Maria N.* from San Francisco was Super-Bummed Out.
She KNEW that the item on her credit report didn't belong to her - but nobody would listen!
Maria had found out who the creditor was and called them, but nothing happened - except they tried to get her to pay for someone else's debt. She wrote them a letter telling them that she didn't owe the debt and to please remove the mark from her credit. Still nothing.
Then Maria went to the credit bureaus. She got copies of her credit reports and then sent dispute letters to each of the "Big Three," Experian, Transunion, and Equifax.
Still nothing happened. They told her, in effect, "too bad - it's staying on there." Maria was getting depressed, there was no way she was going to be able to get a decent price on a mortgage or car loan. Her credit was othewise pretty good!
When Maria came to me, she thought the situation was hopeless. But it wasn't. See, creditors can't try to collect someone else's debt from you, they can't report credit information that they should reasonably know is false, and they have to conduct a meaningful investigation into the situation when you send a dispute.
Guess what else? The Credit Bureaus have to do the same thing! When you dispute an item to any of the "Big Three," they've got to get down in there and check out whether it's really accurate - or not. And, if it's not - they've got to remove it!
So, one Federal Lawsuit (again, I don't get paid unless you get paid), FOUR Defendants, and a few months later, Maria's case was resolved to her satisfaction by way of a CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT that prevents us using Maria's real name in this story, telling you what happened to the "debt" and all of the credit reporting errors and from letting you know about the amount of the Settlement Payment. I can tell you that her Credit Score went UP!
I think that the moral to this story is that if you've got something inaccurate that's damaging your credit report - call now.
* Real names have been changed to protect confidentiality. This testimonial, dramatization, or endorsement does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. The results portrayed were dependent on the facts of that case, and your results will differ if based on different facts.