Oftentimes, a creditor or vendor wrongfully files something with your credit rating agency. All of a sudden, you find your credit lowered by hundreds of points, with collection agencies knocking at your door. Black marks on your credit can have detrimental consequences for future financial transactions, like opening a credit card.
How to Dispute with Credit Agencies
Consumers have many resources when it comes to filing a complaint with credit rating agencies. Upon finding the incorrect data on the credit report, you can contact the creditor or vendor directly, and demand that they tell the credit reporting agency to remove the black mark from the credit report. You can also file a series of complaints: To file against the credit reporting agency, you can contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). To file a complaint about the creditor, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
According to the FTC, the nationwide credit report companies are required to provide free credit reports to consumers at their request once every twelve months. A sample dispute letter to send to the credit reporting company can actually be found on the FTC website.
At that point, the credit reporting company and information provider is responsible for correcting inaccurate information in your report. The company has to investigate the dispute within 30 days, and forward the data to the organization that provided the inaccurate information, such as the creditor or vendor. The creditor or vendor must then notify the credit company to correct the information, and provide you with the results of the investigation.
How to Sue for Incorrect Credit Reporting
In addition to complaints, you can also sue the credit reporting agency or creditor under FCRA 15 U.S.C. §1681. You can also add an explanatory statement to the credit report—after you file a statement about the dispute with the credit reporting agency, the agency has to include the statement in any report that includes the disputed information. Reiter, supra. Suits can result in statutory and even punitive and emotional damages.
You can also reach out to your state’s consumer protection agency, the state attorney general, or their congressional representative.