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904. The credit bureau ignored my correction -- or it says an item is right but I can prove it's wrong. What can I do?




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This article is from the Credit cards and Consumer Credit FAQ, by adams@spss.com (Steve Adams) with numerous contributions by others.

904. The credit bureau ignored my correction -- or it says an item is right but I can prove it's wrong. What can I do?

There are several possibilities.

First, you have the right to send the credit bureau a statement of
up to 100 words about the disputed item. The bureau is required by
law to include that statement in your report with the item. When
you apply for a loan, the lender will see that statement and can
take it into account.

Second, you can complain to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC
is the U.S. government agency that oversees enforcement of the Fair
Credit Reporting Act. If the credit bureau is clearly behaving
unreasonably, you can file a complaint with the FTC and they will
write to the credit bureau requesting an explanation. (The previous
editor actually did this with a wrong item on his credit report. He
had sent the bureau a copy of a letter from the reporting bank saying
that the item was wrong, but the bureau did not respond until after
they got a letter from the FTC.)

Third, you can complain to your state government. The consumer
protection division or attorney general's office is a good starting
point. As noted various places in these FAQs, TRW settled lawsuits
by fourteen state attorneys general with a consent decree filed on
10 Dec 1991. Thus state governments may be especially interested in
hearing if TRW breaks the rules. Also, Equifax and Trans Union are
the next logical targets for state governments and the FTC. A Texas
assistant attorney general already announced this (December 1991).

Fourth, you can sue for libel or defamation of character. (source:
FTC staff attorney, personal letter) Obviously this is a last
resort and will involve your paying attorney's fees. However,
according to {Your Credit Rating}, if you sue a credit agency or
user of credit information who willfully or negligently violates the
Fair Credit Reporting Act, you may be awarded actual damages, court
costs, and attorney's fees, plus punitive damages if the
noncompliance was willful.

 

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previous page: 903. My credit report shows adverse information, but I have a letter from the lender saying that information is false. Can I submit this letter to the credit bureau?
  
page up: Consumer Credit and Credit Cards FAQ
  
next page: 905. My credit report shows transactions from other people with the same name or similar names. How can I get it cleaned up?