Allison Young of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has written an article about credit report errors. Equifax mixed Robyn Mueller’s credit information with her twin brother’s, merging the two individual’s debts and bringing Ms. Mueller’s score down. Her Equifax report differed greatly from her score from two other credit reports.
Mueller sent Equifax repeated dispute letters beginning in 2006 – and even copies of each sibling’s driver’s licenses, pay stubs and other records – to prove they are different people. But the problem wasn’t fixed until last summer when she sued the Atlanta-based credit bureau.
Federal law is supposed to regulate and require that errors in credit reporting be fixed as soon as possible. However, the article argues that “consumer watchdog groups” insist that credit bureaus do little to investigate and correct credit report errors. Often times, an automated system is used that reduces a complex problem into a simple code. When bureaus refuse to correct errors, the FTC allows consumers to sue to fix the problem.
But nobody knows for sure how often credit bureaus make errors or fail to correct them. Regulators at the Federal Trade Commission, which is responsible for enforcing the Fair Credit Reporting Act, are expected to announce plans for a major nationwide survey of credit report accuracy later this year.
The article goes on to say that the FTC has no idea how often peoples’ credit information is mixed up. However, most of the time it is people with similar Social Security numbers, names, etc. A 2004 survey is cited where it was noted that out of 1,578 consumers, only 54% had ever looked at their credit report. 18% of those people had disputed information in their credit file.
When seeking to correct an error in your credit report, one of the most important things you can do is keep detailed records of your attempt to correct the error.
The article also lists several ways you can protect yourself, such as review your reports, dispute errors, notify the lender, provide evidence and complain to regulators. Finally, you should hire a lawyer.
If the credit bureau refuses to correct the error, talk to a lawyer who specializes in Fair Credit Reporting Act cases. The law allows attorneys to collect their fees from the credit bureaus if you win your case.
If you have had problems with fair credit reporting feel free to contact us.