When you first spot an error on your credit report from TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian, the solution may seem obvious. Each of the three major credit bureaus provides clear information on its website about how you can dispute an erroneous entry on your credit report. You can even submit a dispute directly through the websites.
Unfortunately, that process doesn’t always go as advertised. Although the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and many state laws impose clear obligations on the credit reporting agencies—obligations to conduct a reasonable investigation into the dispute in a timely manner and then modify, delete or block any information they are unable to verify—the actual process is often quite cursory.
Many people who dispute entries they know to be inaccurate receive form notices telling them that the item has been verified. A smaller number receive no response at all. When that happens, many consumers are unsure of what to do next, and the erroneous entries stay. Depending on the specifics, those errors can mean denial of credit, higher interest rates, and even a reduction in credit limit or closure of existing accounts.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Helps You Fight Back
The FCRA doesn’t just impose obligations on credit reporting agencies and those who furnish information to them. The statute also provides for actual and statutory damages when credit bureaus or furnishers (such as original creditors and debt collectors) don’t play by the rules.
Recently, Schlanger Law Group has filed federal lawsuits on behalf of several consumers who have been unable to correct credit reporting entries that were either erroneous or the result of identity theft. These include:
- A suit against all three major credit reporting agencies on behalf of a consumer who was unable to correct erroneous late payment entries on all three credit reports, despite repeated disputes filed in 2017 and 2018.
- A suit against Citizen’s Bank and Equifax on behalf of a victim of identity theft after the bank and credit reporting agency failed to properly investigate fraudulent transactions. All other furnisher and the other two major credit reporting agencies had investigated and corrected entries related to the identity theft.
- A suit against Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian and several furnishers who failed or refused to properly investigate and correct information after the consumer’s then-boyfriend incurred significant debts in her name without her consent.
Help is Available
If you’ve disputed items on your credit report without success, even though you know them to be inaccurate or the result of identity theft, you don’t have to accept defeat. Call 212-500-6114 or fill out the contact form on this site to learn more about how the law protects you.