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Why you DON'T use on-line disputes for tradelines


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I keep repeating myself a lot on this so I'm making this sticky to explain why you should NEVER use the on-line dispute system for tradelines. You can use it for correcting addresses and personal information but that's about it.

Besides the obvious problem that you have NO PROOF of your dispute that you can take to court as prima facie evidence to establish your case, there are other issues that come up.

When the FCRA was amended by the FACT Act, they put in a section for "Expidited Dispute Resolution" (Section 611a(8)) aka the on-line dispute system. If you read that part you will notice this sentance:

"the agency shall not be required to comply with paragraphs (2), (6), and (7) with respect to that dispute" if they delete the tradeline within 3 days.

Paragraph 2 is the part that requires the CRA to forward your dispute and all related documentation you provide to the furnisher. Paragraph 6 is the part that requires the CRA to provide you with written results of the investigation. Paragraph 7 is the part that requires the CRA to provide you with the method of verification on request from the consumer.

Now where this is a problem is that the law isn't specific enough to say permanently delete or supress. The CRA can "soft delete" it for 30 days and then the tradeline can reappear when the furnisher reports it again in the next 30 day cycle (Because the CRA isn't required to tell the furnisher you disputed it at all). So this leaves a mechanism in place where the consumer thinks they are getting a delete, but it is only temporary. Since the furnisher doesn't know it was deleted, they can re-report it and the CRA will happily put it right back on your report...and there is nothing in the law to stop it.* Further, you loose your rights to request MoV and loose the hard-copy of the investigation results you would otherwise get if you did the dispute by mail; Leaving all evidence of the dispute tightly locked in the CRA's hands...where you are essentially assured that they will fight any and all attempts to subpeona it in a court action.

*The 5 day notice letter for reinsertion is only if the CRA puts the item back on your report as a result of an investigation taking longer than 45 days to complete. The CRA does not have to give you a 5 day notice of reinsert if they complete their "expedited investigation," delete the tradeline, and the furnisher re-reports it later.

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