Consumers coming across inaccurate or incorrect information in their credit reports can prefer disputes. Such disputes are preferred before the credit reporting bureaus. On receipt the bureaus will investigate the matter with the help of the information provider. Once the investigation is completed the consumer would be informed in writing about the results. But what if the dispute file does not resolve the problems?
Effects of Investigation
Once the investigation is complete, the consumer reporting company should give the results in writing to the consumer;
- A free copy of the report is provided when the dispute results in a change in the report;
- Items proved to be inaccurate shall not be put back on the report of the consumer all over again till the information provider verifies the information to be accurate and complete;
- Credit bureau will send written notice to the consumer giving the details of the information provider;
- Notices regarding correction in the report shall be provided to anyone who received such report within the last six months;
- Corrected copy of the report shall be sent to all who received the copy during past two years for the purpose of employment.
Procedure when Dispute Not Resolved by Investigation
Effects of the investigation that does not resolve the dispute filed are –
- Consumer can ask for a copy of statement of dispute and all reports;
- Such statement of dispute should be included in the file for all future reports;
- Consumer can ask the credit bureau to provide such statement of dispute to those who received his or her credit report in recent past. That however, would be a paid service.
- Dispute can be filed all over again.
Reporting of Accurate Negative Information
Accurate negative report can not be easily negated. Only passage of time can ensure removal of such negative reports. Usually the accurate negative information will remain on the credit report for seven years. Various time periods of reports continuing in the credit report are as follows: –
- 7 Years in case of accurate negative contents;
- 10 years in case of bankruptcy;
- Unpaid judgment against the debtor for seven years or period of statutory limitation, whichever Is longer;
- No time limit is prescribed for reporting on criminal convictions;
- No time limit for information on Jobs paying more than $75,000 a year;
- No time limit for those cases where the applicant has applied for $150,00 worth of credit or insurance;
- Date of seven or ten years period starts from the date of the event taking place.
Credit Repair Organization Act
It is mandatory on part of the credit repairing organizations that they offer the consumer a copy of the legal rights under the state and federal laws. Such rights should be informed prior to signing of the contract. In fact the contract should clearly spell out the rights and obligations of both the parties. Under the provisions of the Credit Repair Organization Act, a company cannot –
- Make any false claim about their so called high quality services;
- Ask for payments before completion of the promised services;
- Perform such services without written contract with the consumer;
- Force the consumer who cancels the contract without paying fees to continue with the contract.
Factors Relevant to Signing a Contract
Some of the factors that are extremely important in signing a contract are –
- Payment terms in respect of services rendered;
- Total cost of the services offered;
- Time span for archiving the results;
- Guarantees offered by the company;
- Name and business address of the company.
Legal Protection for Consumers
Most of the states and Federal government has put in place laws regulating the activities of the credit repair companies. Law enforcement agencies come to rescue of scam victims who have lost money in result.
When a consumer is in such trouble of being victimized by dishonest traders, law can very well come to his or her rescue.