News & Events
Credit Report Errors Could Cost You
A 2013 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report revealed that approximately 25% of consumer credit reports may contain errors. More significantly, approximately 5% of consumer credit reports contain errors that are considerable enough to place the consumer in a higher credit risk category. These credit report errors could result in higher interest rates on credit cards, and home and auto loans. Read the complete summary of the FTC study.
Banks and other lending institutions are not the only entities that use credit scores. Employers may use credit scores to make employment determinations, and insurance companies may use credit reports to make underwriting decisions.
Because of the wide reaching effects of errors on credit reports, it is important that each consumer ensure his or her credit report is accurate. Once a year, a consumer can request one free credit report from each of these three credit reporting agencies – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax – at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), both the credit reporting agency and the furnisher of the information (that is, the credit card company, bank or other person, or company that provides information to a credit reporting agency) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. If there is an error on a credit report, the consumer must first dispute the incorrect information with the credit reporting agency and furnisher of the information. The credit reporting agencies have online procedures for filing disputes. So it is imperative that you follow the proper procedures for disputing any incorrect reporting. Consumers can find detailed information about disputing credit report errors on the FTC website.
Although the FCRA requires credit reporting agencies and furnishers of information to correct erroneous information, credit reporting agencies and furnishers of information do not always correct errors after being notified of a dispute. If after a proper dispute an error is not corrected, the credit reporting agency and furnisher of the information may be subject to statutory penalties, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.
Dysart Taylor attorneys Matthew Geary and Amanda Pennington Ketchum have experience dealing with credit report repairs and in collecting damages as a result of violations of the FCRA. If you have any questions about how to dispute your report or believe that you are a victim of unlawful reporting, please contact Matthew Geary or Amanda Pennington Ketchum.