Mississippi Consumer Protection and Credit Defense Lawyer
Every person relies on accurate credit reporting to maintain their financial health and to take out loans. Any mistake on a credit report could lead to serious financial difficulties, accusations of failing to pay debts, or even investigations for fraud.
Credit reporting bureaus are legally obligated to investigate and fix errors on credit reports. Credit reporting errors can result from improperly collected information or even instances of criminal activity such as identity theft.
No matter the reason for an inaccuracy on a credit report, a Mississippi consumer protection and credit defense lawyer from Schlanger Law Group LLP can help you see this legal matter through to the end. We work with consumers to help them understand the duties of credit reporting agencies, identify the causes of any credit reporting errors, and take the necessary legal steps to correct those discrepancies.
Credit Reporting Agency Obligations
The burden lies on credit reporting bureaus to produce an accurate credit report, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Essentially, these agencies must maintain reasonable policies and procedures to ensure maximum possible accuracy of the credit reports they generate. The credit bureaus must also take appropriate steps to investigate errors that consumers bring to their attention.
Failure to take these steps or to fix known errors are a common source of conflict between consumers and credit reporting agencies. Our credit defense attorneys in Mississippi litigate inaccurate credit reporting cases as a core practice area, ensuring that credit reporting bureaus that fail to conduct reasonable investigations are held fully accountable.
Why Errors on Credit Reports Are so Common
A credit report offers lenders a snapshot of a consumer’s financial health, and creditors use this data to decide whether to issue a loan to a consumer and at what interest rate. For these reasons, an inaccuracy on a credit report can be devastating for someone trying to gain economic momentum in life.
These errors are often the result of mistakes made by credit reporting bureaus as well as lenders. If a lender does not provide accurate information about whether an account is delinquent, or if an agency does not take proper steps to fix a report after a notification from a lender, this can result in a poor credit score for the consumer.
Just as harmful are instances involving mistaken identity. Consumers must be sure to check their credit reports for any inaccuracies in the spelling of their name, their address, and their Social Security number.
A third common source of inaccurate information is identity theft, including unauthorized use of a person’s existing credit cards, as well as creation of new accounts in the victim’s name. A Mississippi consumer protection lawyer from our firm can work with consumers to identify the sources of their credit report errors and determine what steps, including litigation, are advisable.
Taking Steps to Correct Credit Reporting Errors
Just as the credit bureaus must take proper steps to correct errors on credit reports, consumers must also follow certain procedures when demanding a fix. The first step is to send a dispute letter to the responsible credit reporting agency, which should specifically demand the necessary fix and include documentary evidence to support the claim. For example, if a credit report includes account balances that are the result of identity theft, it is advisable to include an affidavit regarding the theft, e.g. stating that the victim never opened up any such credit card, did not incur the charges and, where applicable, did not do business with the particular vendors at issue, etc. Where fraudulent charges occurred at a certain time and place, the victim can submit documentary evidence that they were someplace else at the time in question.
Once an agency receives a request to remedy an error, they must perform and complete a reasonable investigation within 30 days. If that investigation results in a correction, is the issue is generally resolved. However, if the investigation fails to correct or even acknowledge the problem, consumers may file a federal lawsuit alleging violations of the FCRA.
In situations where multiple consumers have substantially similar claims against a common defendant, they may even be able to combine their claims into a single class action lawsuit. Let a Mississippi consumer protection and credit defense attorney from Schlanger Law Group help you pursue the legal path that offers the best chances of success.
Call a Mississippi Consumer Protection and Credit Defense Attorney Today
Every individual should review the information that is on their credit report, such as their legal name, addresses, and financial liabilities. A credit reporting agency’s failure to fix an erroneous report may be in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
You may need to file a lawsuit in federal court in order to obtain compensation for your losses. Fortunately, a Mississippi consumer protection and credit defense lawyer from our firm can help you identify errors and take the necessary legal action to set things right. Contact the attorneys at Schlanger Law Group LLP immediately to get started on your case.