Identity Theft : Correct Those Credit Reporting Errors
The importance of checking credit reports at least annually has been drilled into the minds of consumers lately due to the rising claims of identity theft. But, what happens if there are inaccuracies in the reports?
First, the individual whose credit report is incorrect must write to each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) stating that he is disputing the record and listing the mistakes or omissions in the report. Also, providing proof of the argument (hopefully the individual has kept good records!) will make the case more valid and easier to process for all parties involved.
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After sending a letter to the credit bureau(s), it is also recommended to send a similar letter to the company that reported the inaccurate information to the credit bureau. The company that made the claim is similarly required to conduct an investigation (in addition to the credit bureau’s investigation). It is important for the individual to request that the credit bureaus include the statement of dispute in both the individual’s credit file and in the company’s dispute file. Although an individual can submit inaccuracy complaints online, it is smart to send both of these complaints via certified mail and request a return receipt. The credit bureaus are required to investigate claims within 30 days, so it is important to stay on top of the situation. The individual should make sure that he or she sees the results of the claim and receives a copy of the corrected report within six weeks. For more information on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s web site at www.ftc.gov.
For further information, contact Louis P. Stanasolovich, CFP ä at (412) 635-9210 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org