Articles Posted in Credit Report Errors

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Certegy is a company we have dealt with before — we have not been impressed with their business practices. They just agreed to a massive fine — 3.5 million dollars for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Certegy Check Services, Inc., one of the nation’s largest check authorization service companies, has agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Certegy, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, is a consumer reporting agency (CRA) that compiles consumers’ personal information and uses it to help retail merchants throughout the United States determine whether to accept consumers’ checks. Under the FCRA, consumers whose checks are denied based on information Certegy provides the merchant, have the right to dispute that information and have Certegy correct any inaccuracies.

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Representative Sam Johnson has an interesting bill that he says will decrease the likelihood of identity theft in an unusual area — identity thieves who are stealing the identities of people who have . . . died.

HR 2720, co-introduced by Johnson and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), is named after a deceased child victim of identity fraud and would delay the now-required publication of the SSA’s Death Master File.

If the bill passes, beginning January 2014, only death information released three years after the person has died would be made available – giving family members adequate time to file tax returns and preventing criminals from stealing the returns or information.

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Nick LaFleur has a great article on the danger to college students from identity thieves that I recommend you read.

According to the FTC’s 2013 Consumer Sentinel Report, 21 percent of identity theft complaints in 2012 were filed by young adults- the most of any age group. What’s more, a 2010 survey by Javelin Strategy found that young adults aged 18-24 took the longest to detect identity theft-132 days on average-when compared to other age groups.

There are seven suggested steps to guard against this that Nick lists.

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We have several new articles on Alabama Consumer that we think you might enjoy reading — these articles address the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) and the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act):

**You can expect and have a credit report that is 100% accurate. No errors. If you don’t, then we hope the story of Susie, who fought Bank of America and Trans Union, will inspire you to not give up but instead — keep fighting, even if you have to sue. Suing the bad guys in federal court tends to end very well. And it will get your report to where it is 100% accurate.

**Debt collectors who threaten to call your family members violate the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), especially the ones that actually do call your family. This is known as a “third party disclosure” when a debt collector calls your family members (other than your spouse). There is a very limited exception which most debt collectors don’t fit into — instead they call family members to harass you and bring pressure on you so that you will pay the debt. Even though this is illegal they do it because it works.

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We try to update our website Alabama Consumer fairly frequently but realize it is easy to miss new articles so we wanted to give you a quick summary of what we have put up recently.

First, we talk about how when you sue a debt collector under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), normally the debt collector will have insurance to pay for the lawsuit and any damages you receive.

Second, we deal with the topic of mental anguish damages in a lawsuit under the FDCPA specifically when the debt collector is calling your work.

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It depends on what type of case we are discussing — let’s look at several types as it can be confusing when someone says “Plaintiff” or “Defendant” and you don’t know the context of the case.

Collection Lawsuit

When a collector sues you, the collector (or “debt buyer”) is the Plaintiff. This is the one that starts the lawsuit and has the burden of proving that the allegations in the lawsuit are correct.

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Debt collection can have a significant impact on your credit history. This article is designed to help you understand how debt collection can affect your credit report. We can help you understand your protection and rights under the law.

You can schedule a free, confidential consultation with a lawyer dedicated to helping consumers. Contact us or call our Birmingham office at 205-879-2447 or 205-714-4443.

Consumers Facing Debt Collection: Important Facts

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You got sued by a debt buyer — you won. But the debt buyer keeps collecting. Either give up and accept it or fight back.

We suggest fighting back is normally the best option.

This is what our client did when she was sued by the debt buyer/debt collector LVNV and she won her case. But then LVNV hired the rather famous debt collector Northland Group to continue to collect against her.

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You can read about a recent lawsuit that our Alabama consumer filed against the famous debt collection firm IC System out of Minnesota. The allegations include that IC System committed false credit reporting.

The moral of this story is to be careful if you are dealing with a collection agency and to check your credit reports to make sure there is no false information from the collection agency.

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