If you have recently checked your credit reports and have found negative items you can file a dispute with the credit bureaus and have them investigate these marks. It is incredibly important to ensure that you have a clean credit record as many lending institutions have instituted new approval requirements as a result of the financial crisis.
There are a number of reasons why you can file a dispute with the credit bureaus and have them remove an item from your credit report, reasons include: the debt is not mine, the dates on the account are incorrect, the balance due is wrong, the account is paid… A common tactic collection agencies use to manipulate individuals into paying a debt is by reporting a the debt on their credit history for longer than the legally allowed seven years.
The Steps Required To File A Dispute
You are going to need to write a credit dispute letter and mail one to each bureau. In this letter you need to include your name, your personal information, the item you are disputing, supporting evidence, and it would also be a good idea to include a reference to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a piece of federal law that requires the credit bureaus to investigate any item on your credit report that you file a dispute on.
What Items Should You Dispute?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act says that every citizen is entitled to dispute any item they believe is inaccurate. As we mentioned earlier there are all types of reasons that an item on your credit report can be wrong.
While it may not be morally correct it would be in your credit scores best interest for you to dispute every negative item on your credit report. You should know that you will never be liable for any legal proceedings for disputing an item that you know is correct. In other words you have nothing to lose if you dispute every item on your credit reports.
What Happens After I File My Dispute
Typically the credit bureaus are going to respond by requesting more information however this is nothing more than a stall tactic on their behalf. The credit bureaus have discovered that it is in their financial interest to avoid consumer credit disputes because there is no profit to be had by correcting information they collected about a consumer.
The reality is the only reason the credit bureaus do investigate consumer disputes is because of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Even with this piece of federal law the credit bureaus have still been fined multiple times by the FTC for violating federal regulation.
You can dispute items on your credit report yourself or if you have trouble we would encourage you to consider hiring a professional credit repair attorney to assist you. The credit bureaus are required to investigate every consumer dispute according to federal law, you don’t just have to live with bad credit.
Once the credit bureaus get your dispute letter and deem it valid they are going to conduct an investigation. They will contact the debt collector or creditor that has created the negative entry on your credit report and ask them to verify that the account is yours and all the related information such as the balance due.
If the credit bureaus are unable to verify this information then they are required to remove the bad credit items from your credit report. It is estimated by experts that up to 80% of all bureau of investigations result in the removal of an item.
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