A client turns to a bankruptcy and tax debt attorney with many financial problems, including hits to their credit record because they were unable to pay debts on time or at all. A negative entry on your credit report will damage your financial future in many ways, even if the information on that record is wrong. Knowing your credit record is wrong and can harm your future is very distressing.
Your attorney will tell you that it is very important to take timely action to dispute credit reporting inaccuracies. Unfortunately, the process for correcting inaccuracies is quite complex and confusing for many consumers. If you have any questions about credit report disputes or the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), contact The Law Office of Stephen B. Kass P.C. for accurate answers.
Credit Report Disputes
You can fight back if your credit record is inaccurate, but first, you need to review those records. Your attorney can help you with this project. If you have received a notice from a business, financial institution, or medical company that they are refusing to extend you credit because of negative entries on your credit report, it needs immediate investigation. You need to get copies from all of the “Big Three” credit reporting agencies (CRAs) and examine every word. Free reports are available online or by mail, but staying within the time limit is essential.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act
The government has passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to support consumer rights to fair reporting. Under FCRA, consumers can dispute inaccuracies found in their credit reports. There are specific steps and time limits involved, so it is a good idea to get experienced legal representation from a bankruptcy and tax debt lawyer to ensure you meet all the requirements properly and within the set time frame. The FTC has the full FCRA online; section [15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2] is the one that deals with disputes.
In brief, businesses or entities that report to credit reporting agencies must submit accurate information. If that information is negative, they also must send notice to the consumer.
- The consumer must respond in writing and provide substantiation of their claim if the information is wrong.
- Upon receipt of verifiable information and notice from the consumer, the business must let the CRAs know about the credit report dispute and make a new report to the CRA of any corrections.
- If the consumer closes that account, that business must report the closure to the CRAs.
- If identity theft is evident, the notified business must not make any further reports to CRAs.
The consumer may also file a timely dispute notice about an inaccurate credit report entry with the CRAs. Those agencies must then notify the reporting business of the dispute and the business must investigate consumer claims. It usually is faster to work directly with the business involved to effect correction, but notifying the CRAs is beneficial because your dispute will be noted on your record also.
Legal Representation Can Help You
As is true with most government regulations, it is advisable to get legal representation from an experienced attorney for assistance rather than to try to work through the maze of legalese by yourself. The Law Office of Steven B. Kass has years of experience helping NYC clients work out their debt and bankruptcy matters; they understand the FCRA regulations thoroughly and can help you meet all the important deadlines.