Your credit history is proof of your financial credibility and stability, yet it may contain erroneous information. This can negatively affect your credit score and compromise your ability to secure lines of credit. You do have rights under consumer law. For example, credit reporting bureaus are required to fix inaccurate information, thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). However, credit bureaus may not necessarily act in accordance with these requirements, which is why it is a good idea to go to a consumer protection law firm near Ashburn and speak with a credit report lawyer about your situation. Your credit report attorney can answer any questions you may have about credit report disputes.
Should I Contact the Furnisher or the Reporting Agency?
Sometimes, erroneous information does not arise from the credit bureau itself, but rather from the furnisher. It may seem like common sense to contact the furnisher directly to correct the error, and in fact, consumer law does allow individuals to do so. However, it is always best to begin a credit report dispute by contacting the credit bureau
directly, rather than the furnisher. This is because doing so will require the credit bureau to begin an investigation of the dispute and trigger duties for the furnisher of the information to investigate as well. If you find that the mistake is not resolved, you can only file a claim if you have already disputed the error directly with the credit bureau.
How Can I Document My Dispute?
Your credit lawyer will advise you to maintain comprehensive documentation. You should save documents such as certified mail receipts in order to prove that the credit bureau did indeed receive your dispute notice. You should also save any proof that you have been harmed as a result of the credit bureau’s failure to fix the error, such as denials of credit.
When Can I File a Lawsuit?
It is a common misconception that a lawsuit may be filed against a credit bureau solely based on the existence of inaccurate information in a credit report. In fact, you will need to dispute the incorrect data at least once before a credit lawyer can file a claim on your behalf.