Credit Reporting Disputes

30 Dec 2014

No. You are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three big credit agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) every 12 months.  You are also entitled to a free report when you receive adverse credit decisions (e.g. denied credit, employment, or home rental) that were based on your credit report information.  It’s best to request your free annual credit report with a written request.

22 Dec 2014

Yes. While the majority of information may be reported on all three agencies’ reports, there can be information damaging to your score on one that is not on another, as some creditors report to specific agencies and/or one of the agencies may pick something up on public records the others miss (or get wrong where should be different). It’s best to always get all three and review each thoroughly to determine if there are errors or fraudulent accounts. Even simple errors like previous addresses or employers can cause potential issues for you

16 Dec 2014

Yes. A credit reporting agency can report most accurate negative information for seven years and bankruptcy information for 10 years.  After the appropriate time period, as laid out in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, has passed, the negative information cannot be reported anymore.

24 Nov 2014

Yes. Inaccurate, incomplete or unverifiable information must be removed or corrected, usually within 30 days.  Under the Fair Crediting Reporting Act (“FCRA”), credit reporting agencies must investigate your dispute and unless verified by the reporting creditors (called “furnishers” under the FCRA), they must remove the items from your file.  The furnishers must investigate when contacted by the credit reporting agencies.  If either the agencies or the furnishers fail to do as required by the FCRA, you can sue them.

11 Aug 2014

Yes, as long as your name is on the account or loan.  If possible, get the debt entirely in your ex-spouse’s name. Transfer or consolidate balances on loans and credit cards. If your divorce has already been finalized, you might be able to show the lender your divorce decree and have your name removed from the loan (if the divorce decree states that your ex is responsible for paying the debt); however, this is not likely.  If the lender won’t remove your name, ask your attorney about taking your ex to court for failure to abide by the existing court order.

25 Mar 2014

No.  To maximize security, consider using a gift card instead. This can protect you from potential fraud and theft loss. While debit/credit cards have fraud protections as to losses (which are different depending on which is used), it’s a hassle to work through the loss and get your money back in your bank account or transactions off your credit card account.

If a system is hacked, a gift card may save you the hassle, higher losses, and your primary card being compromised.  Thank you, reader Jason for this tip!

27 Nov 2013

Sentara has offered those affected a free one-year membership to monitor your credit reports – you should sign up for that immediately.  Review your credit reports very carefully. If you do not see any errors at this time, be sure to check every few weeks or so over the next year. This information may have been sold to other thieves who could be waiting to use it.

If errors show up on your reports, contact our office and we can assist you in determining the extent of the problem, advise you on what steps to take next and if need be, how to resolve disputes with the credit report agencies. 

31 Aug 2013

We have advised, on several occasions, that everyone should obtain his or her free annual credit reports from the three main credit-reporting agencies.  Try staggering them and get a report from one of the three agencies every four to five months, thereby allowing you to check your reported information periodically. You can use the form from our website and select the agency at the bottom before mailing in your request.  For most people the information among the three agencies’ reports is similar. 

09 Mar 2012

Although this term is widely used, the law that governs the reporting of credit matters, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) actually doesn’t use the term at all. It discusses “consumer reports” and “consumer disclosures.” 

“Consumer reports” are any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency (“CRA”)(such as Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion – the three big players) which compiles and generates reports on consumer’s credit-bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or part for the purpose of service as a factor in establishing your eligibility for:

(A) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes; 

(B) employment purposes; or 

(C) any other purposes authorized under [other parts of the FCRA] [1]
“Consumer disclosures” are the disclosures of the information in your file at the CRA. 

The difference is important to the extent of the responsibilities the CRA has under the FCRA. A consumer report is communicated to a third party (such as when you apply for a credit card or a home loan) and under the law, the CRA has a duty of “maximum possible accuracy” of the information contained in those reports.[2]  A consumer disclosure, however, does not have this standard, as it is not communicated to anyone other than you (such as when you contact a CRA to get a copy of your “credit report”). Instead, a CRA’s responsibilities for disclosures come when you dispute the accuracy of something in the disclosure.


[1]15 U.S.C. §1681(d).

[2]15 U.S.C. §1681e(b).

09 Mar 2012

You have the right to get your credit information from the three national CRAs (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) once every 12 months at no charge. Because it is best to obtain the cleanest report from the CRAs, as well as to document your request should future litigation be necessary, we recommend you mail in your request instead of making the request over the phone or through the internet (both of which are permissible to obtain your reports). The form to fill out and mail is here.  You also have the right to obtain your credit information when you have been denied credit by someone. When you are denied credit based on a credit check, the company denying the credit must, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) provide you with notice that the adverse action was based in part on the information contained in the report given by the CRA (whichever the company used) and the consumer has the right to request a free copy of that report from the CRA within 60 days of denial.[1]

[1] 15 U.S.C. §1681m.

1 2

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
VIRGINIA BEACH OFFICE
Address
4768 Euclid Road,
Suite 103

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
Map & Directions
Phone
757-453-7744
CHESAPEAKE OFFICE
Address
524 Albemarle Drive,
Suite 200

Chesapeake, Virginia 23322
Map & Directions
Phone
757-312-0211
ELIZABETH CITY OFFICE
Address
200 N. Water Street,
Suite 2A

Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Map & Directions
Phone
252-679-8880