Credit Reporting Agencies Agree to Overhaul Consumer Records

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 By Ron Sykstus

Attorney Ronald SykstusIn what should turn out to be very good news for consumers throughout the country, an agreement was announced by all three of the major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union) (CRAs) with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.  This agreement will change the way that the credit reporting agencies handle errors and list unpaid medical bills as part of the broadest industry overhaul in many years.  The story can be found here.

Among the changes that consumers will see are as follows:

  1. Consumers will find more educational material at annualcreditreport.com which is the government mandated website that allows consumers to obtain one free credit report each year from each of the three credit reporting agencies.
  2. Consumers who obtain their annual credit report from annualcreditreport.com and then dispute incorrect information which results in a modification of the disputed item will then be able to obtain another free annual credit report without waiting another year.
  3. Consumers who dispute items on the credit reports will also receive free additional information from the credit reporting agencies regarding the results of their particular dispute, including a description of what they can do if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their dispute

The agreement also provides several changes that will be made to improve data accuracy in credit reports including the following:

  1. Medical debts will not be reported until after a 180 day waiting period to allow insurance payments to be applied. The credit reporting agencies will also remove from credit reports previously reported medical collections that have been or are being paid by insurance.
  2. Consistent standards will be reinforced by the credit reporting agencies to entities that submit data for inclusion in a credit report (known as furnishers).
  3. Furnishers will be prohibited from reporting authorized users without a date of birth and the agencies will reject data that does not comply with this requirement. Credit reporting agencies will eliminate the reporting of debts it did not arise from a contractor agreement by the consumer to pay, such as tickets or fines.

Our lawyers have been handling credit report disputes under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for several years.  There is a very specific and defined way in which an individual must proceed if he or she has errors or mistakes on his or her credit report and wants the errors or mistakes corrected.  This series of blog posts explains everything a person needs to know about this area of law under the FCRA.

 

Credit Report Disputes and Errors under the FCRA

 

If you need our help with regard to your credit report errors or mistakes, please feel free to contact our office nearest to you.