How to Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report
Under federal law, your discharged debts should be zero after bankruptcy. Otherwise, you have the right to dispute credit reports.
Filing for bankruptcy is a lengthy process, but you're ready to get back on your feet once you get your bankruptcy discharge. The recovery process entails rebuilding your credit, but you may find creditors still listing the debts as due even after the discharge date.
Under federal law, your discharged debts should be zero after bankruptcy. Otherwise, you have the right to dispute credit reports. Here's what you need to do to dispute credit report errors.
Check for Errors in Your Credit Report
You should request copies of the credit report approximately a month after the bankruptcy discharge. The credit report copies come from leading reporting agencies like TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Ensure you check the reports for errors. Remember, you have no right to recover damages or sue unless you challenge the credit report error.
Common credit report errors include:
- Clerical mistakes in keying in your name or address
- Negative remarks that are too old
- Wrong account numbers
- Inaccurate credit balances
- Wrong account status
You don't have to dispute minor errors that do not affect your score. Some of these errors include outdated phone numbers and misspelled names of your former employer. Reach out to a reputable Smithfield bankruptcy attorney such as Narron Wenzel, P.A., to distinguish which errors you can dispute.
Gather Supporting Documents to Dispute the Error
Ensure you have all the personal and financial information and documents you may need to dispute the errors. Some essential documents to gather are your bank statement, government-issued ID, and postal address information.
Dispute the Report with Credit Reporting Agencies
You can dispute the errors with the credit bureaus that listed the mistakes on your credit report. You can do this by filing a claim online, by phone, or by sending them a letter. Inform them you have filed for bankruptcy and disclose the case numbers. It's also important to reveal which accounts were discharged.
If you dispute the credit reporting errors to the reporting agencies, they will conduct the investigations and notify you within 45 days. The credit reporting agency will send you the results in writing. Here, you can check whether the dispute culminated in an update or change.
You have the right to submit another dispute with additional information to support the dispute. You can also request the reporting agencies to include the dispute statement in the subsequent credit reports.
Reach Out to the Data Furnisher
It's also advisable to reach out to the data furnisher while disputing the credit report errors. A data furnisher can be the credit card issuer or a lender that has provided data to the credit reporting agencies. Once you reach out to them, you should wait for a month as they conduct an investigation.
If there are errors in your credit report, the data furnisher will inform the credit bureaus to make the corrections. However, if the information is accurate, your credit report will remain as is.