The FCRA requires that “[w]henever a consumer reporting agency prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.” 15 U.S.C. Section 1681e(b).
That’s a high burden “maximum possible accuracy”! And it is not being met. In one over the top case of ours, despite a client providing proof of life, she was reported as deceased by her student loan servicer over and over again wrecking havoc on her credit report.
More typically we run into instances where student loans are incorrectly reported as being in default when in fact they are no longer owed due to a settlement or discharge in bankruptcy. This in fact is becoming our bread and butter raising these types of claims.
A consumer harmed by an incorrect credit report can obtain actual damages, statutory damages, payment of their attorney’s fees and costs (which are normally contingent upon a successful recovery as most folks can’t pay cash to fix their credit report), and in egregious cases, punitive damages.
So have you settled a case recently, or obtained a discharge in bankruptcy – but the debt is still showing delinquent and unpaid on your credit report?
Have you run your free credit report yet (use www.annualcreditreport.com)?
- After bankruptcy, your credit report should show all discharged debt as zero balance, discharged in bankruptcy or words to that effect.
- Debt buyers may have purchased the discharged debt and improperly listed it with a balance owing thereby preventing you from rebuilding your credit. Or a creditor may have improperly re-listed the debt on your credit report in violation of the Bankruptcy Court’s discharge order and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- You may be entitled to monetary damages if the inaccuracies are not fixed.
If you find any entries on your credit report in which the debt has been improperly reported as remaining due, charged off or anything else suspicious, please email us a copy of the credit report noting which creditor you believe is wrongfully reporting.