumer.” 

CRA Reinvestigation Obligations Under the FCRA

When a consumer disputes the completeness or accuracy of any information contained in his/her credit report, the consumer reporting agency (CRA) must conduct a "reinvestigation."  The term "reinvestigation" is a statutory term under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). If the reinvestigation reveals that the information is inaccurate or cannot be verified, the CRA must promptly delete the information. 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a). Failure to conduct a reasonable reinvestigation violates the FCRA. Cushman v. Trans Union Corp., 115 F.3d 220, 223–24 (3d Cir.1997). The burden to conduct the reinvestigation is on the credit reporting agency. It cannot be shifted back to the consumer.

A credit reporting agency's reinvestigation obligation is to verify the accuracy of its original source of information. This duty may include going beyond the original source. Whether the credit reporting agency must go beyond the original source depends on a number of factors, including: (1) whether the consumer has alerted the CRA that the original source may be unreliable; (2) whether the CRA itself knows or should know that the original source is unreliable; and (3) the comparative costs of verifying the accuracy of the original sources versus the potential harm the inaccurate information may cause the consumer. Dixon-Rollins v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., 753 F.Supp.2d 452 (2010).

Does Your Credit Report Have Errors?

What should you do if you learn that your credit report has errors? You can either contact us about how to proceed or send a dispute to the consumer reporting agency (CRA) on your own. There are several ways to initiate the dispute process with the CRAs, including using the dispute form which you may have received when you ordered your credit report; using the CRAs online dispute form; sending a dispute letter by mail (certified mail is recommended but not required); or by telephone. Whichever method you choose, you should remember to keep an accurate record of your dispute, including a copy of your dispute form or letter. If you use the online dispute form, you should take a screen shot of your dispute before sending it.