Equifax Dispute Before Filing a Credit Report Lawsuit

Until you dispute an error on your credit report to the Equifax and the other agencies, the law is not fully on your side. BUT... If your dispute fails, you may be entitled to force them to correct the problem, pay your attorney and you damages under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

DISPUTE EQUIFAX PIC

Here are the rules:

1

Find Error on Your Report

Find the error or inaccuracy. It must be wrong or misleading.

2

Dispute with Credit Agencies

Dispute with credit agencies such as Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. A template is included in this article below.

3

It's Fixed or You Sue

If they don't fix it, then you may be entitled to damages and can bring a lawsuit in many circumstances.

Find Error on Your Credit Report

You are going to need to pull your credit reports to see what is going on. Luckily for, it is not that hard to get these for free.  The best place to start is to go to annualcreditreport.com. It is a free service where you can review all 3 of your credit reports. Of course, there are some online services such as creditkarma.com and freecreditreport.com. The main thing is to review all 3 reports, and do not pay to get your reports.


Quick note on credit scores: Do not pay to get your credit score. The online services above will provide it for free.


When you have your reports available to look at, you are ready for the next step.

1.Dispute Equifax Wrong payment history

That's basically when they're saying that you've missed some payments, and you didn't miss the payments. It happens a lot, and it can crush your score. 


For example: Let's say you have a mortgage with Chase. You see your credit report and it says you have missed 3 payments. But, you know you made the payments... and have the receipts. This is a great example of when to dispute Equifax and the others and to be prepared to sue Equifax and any creditors who falsely report on you.

2.Dispute Equifax Accounts that you've already paid off, but they are still reporting a balance

This happens a lot, and this is obviously when you've paid off an account but for some reason, it's still showing a balance that you owe. Again, follow the instructions in this book but don’t include the police report but DO include any proof you may have. Remember to send it to everyone including Equifax and the creditor during the dispute.


Example: Imagine you once bought a nice TV on store card. For months and years you paid the balance until once day you finally paid it off. What a day! However, you start getting mail from a debt collector. you start getting calls and voicemails. They sold the file to a collector who doesn't know you paid it off. To make matters worse, they start credit reporting on you. You need to dispute your Equifax credit reporting to get this corrected. We have provided a template below to get you started.

3. Dispute Equifax Accounts that are older than seven-plus years

Seven years is correct if it's a normal account, and ten years if it's like a judgment or a court issue, like bankruptcy. That is improper. You will want to mail a basic dispute letter explaining the issue and send it to the credit bureaus including Equifax, Experian and Trans Union and the business/creditor.


For example: Let's say you have a Credit One credit card and you stopped paying in January 2000. This information should come off of your credit report in 2007. If it is still there after that, you may have  a claim for damages and force them to fix the errors. 

4. Dispute Equifax Accounts that are not yours and identity theft.

4.  Accounts that are not yours and identity theft. They're both accounts that are not yours. This is the topic of the book and is covered in other chapters. For more information on hiring an identity theft attorney in Atlanta.


For example: You go to buy your first house with your new wife, a small house on a quiet road. When your application comes back denied, you are confused. Everything was great, you thought. What you didn't know is that someone opened and accusation under your name and didn't pay the bill. Your credit is ruined. You need to dispute your Equifax credit reporting to get this corrected. We have provided a template below to get you started.

5. Dispute Equifax Accounts that are not yours and identity theft.

5. Accounts that are not yours and identity theft. They're both accounts that are not yours. This is the topic of the book and is covered in other chapters. For more information on hiring an identity theft attorney in Atlanta.


For example:

You need to dispute your Equifax credit reporting to get this corrected. We have provided a template below to get you started.


DISPUTE LETTER TO EQUIFAX

[DATE]


Equifax Information Services LLC.

P.O. Box 740256.

Atlanta, GA 30374



[YOUR FULL NAME]

[YOUR FULL ADDRESS]

[DATE OF BIRTH]

[LAST 4 OF SOCIAL]



Dear Equifax,

         

I looked at my report and this [NAME OF ACCOUNT] account with a balance of approximately $[BALANCE], and account number [ACCOUNT NUMBER] is not accurate. 


OPTION #1 [USE THIS FOR IDENTITY THEFT: I do not recognize this account and do not owe any money on it. Please take it off of my credit report immediately.  I included a police report and a copy of driver’s license. If for some reason, you do not get both of the these, contact me and I will resend.]


OPTION #2 [USE THIS FOR ALREADY PAID OFF ACCOUNTS:] I already paid off this account and do not owe any money on it. Please take it off of my credit report immediately.]


OPTION #3 [USE THIS FOR ACCOUNTS AFTER BANKRUPTCY WITH A BALANCE:] I filed for bankruptcy. This account should show a zero balance. Please correct this information immediately.]


OPTION #4 [USE THIS FOR MISSED PAYMENTS WHEN ACTUALLY MADE:] I made all of my payments on this account and was not late as they report. Please correct this information immediately.] [INCLUDE ANY CLEARED CHECKS OR INFORMATION YOU HAVE TO SHOW YOU ARE CORRECT FOR BEST RESULTS]


OPTION #5 [USE THIS FOR MISSED PAYMENTS WHEN ACTUALLY NOT ALLOWED TO BE MADE: I tried to make all of my payments on this account but they would not accept them. Please correct this information immediately.] [INCLUDE ANY CLEARED CHECKS OR INFORMATION YOU HAVE TO SHOW YOU ARE CORRECT FOR BEST RESULTS]


Please send all of this to the furnisher of this incorrect account. Have a nice day.

[NAME]



Enclosures:

Police Report

Copy of driver’s license

Bonus Tips on Equifax Disputes

See if you have a case.

Free template and what to do if they don't fix the error.

See if you have a case.

Free template and what to do if they don't fix the error.


Common Questions & Answers About Equifax Disputes

How do I contact Equifax by phone? 

Contact Equifax by phone you should call 888-548-7878 this number was obtained from Equifax's website. We never recommend calling Equifax directly. There will be very little record of what happened. You will always want a proper paper trail for any Communications with Equifax or it's almost like it never happened.


Is Equifax legit? 

This is a question I say asked all the time. Is Equifax a legitimate company or is it a scam? Equifax is very much a legitimate company. Although they may make mistakes, they do pay for those mistakes and litigation and settlement. Equifax is a real business.

How do I dispute a hard inquiry on my Equifax credit report? 

If you find a hard inquiry on your credit report that you did not authorize, you should write a simple letter to Equifax and point out exactly which account or inquiry you did not authorize.


It is always best to send this by letter. Further, it is best to send certified mail with return receipt. This way you have proof that you sent the letter to Equifax, and Equifax received your dispute.


How do I dispute my credit with all three bureaus? 

You can send the same letter and supporting documents teach the three credit reporting agencies. Just make sure to include the name of each in the letter that you are sending.


Even if you are sending multiple dispute letters, it is still best to send those letters certified mail with return receipt.


What happens if you dispute a collection?

That answer depends on whether the dispute is accurate or not. If you are disputing the collections account just because you wish it were not there, disputing a collection account will have no impact.


If however, the dispute is about an actual error on your credit report, then dispute should have an impact on your credit report.


If the error remains on your credit report, you may have a claim for damages under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the fair debt collection practices Act.

How long does Equifax take to dispute?

The law requires Equifax to complete this investigation within 30 days. And practice, you will normally get a response within two weeks because of the speed of most of the furnishers that provide the information to Equifax.


What happens, when you send your dispute to Equifax, Equifax will electronically notify the Creditor or collector of the dispute. The Collector will begin its investigation and respond back to Equifax, which will then contact you.


Although there are some humans involved, most of this is done electronically and done within a matter of days if you are dealing with a large company or collector.

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