Types of Credit Reporting Errors
Common examples are a credit report that shows a mortgage discharged in bankruptcy but, in fact, the person reaffirmed the mortgage or when an entry shows an amount due even though the debt was included in the person’s bankruptcy.
Studies show that inaccurate consumer credit reports are a significant issue for our society:
- 46–70% of credit reports contain errors
- 40% of credit reports contain public record information belonging to someone else, credit accounts that do not belong to the consumer or accounts incorrectly marked as delinquent
- 26% of credit errors are serious enough to deny an application for credit, housing or employment
Post-Bankruptcy Credit Reporting Errors
After a person’s bankruptcy is over, often the person’s credit report will contain errors. This is NOT the bankruptcy attorney’s fault.
Instead, these errors are the result of creditors and credit reporting agencies using people in third world countries to perform data entry functions on the credit reports of Americans.
Occasionally, the mortgage loan or the auto loan will not be correct after the bankruptcy is over.
Mixed or Merged Credit Files/Mistaken Identity
A mixed file is a credit reporting error that occurs when a credit reporting agency puts the information belonging to one consumer on another consumer’s credit report. In other words, you have another person’s credit card debt on your credit report.
This error occurs frequently when two consumers have similar names or addresses (ie, father and son have the same names but are Sr. and Jr.).
Unfortunately, the credit reporting agencies usually know about this problem but they do nothing to prevent or correct it.
Public Record Errors
Public records are judgments, lawsuits, tax liens, and bankruptcies that show up on credit reports under the “public records” portion of the credit report. Many of these events are included on credit reports.
Too often, they are inaccurate. For example, this office had a client that, on the public records portion of her credit report, showed that she had a small claims court judgment against her in the amount of $999,999.99.
In Marion County, the financial limit on small claims court cases is $6,000–a sum substantially less than $999,999.99.
These errors can be very damaging to a person’s credit rating and credit score. The errors occur because the credit reporting agencies rely on separate companies that obtain the information and report it to the credit reporting agencies.
Unfortunately, these companies are often sloppy in their reporting or simply do not understand the small claims court entries.
Inaccurate or Stale Collection Accounts
Debt collection accounts also account for a high percentage of credit report errors. This office has sued many debt collectors for failing to properly report accounts after a debt has been paid or a bankruptcy has been filed.
Additionally, debt collectors sometimes “re-age” a debt. This means that the debt collector receives an old account and places on the consumer’s credit report but identifies the wrong date for the beginning of the delinquency.
Thus, a debt that is 12 years old is given to a debt collector who, for whatever reason, reports that the debt is only 6 years old and places the debt on the consumer’s credit report when, in fact, it could not do so because 12-year-old debts cannot be placed on a credit report.
If you have been the victim of identity theft, you should contact the police. You should also contact the appropriate creditors and inform them.
Victims of identity theft have the right to have the bogus accounts removed from their credit reports.
Unfortunately, even after a consumer disputes the bogus account information, it often remains on the person’s credit report for years because the credit reporting agencies and banks do not take the steps to check their records and properly investigate a person’s dispute.
Inaccurate Employment Reports
Employers and prospective employers often use credit reports in their hiring/firing processes. Consumers lose jobs because of inaccurate credit reports obtain by their employers. If you have the wrong data on your job record, contact this office.
If you believe that you have an error on your credit report, please contact our office immediately and we will gladly review your credit reports with you at no charge!!
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