Disputes and lawsuits: do you need a credit lawyer?

Many consumers dispute inaccurate information to Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion. What these consumers don’t realize is that the dispute process is a lose-lose. Essentially, there are two possible outcomes to a dispute: either the credit bureau verifies that the information is accurate or deletes the item(s) from your credit reports.

When a credit bureau verifies inaccurate information, it causes a tremendous amount of stress and aggravation. Not only does the consumer have to live with the knowledge that they are being defamed day and night by the credit bureaus, but they are left with a feeling of hopelessness because there is nothing they can do about it (short of going to a lawyer).

What most consumers don’t realize is that having inaccurate information deleted from your credit report isn’t really a “win.” For starters, even though the credit bureau has admitted that the account or other item was inaccurate, the consumer doesn’t get any compensation for the time and money spent trying to fix the problem. More importantly, the information you have disputed may be off of your credit reports for now, but that doesn’t mean it won’t show up again on your credit reports in the future.

There is a provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that places restrictions on credit bureaus from reinserting inaccurate information on your credit reports. However, consumers may (or may not) be surprised to learn that inaccurate information is often re-reported, even after it was deleted. In a very real sense, consumers who “win” the dispute with the credit bureaus are in nearly the same position as those who lose. Both types of consumers have to be wary about applying for credit, as the creditor may pull their credit reports and decline their applications on the basis of inaccurate information. Both consumers may go to sleep at night wondering who is going to hear about a false conviction or charged-off credit card that should never appear on that consumer’s credit report in the first place.

While the emotional impact of “winning” or “losing” the dispute process may or may not be substantial, the legal implications are massive. If you dispute inaccurate information on your credit report and it is verified as accurate, you likely have a case that a law firm such as Sherman & Ticchio can bring in federal court. However, if the information is deleted, you may have to endure all of the emotional strain discussed here without having the option of suing in federal court.

The credit bureaus would like you to think that, as long as the dispute process exists, consumers have an easy remedy to inaccurate reporting. The reality is that the only way to really protect consumers is for the credit bureaus to follow reasonable procedures to ensure that they don’t report anything inaccurate in the first place. That concept, which is enshrined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, is called maximum possible accuracy.

If you notice anything inaccurate appearing on your credit reports, reach out to Sherman & Ticchio so we can evaluate your situation and advise you about next steps at no cost to you. Even if federal litigation is needed, you will never owe our firm anything out of pocket.