Handling Credit Mistakes and Billing and Electronic Errors
A recent government study reflects that there are approximately 40 million Americans with mistakes on their credit reports. Just about every time you use your credit cards, take out a home mortgage, car loan, or student loan or obtain other financing, your payment history is reported by your creditor to one or more of the three major credit reporting bureaus in the United States- Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. These credit agencies compile files about your credit history and the amount of due you owe and provide that information to new or existing creditors. Your creditors make decisions about your credit worthiness and whether to give or deny your credit depending on your credit score.
Having mistakes and errors on your credit report, can result in you having to pay higher interest rates or being denying credit altogether. Even if you know that you have a perfect or near perfect credit history of paying your bills on time, it can be a long and frustrating process to get the credit bureaus to correct or remove the mistakes.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself?
As a consumer, you have certain rights regarding the reporting of your credit. For instance, if you are denied credit, the creditor must advise you in writing the reason for the denial. You can obtain a copy of your credit report for free if you have been denied credit within the last 90 days by writing to the credit reporting agency listed in the creditor’s denial letter or by obtaining your annual free report from annualcreditreport.com (https://www.annualcreditreport.com).
Upon reviewing your credit report, if you discover any errors or mistakes, then under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to dispute the information by making a written request to the major credit bureaus or going to their websites and completing an online dispute request. The credit reporting agencies must contact the creditor. If your creditor fails to respond in 30 days, then the reporting agency by law must remove the information forever from your report. Consumers frequently complain about the frustrations of getting the information corrected or removed and sometimes require the assistance of an Indiana credit counseling attorney to help them in their efforts.
Credit Card Billing Error Protections
On the other hand, if you find credit card billing errors on your monthly statement, under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), you also have the right to resolve those mistakes and request that your bank, credit card company or finance company correct the problem. This includes crediting funds to your account for billing errors or funds taken out electronically without your permission, overdraft fees, finance charges, installment loan fees or ATM withdrawals or deposits. However, the law excludes transactions relating to home or car loans.
Assistance from an Indiana Bankruptcy and Debt Counseling Attorney
If you are still having trouble getting the credit reporting agency or your creditor to remove a mistake or error or credit your account for billing, electronic funds transfers or ATM errors, then you may want to contact an Indiana Bankruptcy or debt counseling attorney to assist you with getting the items corrected or removed. If for some extreme or unusual circumstances, you find it necessary to file a lawsuit against a consumer credit reporting agency for violating the FCRA laws or your creditor for violating other credit, billing and electronic funds laws, the Bankruptcy Lawyer can handle the lawsuit and represent you in connection with any settlement negotiations regarding the matter.