New York City Mixed or Merged Credit Files
Understanding the function of credit reports is essential to a person’s financial health. Lenders rely on credit reports to decide when to approve loans, so consumers should expect an accurate version of these reports once they are requested. Mortgage companies especially rely on credit reports to determine who is credible to loan money to. They use a combination of all three major credit bureau reports, also known as a tri-merge, for an accurate portrayal of a person’s financial history. As a result, a mistake on even one of three statements of the tri-merge credit report can impact a person’s financial status.
The credit reporting agencies are required to have policies and procedures in place to prevent the merging of two or more individuals’ credit reporting data into the same file or from simply mixing up an individual with another person (what is often called a “merged files” or “mixed files”). And if they do combine the financial records of two or more individuals or confuse one individual with another, they should take reasonable steps to investigate and correct the errors upon request. If you are the victim of mixed or merged credit files, a New York City lawyer can help you pursue litigation against the negligent credit reporting agency. Let an attorney at Schlanger Law Group LLP help you hold the credit reporting agencies to account.
The Duties of Credit Reporting Agencies
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires credit reporting agencies to follow procedures designed to produce a current, accurate report for every consumer whose data they collect.
However, the only way to ensure accuracy is to examine one’s own report personally. If a consumer finds an inaccuracy, they can file a written complaint with the credit reporting bureau, which must then take appropriate steps to investigate the problem and provide a proper solution reasonably. A New York City attorney can further explain the regulations that credit reporting agencies must follow to encourage accurate reports and address disputes.
Why a Mixed or Merged Credit File May Violate this Duty
Mixed and merged credit reports often happen in instances where two people have similar or identical names: the credit reporting company may accidentally combine their financial histories into one report. People who have had a name change or relatives with an identical name need to pay particularly close attention to their credit histories. It is crucial for consumers to regularly evaluate their credit reports to ensure that their data is accurate. Signs of a mixed or merged file could include, in addition to incorrect borrowing, account or payment history:
- An incorrect birthdate
- The improper spelling of a name
- Previous or incorrect addresses
- An incorrect social security number
A tri-merge credit report is a combination of the statements from the three major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If even one part of a single report is inaccurate, a lender may deny a loan or offer terms at a higher interest rate.
Common problems one might experience from a mixed report, such as a mistaken poor credit mark, a delinquent account, or a mixed report from one agency, can threaten a person’s entire credit file, and result in being turned down for a loan, being offered inferior credit terms, having available credit reduced or eliminated, etc. If you are dealing with a credit report that is inaccurate as a result of the inclusion of someone else’s information, a New York City credit reporting lawyer can help pursue fair compensation for the resulting damages.
Ensuring Accuracy on a Merged Credit File Involves Checking for Mixing Errors
A healthy credit report requires consistent vigilance. A New York City lawyer can help you effectively deal with credit errors, including those that are the result of mixed or merged credit files. Call Schlanger Law Group LLP today to learn about your legal options.