The Trunkett Law Firm assists those with false, inaccurate or outdated information on their credit reports. Whether your credit report is inaccurate because your lender is reporting false information or whether you are the victim of identity theft, we are here to help you through the process of correcting the errors.It is critical to know what is on your credit report. Even just a few errors can lead to being denied credit, employment, a rental lease, or higher rates on a car loan or mortgage. Fortunately, the law allows you to obtain a copy of your credit report for free. There are three main credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian), and by law you may obtain one free copy each year from each agency. You may also visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com to obtain your credit report from all three agencies.Once you have received your credit report, check for errors. Check for inaccurate information (trade line errors) such as inaccurate late payment, amounts owed, or current status. Also, look for mismerged credit , which occurs when two persons have similar identifying information or characteristics. For example, if a father and son share the same name, it is common to find credit information incorrectly reported on each of their credit reports. Mismerged credit errors also occur when someone else shares a social security number that is different by only one or two digits, or have similar names.
If you find errors, you may dispute the error with the credit reporting agencies. You may write a letter telling the consumer reporting agency what is wrong with the credit report. We recommend that you put all disputes in writing, and make sure you include any proof that you have to support your position. Include a copy of consumer report itself (with mistakes high-lighted). Send copies only of your supporting documents (keep the originals safe in a file with a copy of the dispute letter). Ask the consumer reporting agency to forward copies of everything you enclose to the creditor or furnisher of credit information. If you have been turned down for credit as a result of a credit report error, tell the consumer reporting agency this. Send a copy of the letter turning you down for credit. Send the dispute letter to the consumer reporting agency by certified mail and save your certified receipts. Staple the certified receipts (coming and going) to each letter you send. If multiple accounts are involved, it is easy to confuse these receipts if you don’t have a system to keep track of what you mailed
The three main credit reporting agencies are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian). Following is the address for each:
Experian Equifax Information Services LLC TransUnion LLC Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 4500 P.O. Box 740256 PO Box 2000
Allen, TX 75013 Atlanta, GA 30374 Chester, PA 19022
Some additional tips:
• Do not make oral disputes by telephone! You want to keep a paper trail of all communications with the credit reporting agencies.
• Do NOT pull your credit report from an on-line credit bureau, unless you have already done so. Many credit bureaus try to trick consumers into agreeing to binding out-of-court arbitration in order to pull their credit report on-line. This means that by pulling the report on-line, you may no longer be able to use the courts to solve your credit problems. We will help you pull your credit report safely.
• Do NOT dispute your credit report on-line. Again, you may agree to binding arbitration if you dispute your credit report on-line.
• If you have been denied credit, request a copy of the credit report that the lender used in making their determination. If you are unsure or unable to obtain the credit report, let us know, and we will try to obtain it for you.
• Keep copies of everything you have and bring them with you to the meeting with the attorney. This includes any correspondence you may have with the credit bureau, old credit reports, and denial of credit letters.
NOW WHAT? After you dispute the completeness or accuracy of information in your consumer credit file, the consumer reporting agency must conduct a reasonable investigation to determine whether the disputed information is inaccurate. The consumer reporting agency must record the current status of disputed information or delete it from its file. Within 5 business days of receiving your dispute, the consumer reporting agency must forward your dispute to the furnisher of the credit information (the creditor or collection agency). The furnisher must conduct reasonable investigation of the dispute and report the results of its investigation to the consumer reporting agency and other consumer reporting agencies to which it reports. The furnisher must correct its own records if they are inaccurate. The consumer reporting agency has 30 days to complete investigation (45 days if you send additional information during the 30 day period). The consumer reporting agency must delete information that it finds to be incorrect or which cannot be verified by the furnisher of the information. The consumer reporting agency must provide you with a written statement of its results of its investigation and a copy of your revised consumer file, as well as a notice of your rights. Even then, if you still dispute their findings, you have the right to insert a 100 word statement of dispute.
If, at any point along this process, you feel that you could use assistance, our office is happy to assist. Please save a copy of all your paperwork and bring it to your initial consultation. We may be able to assist if the credit reporting agency is not responsive in correcting the inaccurate information, and you have not received a satisfactory investigation.
Trunket Law Firm
Southwest Florida’s Consumer Rights Law Firm
Serving Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Bradenton, Sarasota, and Naples