Robert T. Healey, Esq.

St. Louis Credit Reporting Rights Attorney

Fair Credit Reporting Act

Credit Reporting ProblemsInaccurate information often appears in consumers’ credit reports. One-fourth of all credit reports have serious errors in them. These errors could result in your being denied a credit card, an insurance policy, a job or a mortgage. If you aren’t aware of the errors until you apply for the new credit, loan or job, you may not be able to get the report corrected in time. That’s why consumers should check their credit reports on a regular basis, and especially before applying for a mortgage or employment.  Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), credit reporting agencies and creditors have a duty to correct inaccurate information. Please contact our St. Louis Consumer Advocate office if you have a mistake on your credit report at (314) 401-3261 or info@healeylawllc.com.

Common Types of Credit Reporting Errors

Identity Mix-ups. Sometimes the credit file of one person is merged with that of another, resulting in a negative credit history for the person with a cleaner record. This usually occurs when two different people have similar names, backgrounds and/or social security numbers.  The result can be devastating when a consumer with a good credit history has his or her file mixed with someone who has a bad credit history.  The credit reporting agency must clear up the problem and you should notify them in writing if you suspect you have been merged with another person’s credit history.  Oftentimes, the credit reporting agencies will resolve the problem by deleting the inaccurate information from the report, but it will not correct the problem which led to the mix-ups in the first place, resulting in additional problems down the line.

Identity Theft. This is now the most frequent consumer complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission. Creditors and the credit reporting agencies have a legal duty to investigate and clear up the record of the identity theft victim. The first step is to tell the three credit bureaus about the identity theft so they can flag your credit report and prevent further fraudulent credit accounts from being opened.  You should also file a police report and contact each creditor.

Inaccurate Entries.  Creditors frequently submit inaccurate information to the credit reporting agencies. Many inaccuracies can be fixed by sending a certified letter to the credit bureaus explaining that the debt is reported incorrectly. The credit reporting agencies then notify the creditor of your dispute, and ask them for verification. Often, creditors improperly verify the debt or the credit reporting agency does not do a thorough investigation, and the inaccuracy continues being reported. If this occurs, next try contacting the creditor directly, using certified mail.

Bankruptcy Discharge.  After receiving a bankruptcy discharge, your credit report should reflect that your accounts have been discharged in bankruptcy.  Additionally, your balances should be listed as zero.  Often, your accounts are not properly updated with this information after a bankruptcy discharge and your ability to begin to rebuild credit is severely hampered.  In addition, if your spouse or other joint debtor filed a bankruptcy, but you did not, there should be no mention of  bankruptcy on your credit report.

Obsolete Information. A creditor can only report a debt for 7 years after it becomes delinquent or is charged off. A bankruptcy can appear only for 10 years. Many times, debt collectors “re-age” this information and submit a false date to fool the credit reporting agency into thinking that the debt is not obsolete.

If you review your credit report and discover any of these kinds of problems, please contact us for a free consultation to further discuss your case.

Contact Bob Healey today at (314) 401-3261 or info@healeylawllc.com.

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We handle many of our cases on a contingency fee basis. We only charge a fee if we are successful in recovering an award for you. Our fees are based on a percentage of any recovery we make for you.

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