It is essential to keep up with changes to your credit report. The information on your credit report can play a crucial role in your life and the type of lifestyle you can have, impacting everything from the mortgage loans to insurance plans available to you.
Because so many opportunities are determined through your credit report, you want to ensure that your report is accurate. However, errors can appear on your credit report due to the negligence of the credit reporting agencies that create your credit report.
Our Alexandria credit report lawyers at Berger Montague can help you not only correct any errors on your credit report but also pursue legal action against the appropriate credit reporting agency to collect monetary damages.
Decisions Made From Your Credit Report
Your credit report contains all information about your credit history. Financial institutions will use the information in your credit report to make informed decisions about your financial options. For example, your credit report determines the type of credit card or loans you qualify for and the interest rates you will be required to pay.
Information Presented in a Credit Report
Your credit report contains a variety of information, including:
- Your personal information
- A collection of your credit accounts
- Any collection items
- Public records regarding foreclosures, liens, and bankruptcies
- Any inquiries into your credit report
If there are any errors in your report, you might be in jeopardy of losing out on critical opportunities.
How Credit Report Errors Affect Your Credit History
When you apply for a loan or credit card, you probably are confident that the information on your credit report will be accurate and move you forward in the application process. However, you may be placing too much trust in the hands of credit reporting agencies, who have many opportunities to introduce errors on your credit report.
Credit reporting agencies may fail to include in their reports the most accurate and up-to-date information. For example, they may include outdated information about closed accounts, or include information for the wrong consumer, with a name similar to yours, on your report.
These kinds of errors can cause your credit score to be lowered, decreasing the number of financial options that are available to you.
The Dispute Process
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to dispute errors on your credit report. Exercising your right to this dispute process can take a significant amount of time and energy. The first step in your dispute process is to request a copy of your credit report. Once you receive a copy of your report, you must check for all errors.
If you discover any errors in your credit report, you must submit a written letter expressing your decision to dispute the errors. After issuing your dispute, you must then wait for a response from the credit reporting agency, generally within the next 30 days.
Why You Need a Credit Report Lawyer in Alexandria
Navigating the dispute process can take up a significant amount of your time. Even after searching for all errors on your report, submitting a dispute, and waiting for a response from the credit reporting agency, you might discover that the inaccuracies still have not been removed from your report.
An Alexandria credit report attorney can assist you with handling the dispute process to help ensure that it goes smoothly. Depending on your circumstances, they may also be able to help you recover compensation from the credit reporting agency. A credit report lawyer can even represent you if you have to take the credit reporting agency to court.
You Were Mislabeled as Deceased
A common error made by credit reporting agencies is mislabeling applicants as deceased. You are more at risk of being reported as dead if you share an account with a spouse who has since passed away. Your credit score can drop to zero if you are mislabeled as deceased. If this has happened to you, you may need an Alexandria credit report lawyer to rectify the situation.
Providing a Thorough Review of Your Credit History
Some consumers decide to file disputes against credit reporting agencies on their own. There are many benefits to seeking the help of a credit report lawyer throughout the dispute process.
While the credit report lawyer searches for all errors on your report, the lawyer can also suggest ways to help improve your credit score. One way to help improve your credit score includes negotiating with credit reporting agencies to take off any late payments or negative accounts from your report.
Offering a Settlement Amount
You may be entitled to damages from a credit reporting agency that included inaccurate information in your credit report. If so, a credit report lawyer can help you strategize about how to hold the agency accountable.
For example, they might suggest reaching a settlement agreement with the credit reporting agency. Through the settlement, you can receive compensation while the agency can avoid bad press and litigation costs.
Representing You at Trial
If you have a strong claim but the credit reporting agency is unwilling to settle, a credit report lawyer may be able to represent you in litigation, up to and including trial.
Cutting Down on Time
A credit report lawyer can take time-consuming tasks off your plate. For example, they can help you navigate the dispute process, conduct legal research into your claims, and negotiate a settlement agreement on your behalf. You can then focus on other important tasks such as searching for other forms of employment or housing.
Why You Should Choose Berger Montague to Represent You
Berger Montague is a well-resourced, well-respected, well-known collection of 65 lawyers who have represented clients across the United States. With over 50 years of experience and our elite academic pedigrees, we’ve become the best FCRA firm in the country, hands down. The bureaus’ lawyers know us by name.
Since 1970, we’ve recovered over $36 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients in precedent-setting individual and class action cases. As pioneers in credit reporting and background check litigation, our results have helped to protect consumer rights and ensure that credit reporting agencies access, gather, and process personal information fairly and legally.
In addition to providing countless amicus briefs for various cases throughout Washington, D.C., and the Eastern District of Virginia, we have also been involved in several notable cases, including:
Clark v. Trans Union, LLC, No. 3:15-cv-00391-MHL: This class action suit alleged that TransUnion violated the FCRA by failing to accurately report the dispositions of civil judgment and tax lien public records it included in consumer credit reports it furnished, and failed to properly disclose the source of its public record information upon request.
Clark v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., No. 3:16-cv-00032-MHL: This class action suit alleged that Experian violated the FCRA by failing to accurately report the dispositions of civil judgment and tax lien public records it included in consumer credit reports it furnished, and failed to properly disclose the source of its public record information upon request.
Thomas v. Equifax Info. Services, LLC, No. 3:18-cv-00684-MHL: This class action suit alleged that Equifax violated the FCRA by failing to accurately report the dispositions of civil judgment and tax lien public records it included in the consumer credit reports it furnished.
Each of these cases resulted in the three major credit bureaus agreeing to stop reporting public records for at least 18 months and delete all existing public records information from their databases.
They also uncapped consumer mediation programs where consumers who were adversely affected by erroneous reporting could participate and receive free legal assistance and a monetary payment with a presumptive relief value of $1,500 per claim.
Call a Credit Report Attorney in Alexandria Today
If you believe you have been harmed by a mistake on your credit report, contact an Alexandria credit report lawyer today. At Berger Montague, we represent consumers on a contingency fee basis. That means that consumers do not pay out-of-pocket costs for representation.
We only accept payment from a percentage of your court award or settlement. And we collect nothing if we lose. Per fee-shifting under the FCRA statute, the other party will cover attorney fees and litigation costs following our successful trial outcome.
Does your credit report have incorrect information on it? Hold the credit reporting agency accountable by scheduling an appointment with an experienced credit report lawyer today. You can reach out to our nearby Washington, D.C. office or contact us online.