Your Rights Concerning Your Credit Report

Introduction

Credit

You have certain rights with respect to your credit files. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was created to promote fairness, accuracy, and privacy with respect to files maintained by any consumer-reporting agency. Here is an overview of some of your rights.

You have the right to dispute inaccurate information in a credit file

If you notify a credit bureau that you dispute information in your credit report, the credit bureau generally must investigate the disputed information within 30 days of the date that it receives the notice from you. If you send additional information within the 30-day period, the credit bureau may have an additional 15 days to complete its investigation.

Inaccurate or unconfirmed information must be corrected or deleted

If, during its investigation, the credit bureau verifies that your credit report contains errors, the information must be removed or corrected. If the credit bureau is unable to verify whether the information is accurate, it must remove the information from your report. The credit bureau must give you a written report of its investigation. If the investigation results in any changes to your report, the credit bureau must give you a new copy within five days after completing its investigation.

Caution: If the party that originally provided the disputed information verifies that the information is accurate within the time allowed for the investigation, then the credit bureau need not remove the information from your report.

You can seek damages from violators

Under federal law, you can sue a credit bureau, a user of a credit bureau, or, in some cases, a provider of credit bureau data, if they violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Tip: If the credit bureau is negligent in failing to comply with the law, you may sue for actual damages. If successful, you may recover reasonable attorney's fees. In addition, if the credit bureau is willful in failing to comply with the law, you may be able to recover punitive damages (designed to punish the violator). Generally, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of liability and claims may be brought in state or federal court.

You have the right to place fraud alerts on your credit reports

If you think you have been or are about to become the victim of fraud (including identity theft), you can ask the credit bureaus to place an initial fraud alert on your credit reports. For at least the next 90 days after your request, any user requesting your credit report or credit score will be notified that you don't authorize granting any new credit, extensions of existing credit, or additional (or replacement) credit cards for existing accounts unless the user identifies the person making such a request.

If you have been victimized by fraud or identity theft and you file a report with any appropriate law enforcement agency, you may then request that the credit bureaus place an extended fraud alert on your credit reports. Unless you terminate it sooner, this alert will then be sent to users of your credit report or credit score for seven years from the date of your request, and will automatically exclude your name for five years from any pre-screening lists generated by the credit bureaus.

You have the right to block information that is the result of identity theft

If you have been victimized by identity theft, you can block a credit-reporting agency from including information on your credit report about transactions that were a result of that theft. To do this, you must provide the credit bureau proof of your identity and a copy of an identity theft report filed with an appropriate law enforcement agency. You must also identify the information on your credit report that you claim is the result of the identity theft.

To learn more about your FCRA rights, contact MNM Vested, LLC.