Also, can I add the collection agency and the business that reported the inaccurate information on the same lawsuit, or would the agency and business have to be sued in another court (e.g. small claims)?
This would definitely not be a federal district court case. You might try small claims court, but my prediction is that you will not be able to prove your monetary damages with sufficient evidence.
Your best remedy would be to contact the credit bureaus and request that the information be corrected, or to permit you to put your comment about the inaccuracy in your credit reports. Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), both the credit reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a credit reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To take advantage of all your rights under this law, contact the credit reporting company and the information provider.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Suing the credit bureau and your creditors for inaccurate information should be the last thing you should ever consider. The law will require you to prove that you exhaused all your other remedies under the law before you are eligible to sue about inaccurate information. Of course, you will need to prove your monetary damages once you are eligible to sue.
The law provides you with the right to correct misinformation and has explicit procedures you must follow to do this.
Hope this perspective helps!
You only have a right to sue a credit bureau under the FCRA after you have first disputed it, and they didn't fix it. After that you can sue in either Federal or state courts. It's tough to win if you can't show that you suffered some loss, but suing will get their attention and should get if fixed.
Wrong information posted on your credit report by a debt collector is a violation of the FDCPA and again you can sue in state or Federal courts. You don't have to dispute, although disputing first (with the credit bureaus who is required to pass it on to the creditor or debt collector) makes a stronger case.
Under the FDCPA you can get up to $1000 even if you can't show any other damages.
If you dipsuted with the credit bureaus and they passed your dispute on to the colleciton agency and didn't get it fixed, you have a right to sue the credit bureas under the FCRA; and the debt collector under both the FCRA and FDCPA.
You definitely need a lawyer if you want to sue--and also win!