CREDIT REPORT ERRORS AND DISPUTES
CREDIT REPORT ERRORS AND DISPUTES IN CINCINNATI, OH
There is a growing trend throughout the country of consumers who cannot get the credit bureaus to remove errors on their credit reports. Consumers are basically stuck with two options: (1) accept the errors, or (2) hire an attorney to file a lawsuit under the Fair Credit Reporting Act against the credit bureaus. The most common errors involve a “mixed file” as they are known in the credit industry. Mixed files most frequently involve people who share common names with individuals who have similar Social Security numbers, birth dates or addresses. Files often become mixed because of the computer programs that the credit bureaus use to match credit data to a specific consumer’s credit report. The programs allow credit data, such as a late payment on a credit card or a bankruptcy judgment, to be inserted into the wrong consumer’s file. For example, a bankruptcy judgment against John Smith, Sr. is erroneously applied to the credit report of John Smith, Jr.
CREDIT REPORT ERRORS
The credit bureaus’ process for addressing mixed files is largely automated, with the credit bureaus often outsourcing disputes daily to workers overseas who are unable to correct a mixed file credit report. Unfortunately, consumers often will be denied credit (such as a mortgage or car loan application) or a job as a result of a mistake on the credit report.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, the law that governs the credit bureaus, requires the agencies to provide maximum possible accuracy in their credit reports and to perform a reasonable investigation when a consumer reports an error. More often than not, the credit bureaus meet neither one of these legal obligations, resulting in violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
ERRORS ON YOUR CREDIT REPORT?
The credit bureaus appear willing to tolerate violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act as a cost of doing business, rather than change their business practices. Some examples of violations include:
- Mixing credit information of multiple consumers;
- Failing to report a discharged debt in bankruptcy;
- Reporting information older than 7 years;
- Reporting old debts as new;
- Reporting a debt which was settled;
- Applying late fees to debts paid on time;
- Supplying credit information despite reported identity theft;
- Failing to correct inaccurate information on a consumer’s file.
It is a good idea to regularly review your credit report to see if any inaccuracies or problems exist. If the credit bureaus refuse to remove inaccurate information from your credit report, then you should contact The Law Firm of Sadlowski & Besse L.L.C. Our firm has considerable knowledge of the credit industry having represented clients in individual and class action lawsuits nationwide involving claims brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.