Credit Report Errors / Fair Credit Reporting Act
It seems so easy for a debt collector or creditor to place negative or misleading information on your credit report, and sometimes it seems like only an Act of God or Congress will get it corrected. It doesn’t have to be that way.
- Up to 70% of all credit reports contain errors or mistakes.
- 26% of credit errors are serious enough to deny an application for housing, credit or employment.
After years of helping our clients fix their financial problems through debt settlement, bankruptcy, foreclosure etc., many folks have come to us with inaccurate credit reports. Commons errors that we see (and that we can file suit to have corrected and obtain damages) include:
- Open accounts when they should be closed;
- Debt improperly re-aged when sold so that it appears longer than the allowed 7 years;
- Debt discharged in bankruptcy that is inaccurately reported as an open account or lists a remaining debt;
- Listing a consumer as a debtor on an account when the consumer was only an authorized user;
- Failure to list an account as dispute;
- Impermissible credit pulls;
- Information that does not belong to you; and
- Misleading information.
Each of the items above can form the basis for a lawsuit under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). The FCRA is a consumer protection statute. It allows for the recovery of statutory damages, actual damages, attorney’s fees and even punitive damages. Most attorneys accept FCRA cases on a contingency which means that there are no fees or costs unless a successful recovery from the offending creditor.
All of these credit reporting errors can have lasting consequences, including denial of credit, denial of employment, denial of insurance and even the loss of housing such as a lease. The reduction in credit score will most certainly result in increased lending costs such as credit card, housing and vehicle loan interest rates.
If you suspect that your credit report may not be accurate, please order a free copy of your credit report on annualcreditreport.com or Credit Karma. Then feel free to send to us for a complimentary review – please note in your contact form below what you think may be in error.