Credit Report Errors

A good credit record has become essential to most everyone for moving ahead in life, whether it be to obtain a loan to buy a home, lease an apartment or even obtain a new job. Unfortunately, errors in credit reports are quite common.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act governs how the credit reporting agencies are required to treat your credit information and requires they keep accurate records. You are entitled to obtain one free credit report from each credit reporting agency each year. The request may be made online: If you are planning on making an application for credit for a major purpose, check your credit report out ahead of time. Should any errors be found, you will have time to take action to get the errors corrected before making your application.

Inaccurate information on a credit report should be disputed with each credit reporting agency and directly with the creditor who is reporting the information. The three major credit reporting agencies and their addresses are

Experian Information Solutions
701 Experian Parkway
Allen, Texas 75013

Trans Union
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19016-1000

Equifax Information Services
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374

Although it is possible to make a dispute online, the best practice is to make a dispute in a written letter and send it certified mail return receipt requested. Be sure to include a copy of your driver’s license with your dispute to verify your identity. The more documentation which you have to substantiate your dispute, the better the chance of obtaining a correction, or, if necessary, prevailing in your lawsuit. For example, if an apartment complex is reporting a delinquent debt on your credit report which is not yours and you can send proof that you owned a house during the relevant period or were renting an apartment at a different location, your chances of clearing the matter up are better.

If you find an inaccuracy on your credit report and dispute it with the credit reporting agencies, they, and the creditor who is reporting the account, are required to conduct a reasonable investigation, and if the reported matter cannot be verified, make the correction or delete it.

The best practice is to dispute the inaccuracy in writing and send any information which supports your claim. Failure to conduct a reasonable investigation may provide the basis for a lawsuit under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

I have handled many cases in the Dallas area under the FCRA and can assist you in obtaining a resolution of credit reporting errors and money damages.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is another common problem affecting credit reports. Yet another reason to check your credit report on a regular basis. If accounts are showing on your credit report which are not your accounts, a good way to dispute them is to complete the identity theft affidavit form on the Fair Trade Commission’s website Additional information regarding identify theft may also be found on the FTC website:

I have assisted many clients in making the proper record and notifications to correct negative reporting which resulted from identity theft.

Credit Information mixed with another

A variation of identity theft is the problem of mixed files. Sometimes a credit reporting agency mixes the file of one consumer with that of another, reporting one consumer’s credit history on another’s file. The problems that can arise from this scenario are numerous and can cause major upheavals in a consumer’s life. Much of the problem is caused by the way credit reporting agencies handle credit files. Their failure to separate consumer’s credit files gives rise to legitimate lawsuits to account for the damage caused by their practices and failure to correct their errors.

Impermissible Access

Your credit report should be accessible only to those to whom you have given permission. Your current creditors and those to whom you apply for credit are the main actors allowed to view your credit report. If your credit report is reviewed by someone who does not have a permissible business purpose, you may have a cause of action against them for the violation. I have handled a number of cases where this has occurred.

Credit card billing errors

It is not uncommon for erroneous charges or fees to show up on a credit card bill or to be charged for a purchase you did not authorize. Federal law provides a means to challenge the mistake and, if not corrected, to bring a suit against the credit card company for failing to make the correction. Your credit card billing statement will have an address, different from the billing address, where billing disputes are sent. Within 60 days of noticing an error in your credit card bill, send a written dispute about the problem, with any documentation you may have, to the address for billing disputes. The Fair Credit Billing Act requires the credit card company to conduct an investigation of your complaint and respond to you within 45 days.