New York City Credit Reporting Dispute Lawyer
Building healthy credit can be essential to your financial wellbeing, since borrowing money through a bank or credit card is often the optimal — and only — way to make important purchases like a car or home. Many people work for years to build trust with creditors, and lenders rely on the reports of credit bureaus to decide on loan rates and even whether it is worth the risk to lend funds.
Unfortunately, credit reports are often inaccurate for a variety of reasons. Whether this was the result of a lender not acknowledging a payment, an account’s statues being incorrect, or even identity theft, an attorney may be able to help. Litigating with credit reporting agencies and creditors on behalf of victims of inaccurate credit reports is a central part of Schlanger Law Group’s practice. When a credit reporting agency fails to correct its mistakes, a New York City credit reporting dispute lawyer from Schlanger Law Group LLP can help you address the situation.
The Obligations of Creditors and Credit Reporting Agencies
The significance of the role of the credit reporting agencies in the financial lives of consumers cannot be understated. Accordingly, federal and state laws impose on these agencies significant obligations. One duty that credit bureaus have is to establish policies and procedures designed to avoid mistakes. Another is to conduct a reasonable investigation when a consumer disputes the accuracy of any information on his or her credit report.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that requires credit reporting agencies to investigate any information that a consumer claims is inaccurate. Unfortunately, credit reporting agencies often fail to conduct reasonable investigations. Instead, they simply confirm whatever data the creditor has provided. This process, known as “parroting” is unlawful, particularly where the consumer has provided detailed information in his or her dispute letter.
In light of this, it falls to consumers to be aware of their rights and to take action to force the credit reporting agencies to fix inaccuracies, including through litigation where necessary. A New York City credit reporting dispute attorney can help you evaluate the obligations of credit reporting companies. Where the credit reporting agency has fallen short, having a skilled attorney with experience in this area of law working on your behalf can be the difference between having your reputation damaged by incorrect credit reporting data and forcing the credit bureaus to fix the problem and compensate you for the damage they have done.
Working with Consumers to Correct Errors
While credit reporting companies maintain the burden of investigating and fixing any errors on reports, in most instances it is still the responsibility of consumers to request that these fixes occur. The first step in this process is to author a dispute letter.
This letter should include as many details as possible about why the report is inaccurate and contain supporting documentation. This documentation can include:
- A fraud affidavit from the consumer;
- A police report;
- Copies of credit reports showing the incorrect entries;
- Credit card bills;
- Banking statements;
- Documents demonstrating that a bank transfer or credit card charge was unauthorized;
- Documents demonstrating that an identity thief forged your signature.
Under New York law, once the credit agency receives the letter, they have five days to contact the companies responsible for the erroneous credit score in an attempt to resolve the issue. Typically, the credit agency will reach a decision within 30 days. They would then send a written response outlining their decision and any steps they have taken to correct an inaccuracy.
A New York City Credit Reporting Dispute Attorney May Be Able to Help
Taking the necessary steps to dispute an error on a credit report can take time and energy. However, given the immense impact that a credit report can have on many aspects of your life, this process is often very much worthwhile.
When the credit reporting agencies don’t resolve the dispute voluntarily in response to a dispute letter, a New York City credit reporting dispute lawyer can move the case forward by bringing suit under the federal and state Fair Credit Reporting Act. Call Schlanger Law Group LLP today to learn more about how our attorneys could help you.