"Removing" Inquiries

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OK this keeps coming up so now I'm putting it in as a sticky:


Now here's the breakdown of that and why:

Section 609a(3)(A)(i-ii) of the FCRA requires that the bureau identify to the consumer upon request any "person" that obtained a copy of the consumer's credit report during the 24 months preceding the request. There is no safe-harbor to this provision.

Even if the credit report was pulled by mistake and everyone agrees it was a mistake, that does not negate the fact that a report was provided by the CRA and the law requires the CRA to keep track of it.

If a CRA were to delete an inquiry before the 24 month expiration, they would not be able to comply with this statutory requirement. Therefore it is illegal for a CRA to remove an inquiry.

A CRA may flag an inquiry so that it appears only on disclosures made to the consumer. That way it is never seen by a subscriber pulling a report and does not affect your FICO score...but it must be shown on any report issued by the CRA to the consumer.

This letter from FTC Attorney Christopher Keller explains what I outlined here in question #5:

Although some people manage to get an inquiry deleted, it must be stressed that the CRA is breaking the law in doing so and leaving themselves open to be sued for failing to follow their required duties to keep track of every single report they issue.

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To set the record straight. A CRA may keep any piece of derrogatory information including inquiries for up to 7 years. That is the limit the law allows for them to keep anything that negatively affects you.

The FCRA further says they must be able to tell a consumer about any inquiries for employment for 2 years and any other reason for 1 year. This sets a minimum time that the CRA has to keep this kind of record. If they were to remove an inquiry sooner, they would not be able to meet this statutory obligation. They can keep it longer if they want to, up to the 7 year limit.

The bureaus try to keep things simple which is why bad tradelines drop off after 7 years instead of the 7.5 year max the law allows. It helps keep their computer programs easy to manage. The same thing goes for inquiries. The automated part of the software just looks at 24 months for all inquiries to keep it simple. Can they remove a credit inquiry after 12 months? Yes. Do they have to? No. Can they remove any inquiry at all that is less than 12 months old? Definately not (unless they break the law).

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