The Federal Trade Commission recently conducted a first national study of credit report accuracy. A study involved 1,001 participants and a review of 2,968 credit reports with a study associate who helped participants identify potential errors. Study participants then used the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dispute process to challenge potential errors that had a material effect on their score. The study associate informed the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) of the disputed items and FICO generated a provisional FICO score for the report. After the study participants completed the FCRA dispute process, they were provided with new credit reports and credit scores.
The study showed that 206 individuals had at least one credit report altered and 129 consumers experienced a credit score change. The study also showed 262 participants had filed disputes regarding potentially materially errors under the FCRA dispute process. This means that 1 in 5 consumers may have significant errors in their credit files. The main types of disputed material errors were errors in the tradeline (consumer accounts) or collections information, e.g. reporting the same account multiple times or reporting multiple dates of delinquencies. Other errors included incorrectly reporting mortgage accounts after a loan modification, short sale or foreclosure, e.g. reporting short sales as foreclosures, reporting foreclosures as charge offs with an unpaid and past due balances; and reporting loan modification as continuously late from the date the client made the modified payment.
I now encourage all my clients to examine their credit reports regularly through the use of https://www.annualcreditreport.com to make sure their credit reports do not contain any errors and follow the FCRA dispute process if any inaccuracies are found. If you, your family members or friends need help with resolving credit reporting issues, our team of knowledgeable attorneys will be happy to help.
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