Fast Answers to Your Most Pressing Debt Collection and Credit Reporting Questions
Can a collection company call multiple times per day? Can a creditor really increase your interest rate if you cannot pay your bills? If you have a question about debt collection, credit reporting, or any other issues related to consumer law, our FAQ section might provide the answer you need right now. If it doesn't, contact us using the contact form or the toll-free number and we'll answer it for you within 24 hours!
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My Dispute With The Credit Bureau Went Nowhere. Now What?
It isn't over yet!
Did you include your side of the story, send it to each Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) who is reporting the disputed tradeline, and not receive any correspondence in return within 30 - 45 days? If so, you may have a case for failure to adequately investigate your dispute.
If you did get a letter back from the CRA, does it make any sense? Is it reasonable that they could have come to the decision that they did? If not, you may also have a case for failure to adequately investigate your dispute!
You're frustrated - but these are common. Millions of bits of data get exchanged through the e-Oscar system every day, and whenever there are humans involved, there are bound to be mistakes. Request a Free Case Evaluation and get the resolution and peace-of-mind that you're entitled to!
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me or call me directly at 415.802.0137.
What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that dictates how your personal and financial information may be used by other people and agencies. The main goals are to protect the privacy of your credit information, ensure the accuracy of your credit report, and to provide a basis for suing Consumer Reporting Agencies when your rights as a consumer have been violated.
FCRA Protects Consumers From Unlawful Use Of Information
Your creditors are responsible for supplying financial information about your lines of credit and payment history to credit reporting agencies. As this information can greatly impact your ability to be approved for future loans, employment, and other opportunities, creditors are required to ensure the accuracy of the information they pass on. If they supply inaccurate information to a credit bureau, the are responsible for correcting the mistake. They must also notify you if they have sent any credit information to a reporting agency that could have a negative impact on you.
Any Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) or credit bureau must give you access to your own credit report, correct any inaccurate information within 30 (or 45) days of receiving a dispute regarding the error, and release your information only to those who have a legitimate purpose. If a CRA continues to report misinformation about you, you may be entitled to correction of your report and payment of damages and attorneys' fees.
If a lender, creditor, or any other person has accessed your credit report and denied your request for credit, he or she is required to notify you of the information that was used in the decision, as well as provide the name, address, and phone number of the agency that gave him or her the information.
How To Take Action For Violations Of The Fair Credit Reporting Act
If you think that someone misused your credit information, or you even think you might have inaccuracies on your credit report, you should investigate and personally and properly dispute each and every item with both the credit bureaus AND the creditors who furnished the information.
Don't do it online because you won't have the evidence necessary if it turns out that you need to file a lawsuit later on!
To see the bare basics of how disputing works, check out the Federal Trade Commission website,
Also, you might be interested in: 12 Common Credit Report Errors That May Cost You Real Money
Is there a legal way to stop debt collectors from calling (besides paying the bill)?
Yes. If you send a notice in writing that you either refuse to pay the debt or that you don't want them to contact you. But, cutting off communications with them also cuts off your opportunity to build a case against your collector for illegal collection tactics and makes it more likely that your debt will be sent to a collection attorney where the stakes may be higher!
Many creditors—including credit card companies, banks, and other lenders—outsource their collection duties to third-party companies. Since these collection agencies are paid based on their ability to get results, they employ a variety of practices to get you to pay—some legal, some not.
Fortunately, your Congressional representatives passed a law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) that protects consumers from harassment or bullying from debt collectors. The law outlines the ways collectors are allowed to contact and treat consumers, no matter how much money they owe. Under the FDCPA, collectors are restricted to the following behaviors:
- You may only be called by a debt collection agent between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
- At the beginning of the call, a debt collector must identify himself as a collector and explain the reason he has contacted you.
- A debt collector may not contact you at work if you have requested in writing that he not do so.
- He may not reveal your debt to anybody or any member of your family (other than your spouse) unless you give them permission to do so.
- He may not misrepresent who he is (for example, claiming that he is an old friend to get your contact information from your family).
- He may not misrepresent the purpose of the call (such as leaving a message stating that you have won a contest and should call them back to claim a prize).
- Debt collectors are prohibited from using profanity, slurs, or offensive language when speaking with you.
- They may not threaten you or your family in an attempt to get you to pay.
- They cannot threaten to sue you if they have no ability or intent to do so (like a collection agency who has no lawyers)
Hiring an Attorney Will Stop Debt Collectors From Calling
If a debt collector is using unfair or illegal practices in an attempt to get you to pay, we can deal with them on your behalf—and perhaps even get you paid!