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Fair Credit Reporting

Common Credit Report Violations

In your own personal wellness checklist, I would imagine you value greatest your health, family and personal freedoms.  But what about your financial freedoms?  In today’s credit-based economy bankers, lenders or auto dealerships will not base their lending on simply your word.  They evaluate you based on credit worthiness.  The accuracy of your credit is key to your financial freedoms.  Without strong credit you may be denied loans, employment or even housing.  To make matters worse, what if the information on your credit report is inaccurate, painting an improper picture of who you are financially?

Below are steps that should be taken, with some regularity, to ensure what others are saying about you in the financial world, is true:

Common Credit Report Violations, or violations of the FCRA include inaccurately reporting negative credit reporting information on consumer credit reports in the following ways:

  • You should select a date to annually review all three credit reports from the major bureaus, Experian, Equifax and Transunion.  The FTC has made this easy and free, once a year.  Visit annualcreditreport.com to order a hard copy of your credit reports or view them on line.  This government mandated website is the only true “free” place to obtain a copy of your credit report
  • Review each credit report for accuracies.  If there are accounts opened that you do not recognized or late payments reported that were paid on time, take immediate action to notify the Bureaus and furnishers that certain information is inaccurate.
  • A written dispute (either in writing or online) must be submitted to each credit reporting agency.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act provides no protections unless a dispute has been properly lodged with the Bureaus.  Do not fall into the false belief that disputing any inaccuracy directly with the furnisher (bank or credit card company) will suffice.
  • In your written dispute, make sure you provide as much detail as to why the information being reported in accurate and attach any supporting documentation.  If an action must be brought later, the Courts look to see what information was provided and how deep an investigation was undertaken by each Bureau.
  • Keep all the documentation.  This includes, 1) the original inaccurate credit report, 2) your written dispute, and 3) the Bureau’s response and updated credit report.  If you feel the updated information is still inaccurate, you should contact our office so we can review the facts of your case.

Be Cautious of Agencies Charging To Assist With The Dispute Process

While it is important to be as accurate and thorough as possible with your dispute, the process is straight forward.  Do not be taken in by third party companies who want to charge a handsome fee for “cleaning” your credit reports.  There is no magic wand to somehow remove derogatory, accurate credit information.  Further, the law allows for the Bureaus to ignore boilerplate, form disputes.  At the Swigart Law Group we do not believe a consumer should have to pay to have their credit report reviewed or receive assistance in drafting dispute letters.  If you would like your credit reports reviewed, free of charge, please make an appointment with one of our attorneys today.

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