Saturday, July 31, 2010

If The Credit Bureau Verifies Your Bad Credit Dispute

If you've been working on repairing your credit, it is highly likely that when you get your reports back from the credit bureaus, you will see, or have seen, that they have verified one or several of the disputed negative items. This is actually a common occurrence in the process. There is a simple explanation for this, though, it's not a delightful reason.
When you make your dispute, you may explain in detail why the item should be removed from your credit report. The FCRA demands that the bureaus verify the accuracy of what you are disputing with the provider of that information. However, they don't call them or send a copy of your letter, or even electronically question the provider with the same specifics that you presented in your dispute. Instead, they electronically reduce your dispute down to a general 2 digit code that represents the "category" of your dispute. There are no details included, just the code.
So, they send this code electronically to the provider of the information, who then has to reply to the bureaus with a code back agreeing that the information was not accurate or they use a code to say, "yep, we verify that our information is correct". The credit bureaus have 30 days to get back to you to inform you of the results of their "investigation". Doesn't really sound like an investigation though, does it?

Now, you have rights under the FCRA to demand from them proof of the investigation and their method of verification. You can request the name of the person they spoke to, their title, and their contact information. What they will then send you is a basic form letter saying that they electronically verified, and that's all they are going to do for you. So, you will have to demand again that they provide the method of verification, but this time, you must do it correctly. Better yet, do it right the first time, when they send the form letter, send the demand again with an intent to sue letter.
You are probably wondering how to do this the right way. The way I do it is, I include the definition of verification from Black's Law dictionary in the letter. I include the law from the FCRA that gives me the right to receive their method of verification. I also include case law for each of the bureaus that the courts shot them down for verification that does not meet the standards of the FCRA. I also include an intent to sue for willful non-compliance with the FCRA.

If you have contacted the original creditor regarding the account you are disputing, get the contact name and information of the person that you talked to. If they do not have the information, ask them to put it in writing and send it to you. Once they have sold it to a collection company, 99% of the time, they do not have the information on the alleged account. 

Send a copy of this letter to the bureaus along with your demand for method of validation and intent to sue letters. They are not going to contact them because they don't have time for that. Most likely, at this point, they will remove the negative credit from your report. If not, you should follow through with either a complaint to the attorney general of your state, the better business bureau, and/or sue them in small claims court. You could actually, if the damages add up enough, sue them in Federal Court, because the FCRA is a federal law and they violated it!

One more thing, just because they reduce your dispute down to a 2 digit code, don't skimp on your dispute.  This is going to be proof that they have not even attempted to verify your dispute accurately.  Usually the code they use is so general and it does not come close to expressing the information you gave them. This can be used against them.


  1. In your article titled, "If The Credit Bureau Verifies Your Bad Credit Dispute" you mention that, "I also include case law for each of the bureaus that the courts shot them down for verification that does not meet the standards of the FCRA."

    Could you provide a list of the cases that you use? It would be beneficial to read the judges decisions on the cases that you refer to here. Thanks

    1. First I should clarify that the court cases were for inadequate investigation, and so the verification was not actually justified.
      Now, here are a bunch of cases but at least one of them was settled out of court. I think it was the White, et al case. Its been a very long time since I researched this. I wouldn't doubt that there are more out there now since the bureaus make it a practice of not complying with the FCRA on a regular bases.

      Cushman vs. TransUnion; Sepulvado v. CSC Credit Services, Inc.; Cortez v. Transunion; Stevenson vs. Experian (formerly TRW); White, et al, v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc.; Richardson vs. Fleet, Equifax, et al; Stewart v. Credit Bureau, Inc.; Koropoulos v. Credit Bureau, Inc.


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