Let me guess.
You pulled your Equifax credit report and saw another person's account. Maybe it's someone else's and Equifax screwed up (read high settlement value) or maybe someone stole your identity. That stinks.
The problem is that it gets much worse from here.
If someone did steal your identity and knows how to open accounts, they will continue to do so until you have no more good credit. Years later when your credit starts to come back, so they will. They will hit you again with new accounts that you didn't open. Higher interest rates, lack of job opportunities, and denied credit will be in your future.
But, it gets worse. Let's say they also get a driver's license in your name. Now, they are hit someone or do something and give out your id. Guess who gets the police at their door? You.
Guess who gets hauled off to court in another state? You.
Guess who can spend time in jail trying to fix this? You.
If you find accounts that aren't yours on your credit report, you need to call a consumer protection credit attorney who knows what's going on. This article might be educational, but it is no substitute for legal advice.
This could be a mixed file where the blame is solely on Equifax.
This could be an identity theft case where the blame is one the person who did it, the creditor who failed to investigate your claim, and the credit agencies who don't listen and investigate.
In an identity theft case, you would generally see the bad account on all of your credit reports.
In a mixed file case, since it is a credit bureau, in this example Equifax, making the mistake, it can usually be found on just one but not in all occasions. If it is a mixed file situation, you should consider seeking legal advice immediately about filing a lawsuit against Equifax for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
If it is an identity theft case, you should consider disputing the accounts by letter and including a police report or an identity theft affidavit. For example, here is a template for an Equifax dispute with instructions. If this fails to remove the accounts, you should strongly consider taking legal action. We can assist you on a contingency basis with no money down in suing Equifax for not removing identity theft accounts.
Basics of the Fair Credit Reporting Act:
The credit reporting agencies are required to keep accurate credit files. 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)
When a consumer disputes information with a credit reporting agency, the agency must “conduct a reasonable reinvestigation to determine whether the disputed information is inaccurate.” 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)(1)(A).
The FCRA requires CRAs and entities that furnish information to CRAs (“furnishers” or “furnishers of information”) to investigate disputed information.
The furnisher of information must: (1) “conduct an investigation with respect to the disputed information”; (2) “review all relevant information provided by the consumer reporting agency” in connection with the dispute; and (3) “report the results of the investigation to the credit reporting agency.” Id. § 1681s-2(b)(1)(A)–(C).
- More information on having the wrong social security numbers and accounts on your credit report.
- More information on suing Equifax for not removing identity theft accounts after telling them.
Having an issue on your credit report can really disrupt your life. Not being able to get the credit you deserve or the job that you want, is a nightmare.
Fighting credit bureaus and businesses that furnish information to the credit reporting agencies it's not an easy thing for consumers.
Many times their disputes are completely ignored and most of the time their disputes are not fully investigated. If you feel like you have properly notified these companies of an error or inaccuracy on your credit report but they didn't fix it, please contact my office today for a free 30-minute consultation.
We may find that you are entitled to compensation. We can help you come up with a game plan moving forward. To reach out there is a contact form in this page or you can contact me directly at 770-775-0938. Thank you.
Joseph McClelland is a husband and trial lawyer. Graduate of Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. He currently practices Fair Credit Reporting Act, Telephone Consumer Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act litigation. Recent $237,000 consumer victory. Earned the designation of Advocate by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
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