Credit Reporting Issues? Your Rights and The Fair Credit Reporting Act Can Help
Your credit report is a big deal in your life and affects your ability to purchase high dollar items such as homes and automobiles, obtain credit, and get a job. Knowing your rights and using them can greatly help you keep your score where it should be. Creditors and the credit bureaus (Transunion, Equifax, and Experian) sometimes make things worse than they are by incorrect entries or refusal to remove items that are not yours.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was put in place to protect consumers and gives you the right to dispute items on your credit report and obtain damages if creditors or the credit bureaus refuse to remove them.
[box style=”1″]A GOOD PLACE TO START[br]The first step is to find out where your credit report stands. You have the the right to a Free Credit Report every year and can obtain it at AnnualCreditReport.com. Also, click here for a Free Credit Report Dispute Kit so you can get started correcting and boosting your credit rating.[/box]
Damages for inaccurate credit reports
If you have a dispute about an incorrect credit report, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act can provide a powerful remedy. If there is a violation of the FCRA, you may be entitled to actual damages (such as for loss of credit), emotional distress damages, or in some cases even punitive damages.
Companies subject to the FCRA
Some of the major credit bureaus subject to the FCRA include TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. There are numerous other smaller consumer credit reporting agencies who are also subject to the FCRA. Additionally, the “furnisher” of the inaccurate information (this is the company that provided the inaccurate information to the credit bureau) may also be liable. Even employers, or people who obtain your report without any permissible purpose, may be subject to the FCRA.
More complicated than it looks
The FCRA has many technical requirements. Courts have described the FCRA as “incomprehensibly complex,” “complicated,” and “detailed and complex” requiring “protracted examination.” In most cases, a consumer is required to send a specific dispute to the credit reporting agency before he or she has any right to have the credit report corrected.
Consumers often use the Internet or telephone dispute process, which provide consumers with fewer rights and fewer ways to document their disputes, making it easier to deny them later. There are particular ways that are best to send the disputes, and including certain information will make the dispute more likely to get incorrect account information taken off your credit report.
If you do not comply with all of the FCRA’s credit report dispute requirements, the credit bureau or other company may even be able to continue getting away with reporting incorrect information about you.
Get free professional assistance from Culik Law with credit report disputes
This is why it is usually best to have an attorney assist you with your disputes about credit report inaccuracies. Culik Law can provide assistance with your incorrect credit report at no cost. And if the information is not removed, Culik Law can usually file a legal claim to get it removed for little or no cost to you.
If you have inaccurate information being reported on your credit report, such as old accounts, other people’s information, incorrect balances, or any other inaccurate information, contact Culik Law to tell us about your issue.