What To Do if a Credit Bureau Refuses to Investigate
Written by: Kristy Welsh
Last Updated: April 3, 2017
You have pulled your credit report and now you are disputing some of the negative items on your report. You have sent all three credit bureaus a letter advising of the inaccuracies and you are starting to get responses back from them.
What may happen when disputing inquiries is the credit bureau may tell you they cannot investigate your claim. That is pure nonsense. Unfortunately, this also happens when they designate a dispute as "frivolous."
You may get a letter like the following:
Re: Your TransUnion Credit Report
We recently received a dispute regarding your credit report from a third party that we believe operates as a credit repair organization. According to the Federal Trade Commission, credit reporting agencies are not required to process disputes submitted by third parties. In addition, our experience shows that many credit repair organizations dispute accurate information or submit irrelevant disputes. We have reasonably determined that the dispute submitted on your behalf is frivolous or irrelevant. For these reasons, we will not take action on the dispute.
Under federal law, if you believe any item on your credit report is inaccurate or incomplete, and you notify us directly, we will reinvestigate the information at no cost to you. If this is the case, please submit your dispute directly to us and identify the item(s) you believe is inaccurate and describe specifically why you believe it is inaccurate. Please complete the enclosed Request for Investigation form and return it to us at the address below. Upon receiving your request, we will reinvestigate the item(s) and respond to you in writing within 30 days.
Please note that we do not accept disputes from third parties unless accompanied by a notarized power of attorney that authorizes a licensed attorney or a family member to represent you, or if the power of attorney is unlimited and irrevocable.
If you believe the credit repair organization misrepresented its services to you, and would like to be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies to file a complaint, let us know and we will provide a referral.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact TransUnion at the address shown below. When contacting our office, please provide your current file number *********.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact TransUnion at the address shown below, or visit us on the web at www.transunion.com for general information. When contacting our office, please provide your current file number *********.
What You Can Do
1: Do not respond to the form letter as it grants them an extension, which is what they want.
2: 30 days from date of receipt call their office and ask about the status of your dispute. They will probably tell you they did not investigate it because they sent a request for more information. Hang up on the operator without another word.
3: Wait 5 days after the 30 days is expired, just in case they did investigate. If they don't send you an updated credit report, advance to the next step.
4: Make copies of your certified mail receipt, a copy of the dispute letter you sent to TransUnion, and a copy of their "3rd party agency" letter. Draft a variation of your original letter.
5: Mail the copies and this new letter to them certified mail, give them 16 days from the date they receive it, and pull a copy of your credit report.
6: If the trade lines aren't deleted, go file a suit against them for FCRA violations, and any state laws you can come up with. Maybe include a little request for punitive damages for stress, embarrassment, degraded social standing and credit obtaining ability, etc.
7: Wait for them to call and settle up with you. Grab a little little money and get your trade lines deleted.
That's all you need to do. It's a very simple procedure, really.
They should be telling you what specifically you need to provide in order to cause them to reinvestigate. If they stated certain pieces of information that you can submit that would convince them that the dispute is coming from you, then it would swing in their favor.
If you sue the credit bureau for this, you can move it to federal court, which could be expensive. However, in general, most bureaus have a "cost of doing business" lawsuit fund for situations like this. They will usually settle out of court.