How to Dispute Equifax Like a Lawyer
Today, we are going to cover how to find and dispute errors on your Equifax credit report the right way.
If it's not corrected, you can force them to correct the problem, pay damages, and your attorney's fees under the law
Step 1: Find Errors on Your Equifax Credit Report
You are going to need to pull your credit reports.
#1 Place to Get Your Report (First Place):
Directly from Equifax by mail.
The mailing address is:
Equifax Information Services LLC,
1550 Peachtree Street Northeast,
Atlanta, GA 30309.
#2 Place to Get Your Report:
The best place is annualcreditreport.com, and it's a free service.
#3 Place to Get Your Report:
All other places may force you into arbitration or not give you your ACTUAL report. These may include some of the free services like creditkarma.com AND directly from the Equifax website. DO NOT GET YOUR REPORT FROM THIS SOURCE UNLESS YOU WANT TO LIMIT YOUR RIGHTS.
Here is an article about pulling your credit report if you want to learn more.
1. Wrong Payment History
That's when the credit reporting agency is saying you've missed some payments. But, you didn't. It happens a lot, and it will lower your Equifax score. As credit attorneys, we see daily.
For example: Let's say you have a mortgage with Chase. You see your credit report says you have missed 3 payments. But, you know you made the payments. You should consider disputing this if it's wrong.
2. Accounts that you've already paid off, but they are still reporting a balance
This happens a lot. You've paid off an account but, the credit reporting agency is still showing a balance that you. You have proof you paid it.
Example: You buy a TV on store card that reports to Equifax. You finally paid it off. Yet, they are reporting you still owe money. You need to dispute your Equifax credit report to get this corrected.
3. 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. You will want to mail a basic letter to Equifax.
For example: Let's say you have a Credit One credit card reporting to Equifax. And you stopped paying on it in January 2010. This information should come off of your Equifax credit report in 2017.
4. Accounts that are not yours and identity theft.
Accounts that are not yours and identity theft. They're both accounts that are not yours. For more information on hiring an identity theft attorney in Atlanta.
For example: You go to buy a house with your wife. But, the mortgage lender denies you based on a credit report from Equifax. What you didn't know is that someone opened and accusation under your name. You need to challenge your Equifax credit reporting to get this corrected.
5. Accounts that are another persons or Mixed Credit Files
What if your credit report has another person's information on it? We call this a "mixed credit file" or "merged credit file". These types of cases need the help of a consumer attorney. These cases also have high settlement value.
You see a family member's or a stranger's accounts on your report. You see your brother's or sister's accounts on your report.
6. Marked You as Deceased on Your Credit Report
What if your credit report says you are dead? Seriously. We can help. If you want more info on this, check out this article called Your Credit Report Says Your Deceased?
Your report says you no longer live on Earth.
CREDIT DISPUTE LETTER TO EQUIFAX
Equifax Information Services LLC.
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
[YOUR FULL NAME]
[YOUR FULL ADDRESS]
[DATE OF BIRTH]
[LAST 4 OF SOCIAL]
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 (or identity theft affidavit) 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.
Police Report (or Identity Theft Affidavit)
Copy of driver’s license
If the error is not corrected, then you may have a claim for damages against Equifax and anyone else false credit reporting on you.
How do I contact Equifax by phone?
You could call 888-548-7878. This number is from Equifax's website. We never recommend calling Equifax.
There will be very little record of what happened. You will always want a proper paper trail for any communications with Equifax. You want proof or it's almost like it never happened.
Is Equifax legit?
This is a question I see asked all the time. Is Equifax a legitimate company or is it a scam? Equifax is very much a legitimate company. They may make mistakes, for sure. But, they do pay for those mistakes in litigation and settlements. Equifax is a real business and not part of the government.
How do I dispute a hard inquiry on my Equifax credit report?
If you find a hard inquiry on your credit report that's not yours, you must take action. You may want to dispute to Equifax by mail with a simple letter. Tell Equifax and point out exactly which account or inquiry you is fraudulent.
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. If you don't dispute this hard inquiry to Equifax by certified mail, you will need to dispute many times before they respond.
How do I dispute my credit with all three bureaus?
You can send the same dispute package to each of the three credit reporting agencies. Make sure to include the name of each in the letter that you are sending. If the error remains on your credit report, you may have a claim for damages.
Unless you have a lawyer helping, you will want to have a knowledge of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You may also want to understand the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
How long does Equifax take to dispute?
The law requires Equifax to complete this investigation within 30 days. In practice, you will get a response within two weeks from your dispute with Equifax.