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What to do after the Credit Bureaus Verify your dispute as accurate. MOV


Hal Jordan
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You file a dispute online, telephone or through the mail. An employee at the credit bureau assigns a two digit code to your dispute. (Everything you wrote in your fancy letter never makes it to the OC.. it just gets broken down to a 2 digit code). That two digit code is then sent to the Creditor/Collection agency electronically.. Example.. John Smith XXX-XX-1234 disputes account number 123456 by your agency for 87 (87 = never late, 23 = not mine, 12 = inaccurate balance...etc)

The OC/CA is then supposed to verify that the information is either accurate or not accurate and responds with a "verified as accurate", "not accurate please delete" or "inaccurate dates/amounts here is corrected information" along with the employee's name and contact information.

There's a little more to it but that's pretty much it in a nut shell.

If the Credit Bureau does not receive a response within 30 days (for paid credit report, 45 days for a free credit report). They are supposed to delete the disputed tradeline entirely from your report. If they do receive a response and if it comes back as accurate they send you a verified letter/email saying as much. If it comes back "updated" they send you a free copy of an updated credit report showing the changes. If it comes back as inaccurate they send you a "deleted" notice and provide you with a free updated copy of your credit report showing this.

The FDCPA does not require more than this for the bureaus to validate a debt.

Now.. here is your recourse when a CRA won't do it's job by investigating and correcting or deleting inaccurate info, MOV (Method of Verification) is the next step available to you.

With MOV, you might have to actually sue the CRA, or at least threaten it. They don't seem to freely comply with this area of the law. FCRA § 611(a)(6) and (7). 15 USC 1681i

US Code

With a copy of the investigation results in hand (either mailed copy of the investigation report or printed copy of your online investigation report), call the CRA. Give them the reference number and ask them for the method of verification under FCRA Section 611(a). They might play dumb. I once had a lady from Transunion tell me they don't have to do anything more once the OC/CA verifies the item as legit.

Paper copies of EX and EQ contain a statement of your rights for MOV (in most states that is. Some have exceptions) This statement is from Experian "The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act states that you may request a description of how we verified the information, including the business name and address contacted and the telephone number if reasonably available"

Like I said eariler.. Typically the request for validation is broken down to a 2 digit code. There is a good chance the verifying CA/OC never included any information like name or telephone number to them when they verified. Sometimes, items like judgements or bankruptcies they use some 3rd party agency to verify the information. They may or may not admit this to you. Ask for the name, address and phone number of anyone contacted.

After requesting this from the Bureaus, Call the OC/CA and ask them about their records. If the person you speak with at the OC cannot doesn't have any records to support the inaccurate reporting, get their name and direct line. You might have to ask for a supervisor and get their name. May collection agencies have employees who are "ghosts" known only by a first name or a fake name. If they claim to have records, demand a copy of them under FACTA.

If you are sent records, review them and see whether they support the CRA's reporting. If they don't support the inaccurate reporting, call the CRA and tell them the OC has no records to support their reporting. Tell the CRA you want a new dispute. The new info for the dispute is the name and number of the person at the OC with whom you spoke.

If they refuse to open a dispute, tell them you will sue for willful non-compliance under FCRA § 616. Get their name and employee number or speak with a supervisor. If they still refuse, send the information via CMRRR along with an ITS letter.

If they open a dispute over the phone, get the new confirmation number. Make sure and write down the confirmation number, the time & date of your call, and the name of the rep at the CRA with whom you spoke. They might also be a "ghost" and you might have to ask for a supervisor to get a name.

Once the investigation is complete, if the inaccurate info remains, then send an ITS letter to the CRA. (Each CRA has their own legal department you will have to mail the ITS letter to) Give 'em 10 days, then either file suit yourself in small claims or contact a consumer lawyer and see about filing in federal court. naca.net or myfaircredit.com are two good sources of consumer lawyers for debt and credit issues.

Typically once they receive their summons in the mail they become very compliant and will delete the inaccurate information. If not. they can pay you for the FDCPA violation and they can get a court order from the judge to be ordered to remove the inaccurate information. Very rarely does it go that far.

Most of the time people do not know their rights or they simply fail to act on them out of apathy, indifference or fear they are getting in over their heads. The process sounds much more daunting than it really is. Always stand up for yourself..

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