Dispute

How to Dispute Errors on Credit Reports

How to Dispute Errors on Credit Reports

4 Simple Steps on How to Dispute Inaccuracies on Credit Reports

Disputing inaccuracies on a credit report can be a daunting task. Following these step-by-step instructions will aid you in correcting credit reporting errors in the most timely manner possible:

Step 1: Obtain your free credit reports

Obtaining your credit report is the first step in disputing any inaccurate or wrong information which may appear on it. Federal law requires the three national credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union, to provide you with a free credit report every year. Most likely, each of these credit reporting agencies has a credit file on you. Get all three of your credit reports.

What to do if Your Credit Dispute is Denied

What to do if Your Credit Dispute is Denied

Your legal rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

According to the FCRA, the credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian & Trans Union (also referred to as CRAs) must investigate your dispute. Upon receipt of your dispute, the CRAs have 30 days to complete their investigation and provide you with their findings. The law requires their findings to be accompanied by a free credit report. If their investigation led to the denial of your credit dispute, now is the time to seek legal counsel to enforce your legal rights.

Prior to obtaining legal representation, ensure you have followed the dispute process accordingly. (See step-by-step instructions on Disupting Credit Report Errors here). 

Credit Reporting Reform Underway

2015 is a big year for the credit reporting industry. Major changes are underway. Earlier this year, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union announced that they would change the way they handle credit disputes and unpaid medical bills. Credit experts say the announcement marks the biggest reform for the credit reporting industry in more than a decade. Most importantly, these changes will help millions qualify for better interest rates on student, home, and auto loans.

New CFPB Bulletin Issues Strong Warning to Furnishers of Consumer Credit Information

Furnishers Are Required to Review Documentation from Credit Reporting Agencies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) has issued a Bulletin, dated September 4, 2013, to companies that furnish information to consumer reporting agencies (“CRAs”) regarding furnisher obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the “FCRA”). The Bulletin is intended to deal specifically with the FCRA requirement that furnishers are required to “review all relevant information” when investigating a consumer dispute. The CFPB Bulletin provides a warning to furnishers that the CFPB maintains supervisory and enforcement authority which it will use to address furnisher violations.

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. 

Class Action Suit Against Experian & CSC

Indiana Consumer Files Class Action Suit Against Experian and CSC | Challenging the Accuracy of Bankruptcy Credit Reporting 

Today, Cento Law, along with Eric Pavlack, filed a class action lawsuit against two consumer reporting agencies, Experian Information Services, Inc. and CSC Credit Services alleging numerous violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In the suit, Plaintiff alleges the consumer reporting agencies inaccurately reported her bankruptcy on her credit report as dismissed when it was in fact withdrawn and failed to report that her bankruptcy was withdrawn before any bankruptcy plan was approved.  Earlier this year, Plaintiff filed a similar lawsuit against Trans Union, LLC.

If you have any questions regarding this lawsuit, then please feel free to contact us.

How to Dispute a Credit Report

How to Dispute Credit Report
How to Dispute Credit Report

Obtaining your credit report is the first step in disputing any inaccurate or wrong information which may appear on it. Federal law requires the three national credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union, to provide you with a free credit report every year. Get your free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com; which is the official site to help consumers obtain their free credit report. Inaccuracies on your credit report may negatively affect you. If you find wrong information on your credit report start here:

Contact the credit reporting company in question. The disputing procedure can be initiated online.

  • To dispute a credit report from Experian,click here.
  • To dispute a credit report from Trans Union, click here.
  • To dispute a credit report from Equifax, click here.

Credit reporting companies must investigate disputes made by consumers. Thirty (30) days after the dispute is initiated, credit reporting companies are required to provide consumers with the results. The results should be accompanied by a free credit report. If the disputed information has not been corrected following the credit reporting companies dispute procedures, consider seeking legal action.

More About How Trans Union Processes Consumer Disputes - E-OSCAR and the ACDV Process

In 2005, a Trans Union ("TU") representative testified as follows regarding TU's procedures to conduct reinvestigations when a consumer disputes inaccurate information on their credit report: In general, when TU receives a dispute from a consumer, TU investigates the dispute using one of two systems developed for the purpose of processing and tracking disputes: the mail Consumer Dispute Verification process (“CDV”) and; the electronic Automated Consumer Dispute Verification process (“ACDV”) utilized in the instant matter.

How does Trans Union process consumer disputes?

In general, when Trans Union receives a dispute from a consumer, Trans Union investigates the dispute using one of two systems developed for the purpose of processing and tracking disputes, the Consumer Dispute Verification process (“CDV”) and the Automated Consumer Dispute Verification process (“ACDV”).  Through the ACDV process, Trans Union contacts the furnisher of the disputed credit information and, via an automated process, asks the furnisher to verify that the indicative (e.g., name, social security number, address, date of birth, etc.) information on the consumer matches the indicative information maintained in the furnisher’s records and is associated with the particular account being disputed.  Trans Union also asks the furnisher to verify the accuracy of the account information, e.g. account balance, payment history, credit limit, etc., being reported to Trans Union by the furnisher.

If the furnisher verifies that the reported information is correct, Trans Union updates the information on the consumer's credit file and notifies the consumer of that fact. If the furnisher reports that the information is inaccurate or can no longer be verified, or if the creditor does not respond within the required time, Trans Union deletes the information from the consumer's credit file and notifies the consumer that the information has been deleted.  Trans Union may employ additional procedures depending on the precise dispute involved and the circumstances of the case.