The most common errors are ones that a lot of people don’t even realize are there. A late 30 days derogatory can really affect your credit score, but a lot of times it shouldn’t be there. If you go back and look at your checking account, the check was cashed by the credit card company and they deposited it on day 28, but they claim you were 30 days late. When you find out what really happened, especially in the context of mortgages and loan modifications, you find that what’s being reported does not in any way resemble the state of affairs.
One of the other things that we see a lot is overlaps of payments and derogatories when mortgages switch servicers. We also actually see some creditors that don’t update their reporting on a regular basis, so it looks like you have more debt than you actually do. We’re looking for untrue statements on these credit reports that put undue downward pressure on someone’s credit score. It could be anything from a couple of undeserved 30 day lates to maybe a debt collector that’s double reporting the same debt.
We also see errors in spelling of names and address errors, which can lead to identity theft, along with a curious phenomenon called alternate social security numbers. If a creditor entered your social security number incorrectly, it could also appear on your credit report and lead to problems down the road.
What Steps Should I Take If I Find An Error On My Credit Report?
What you should do to correct an error, as a consumer, is counterintuitive. Most people will look at their credit report, see the error, and call the furnisher of the error. If this credit card company is reporting that you owe $100,000 on a credit card and you don’t have a credit card with this company, common sense tells you to call up that credit card company. But, the law doesn’t necessarily have to do with common sense.
What the law says is that in order to establish a meaningful correction process, the dispute has to go directly to the credit bureau or bureaus where you’re seeing the account that’s not yours. Then, the credit bureaus notify the furnisher and the furnisher has a certain amount of time to get back to the credit bureau. The credit bureau then has to tell you the results of their investigation. You can write 20 letters to the credit card company and there’s no legal obligation for the company to do anything. The dispute has to go through the credit bureau.
People screw up the dispute process when they don’t do it all the time. When there’s an error on your credit report, you should contact a consumer advocate. It does cost money, but your time is worth money. I see scenarios all the time where people have been trying for years to get false information off their credit report. They say that they’ve gone through the process and contacted the credit bureau but when I look at their documentation of this, I often find that they don’t have good records, they didn’t identify the account to the credit bureau, or that they didn’t give a good explanation of the problem that could be forwarded to the furnisher.
It would be impossible to prove in court that they went through the processes required by the statute. A 30 day late that’s not yours on your credit report is not that big of a deal, but if you have an account on your credit report that’s not yours, that’s going to cost you money. A lot of states now allow insurers to base insurance rates on credit score. It’s going to cost you extra when you go to finance a car or buy a house and you don’t want to be taking care of this a week before you need to make these purchases.
If The Dispute Cannot Be Resolved, When Do I File A Lawsuit?
There’s a framework that can be daunting and somewhat convoluted in the federal law on how the dispute has to be resolved. If you’ve jumped through all the hoops and done the dispute process through the credit bureaus correctly and you can document that, then you’re ready to hire a lawyer and to file a lawsuit. I would not, under any circumstances, recommend that anyone proceed without getting a lawyer. Your case will be dismissed before you know it.
For more information on Common Credit Reporting Errors In Michigan, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (248) 843-0550 today.