Did you ever wonder why credit reporting agencies cannot correct an error? Even one that seems rather obvious to you?
The reason is the elaborate mechanism created by the credit reporting industry is inherently flawed. This leads to inaccurate credit reports that lead consumers to paying too much for credit or being denied credit altogether.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) uses a standard that requires “maximum possible accuracy”. This high burden was created by Congress in 1970 due to the need for consumer reporting agencies to assemble and evaluate consumer credit and other information on consumers while acting in a fair, impartial manner respectful of a consumer’s right to privacy. Congress recognized that the power to control this information could easily be misused and abused. Credit bureaus do not consider the consumer as their customers. They work for the creditors.
Despite the need for fair and accurate credit reporting, 60 Minutes did a story where they determined that 40 million Americans had errors on their credit reports.
The mechanism designed by the credit reporting industry to automate the dispute investigation process is called e-Oscar. This is a web-based platform used by nearly every credit reporting agency (“CRA”) and Data Furnisher. E-Oscar facilitates the transmission of Automated Credit Dispute Verifications (“ACDVs”) and Automated Universal Data-forms (“AUDS”) between Data Furnishers and CRAs. The problem arises because the use of e-Oscar, ACDVs and AUDs results in the failures seen in the FCRA dispute process. 80% or more of the dispute investigation results return with an account as “verified” regardless of the merits of the dispute. For each dispute, a computer or a person reduces the information provided by the consumer disputing the trade line into a three character code. If a human is determining the proper code, they are doing so in less than a minute, often having a quota of 100 disputes an hour. The computer then sends this three character code to the furnisher’s computer which checks its own records and provides a response. In the vast majority of cases, this is the extent of the credit reporting agency and furnisher’s investigation.
If you live in Florida and suspect that your credit report may not be accurate, please order a free copy of your credit report on annualcreditreport.com. Then feel free to send to us for a complimentary review – please note in your contact form below what you think may be in error.