Furnisher Liability

You can't sue the "furnisher" (that's the creditor who says stuff to the bureaus) for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act straight out of the gate, or else everyone will know that it is your first rodeo. Don't be that guy.

You have to first dispute it with the credit reporting agencies and then the credit reporting agencies have to go back to the furnisher and ask them to reinvestigate it. Only when the furnisher comes back and says "yeah, this is your account," when in reality it is not your account (or is otherwise incorrectly reported) can you sue the furnisher under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The Credit Bureaus Must Investigate The False Item Or Delete It

The credit bureau is obligated to either investigate the item or delete it. Here's the law in legalese. Under the law, 15 U.S.C. §1681i, the credit reporting agency must "conduct a reasonable reinvestigation to determine whether the disputed information is inaccurate." The credit reporting agency cannot simply parrot back what the furnisher of the information said was true, and must consider all relevant information provided by you in your dispute. The credit reporting agency has 30 days from the consumer's notice to reinvestigate and update the disputed information, or delete it.

You can sue to enforce your rights under the FCRA, and a skilled lawyer should definitely evaluate your case to determine what to do about incorrect information on your credit report. Fighting the big computer is no small matter.

If you are in the military or are a victim of identity theft, you have additional options that you should discuss with a consumer protection attorney. Call 888-339-3942 or fill out my online form to speak with me, SaraEllen Hutchison. I focus my entire law practice on fighting the big computer and the credit reporting agencies that refuse to put people before profit.

I am a member of NACA, the National Association of Consumer Advocates.