Legal Recourse Against Credit Reporting Errors
By law, credit reporting agencies are expected to keep information on your credit report accurate. When you have followed every avenue to correct an inaccuracy and a credit reporting agency fails to remove the wrong information, you have legal recourse against them.
In the United States, having a good credit standing is a vital and necessary tool to everyday living. Your credit score has a direct impact on so many aspects of your life. Such aspects include your ability to obtain a loan for a car or motorcycle, your ability to get approved for a home loan, or an equity line of credit, your ability to get an affordable automotive insurance rate, a store credit card, a small personal loan and of your standard course credit cards.
In fact, your credit score also affects whether or not you can get an apartment or rent a home. These days many employers even consider your credit score when deciding whether or not to hire you. Meaning, a bad credit score can even affect your ability to get a good job, and thus your overall livelihood. Some people might not take their credit score that seriously, but it is serious. It’s your responsibility as the consumer to check your credit report on a periodic basis in order to determine if there are any inaccuracies being reported, which in turn could directly affect your overall credit rating.
In the U.S. we use three major credit reporting agencies: Transunion, Experian and Equifax. Although these three reporting agencies format their reports differently, each of the credit reports contains the same basic information. Each agency report contains your personal identifying information about where you live, if you pay your bills on time, if you have ever filed for bankruptcy, if a lawsuit has ever been filed against you and if you have been arrested.
The credit reporting agencies sell your private information in your credit report to creditors, insurers, employers and other entities who want to evaluate your credit report in order to make a decision about loaning you money, insuring you, hiring you, or allowing you to rent an apartment or home. Since so much hinges on the accuracy of your credit report, it’s absolutely critical to ensure that the information contained within your credit report is accurate.
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was created to promote the accuracy of information reported. Both creditors and the reporting agencies have a responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the information they report on a person’s credit. When there is an inaccuracy in a report it can result in denied credit. This can be extremely inconvenient if you are in need of a new automobile, a small loan, or even if you want to purchase a home.
In a 2004 study conducted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, 80% of the reports in the study contained inaccuracies and 25% of those errors had inaccuracies which could trigger a denial of credit. There are steps that a consumer must take in order to request that such inaccuracies be removed. The first step is first obtaining a copy of the report. If after you have exhausted all of your attempts to get an error removed and agency continues to report the erroneous information, then you may have legal recourse against them.
By law, when there is inaccurate information on your report, the reporting agency is required to remove it. If the reporting agency fails to remove the incorrect information, then you can sue them for damages. To learn more about your legal options, please contact a Philadelphia debt collector attorney for more information.