Credit reports are comprised of information provided by “furnishers” to the consumer reporting agencies. Furnishers include banks, creditors, debt collectors, insurers, landlords, doctors, employers, and anyone else who provides information about you to a consumer reporting agency (“CRA”).
Furnishers frequently report inaccurate information about consumers to the CRAs. These types of inaccuracies can include:
- Reporting that a fraudulently-opened account belongs to you (e.g., identity theft)
- Reporting an account that does not belong to you on your credit report
- Misreporting payment history (reporting late payments when you were timely)
- Re-aging an account (changing the date of first delinquency / reporting old debts as new)
- Reporting a debt as charged-off when you settled it and paid in full
- Failing to report that a debt was discharged in bankruptcy
- Reporting negative information that is more than seven years old
- Duplicating accounts when only one exists
- Misstating the balance due
- Listing you as a debtor on an account for which you were not responsible
If a furnisher reports inaccurate information about you to the CRAs, the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to file a lawsuit to correct the inaccuracy and recover damages caused by it.
IMPORTANT: Before you can file a lawsuit against a furnisher, first you must dispute the inaccuracy to the CRA and allow the furnisher an opportunity to correct the problem. When you file a dispute with a CRA, the CRA will send the dispute to the furnisher. The furnisher is then required to conduct a reasonable reinvestigation of your dispute and send the results of its reinvestigation to the CRA. If the furnisher fails to correct the inaccuracy after conducting a reinvestigation, then there is a private right to file a lawsuit against the furnisher under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
If you have questions about inaccurate information on your credit report, the attorneys at Weiner & Sand LLC are here to help. We can assist in reviewing the inaccurate information, helping you dispute the inaccuracies, and litigating against the credit bureaus and/or furnishers to recover damages and get your credit report corrected.