The Consumer Protection Division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General states the following concerning the matter of fair credit reporting: Private companies called “credit reporting agencies” gather information related to your use and access of credit. Companies, under specific circumstances, give that information to other companies and agencies by way of what is known as a “credit report.” A credit report is a piece of information directly connected to your future. Employers, insurance companies, lending companies, and other creditors will examine your credit report before giving you anything on a credit basis throughout your lifetime. This makes the credit report a critically important item, which means that the law extends specific protection against inaccurate reporting being put on your credit history. The first step is to know what your rights are legally and what is the solution to any issues surrounding your credit report. The three main credit reporting institutions in the country are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. All these companies gather information and provide reports on the history of credit of an individual. This information is mainly provided to companies considering lending you any money or giving you credit.
You are allowed to ask the credit reporting agency to remove inaccurate information, but it is best if you do so in writing by certified mail. Any claim made to a credit reporting agency must be examined within thirty days of business. This is done by the credit reporting agency tracking down the lender or creditor thought to be inaccurate and have the creditor or lender review the records concerning your loan. The only time the procedure is different than this is if the agency deems the claim made as being “irrelevant or frivolous.” Any information that is wrong, not completed, or that is not verified must be corrected, completed, or deleted, as according to the law in Massachusetts, M.G.L. c. 93, § 58. In addition to this, any negative information seven years old or more is not allowed in the report of your credit. However, several exceptions to this rule exist; the primary one is concerning the filing for bankruptcy, which could be reported for no more than ten years, stated in code M.G.L. c. 93, § 52. Should you disagree with the results of the investigation done by the credit reporting agency of the accuracy of an item on your credit report, it is your legal right to provide a short statement of the facts as you see them. This statement is then required to be connected to the report of your credit by the credit reporting agency each time it is requested by a potential creditor. Before the end of five days of business, the credit reporting agency is required to notify the lender or creditor of the consumer’s request to dispute. Should the information on your credit report be discovered to be inaccurate, it is required that it be eliminated from the credit history within three days of business. Should the examination of the case fail to correct the mistake, the consumer is allowed to submit a description of the dispute in their own words no longer than 100 words. At this juncture, it is advisable to retain the service of an experienced inaccurate credit reporting Any inaccuracy a person finds on their credit report may be contested. This is a consumer’s right. TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax are consumer reporting agencies that receive information from companies termed as “furnishers”. Credit card companies, banks, vehicle financing companies, collection agencies, and state and federal courts are some of these furnishers.
Correct and complete information is required to be made available from the furnishers to the credit bureaus. A responsibility of both the furnishers and Credit Bureaus is to investigate any disputes made by the consumer in regards to inaccurate items on their credit report.
The consumer may have the right to sue the Credit Bureau(s) and the furnisher if the inaccuracies are not corrected and the consumer has evidence that their dispute is legitimate. Credit Bureau(s) can be sued for failing to properly investigate the consumer’s dispute, and the furnisher can also be sued for providing false information to the Credit Bureau(s). The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.) gives the consumer this right. A lawsuit may recover statutory damages for the consumer. Actual damages may be recovered by the consumer if they have suffered from negative impacts, such as higher interest rates or denied credit opportunities due to inaccuracies on their credit reports. Attorney’s fees and costs may also be collected from the Furnisher and/or Credit Bureau(s) that is sued.
Call our experienced law firm today if you have been the victim of an inaccurate credit report. If you have disputed a reporting and no changes have been made to your credit report, give us the opportunity to provide you with the representation needed to prevail. Let us protect your rights against the Credit Bureaus or any other entity that may have caused you unjust damages concerning your credit. Please save a copy of your disagreement and the results of the Credit Bureau’s improper investigation.
Under state and federal law, you are entitled to a copy of your credit report every year at no charge from the three main agencies doing credit reporting. Requesting a copy every year to ensure your report is without inaccuracies or errors is worthwhile and highly recommended. However, if you feel you been treated poorly or had something affect your credit report that is not factual, contact our office today. Your credit history is important, and we wish to hear your story. Credit history affects nearly all Americans in most areas of life. Do not let yours be ruined by something that could be prevented. Call us today to make an appointment for a free meeting to determine whether we can aid you in getting the compensation for damages you deserve.