Credit Reporting Issues and Identity Theft
An inaccurate credit report can prevent you from qualifying for credit altogether, or from being able to obtain credit on favorable terms. From home mortgages to auto loans, student loans, and credit cards, credit reports are the basis for a person’s “credit score” and thus are the key ingredient in today’s credit-driven economy. The inaccuracy of credit reports has increased as the number of credit transactions and instances of identity theft have multiplied.
Federal and state laws provide mechanisms for consumers to check their credit reports, to verify the information contained in the reports, and to have problems corrected. For example:
- You have the right to receive a copy of your credit report every year at no cost.
- If you are denied credit, you are entitled to receive a free copy of the credit report used in that decision.
- If a creditor is informed that you dispute a particular charge or bill, it must report it to the credit bureaus as “disputed.”
- Upon your request, a credit reporting agency must take steps to verify a disputed item in your credit report.
- A creditor who fails to verify a disputed item, or who wrongfully verifies it, can be held liable to you for all damages sustained as a result, along with costs and attorney’s fees.
- A company that acquires a defaulted debt may not report it to the credit bureaus as a new debt.
These are only a few of the many rights which consumers enjoy under federal and state law.
If you believe that any aspect of your credit report is inaccurate or incomplete, we advise that you contact us. There is no charge for case evaluation.