Disputing an Item on Your Credit Report
A credit report attorney can diligently work to fix your credit report by disputing items and bringing information furnishers to justice. Once a credit report attorney has checked your credit report for errors, it’s time for them to take action. Because negative information in your credit report can have serious consequences, it’s important to fix your credit report as quickly as possible. The process of credit report repair can be frustrating, but it’s imperative to be persistent. The first step is to dispute incorrect items in your credit report.
Overview of the Credit Report Dispute Process
Generally speaking, the process of disputing an item on your credit report involves contacting the credit reporting agency (also known as the credit bureau) as well as the information provider (typically the creditor or debt collector). Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the credit bureau has to investigate the claim, typically within 30 days. The consumer reporting agency must notify the creditor about the dispute. The creditor must then investigate the claim, and if the creditor determines that the dispute has merit, must notify all of the national consumer reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) of the mistake. Afterwards, the consumer reporting agency has to provide your credit report attorney with the results in writing, along with a free copy of your revised credit report. That negative information can’t resurface unless the creditor verifies that the information is accurate. When that’s the case, the consumer reporting agency has to send you a written notification that includes the creditor’s contact information.
The issue that often comes up – particularly in trying to fix your credit report – is that the debt collector won’t correct the disputed information. When that happens, your credit report attorney will ask the credit reporting agency to include a statement of dispute in your credit report. He or she can also ask the credit bureau to send your dispute statement to those who have received a copy of the report.
Contacting Credit Reporting Agencies
If your credit report is inaccurate, your credit report attorney will contact the issuer of the credit report as soon as possible. In addition to the “big three” consumer reporting agencies, there are a number of specialty credit bureaus that also issue reports which could negatively affect you. These cover such areas as check writing, employment, insurance, medical payments, and tenancy. These specialty consumer reporting agencies must also abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, so your credit report attorney will contact any smaller credit bureaus that might stand in the way of fixing your credit report.
Contacting Information Furnishers
In addition to disputing an item with the credit bureau, your credit report attorney will send a written dispute to the information furnisher (usually a creditor or debt collection agency). Doing so will protect your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. He or she will outline the items being disputed, and make the case as to why the item is incorrect and should be removed from your credit report or corrected.
We hope that you find this information useful, and urge you to contact us at 203-529-5100 if you would like to speak to a credit report attorney about fixing your credit report.