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Credit report errors? Good luck getting them fixed, study says

Published: Friday, Dec. 14 2012 11:57 a.m. MST

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., waits to speaks at a news conference on credit card fees on Capitol Hill in Washington in 2009.

Susan Walsh, AP

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Fixing credit report mistakes may be a waste of time if you are dealing with Equifax, TransUnion LLC and Experian PLC, according to an article by Market Watch.

Credit-reporting firms are required to send credit-card companies, banks and collecting agencies notices that have all relevant information that the consumer gives. This information, like a consumer showing evidence a debt has been paid off, can be used to take off mistakes or improve credit report.

But these three companies "generally do not forward documentation that consumers submit with mailed disputes or provide a mechanism for consumers to forward supporting documents when filing disputes online or via phone," the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported in a study.

"Whatever evidence you’re handing over to make your case is probably getting ignored," said writer Mary Beth Quirk in an article on The Consumerist. "So even if you’ve got proof that a debt has been paid, the credit bureau might not tell your credit card company or the debt collectors calling you every two hours."

Representatives from the three companies wouldn't comment or couldn't be reached, but Norm Magnuson, a spokesman for the Consumer Data Industry Association, said the systems are adequate for handling the huge volume of complaints efficiently.

“The lenders are getting all the information they need to resolve the dispute in a timely manner,” Magnuson told Market Watch.

Last year, 8 million consumers sent in disputes on accuracy of one or more items on their credit files. The inaccuracies can enter in through consumers providing inaccurate data when applying for a loan, creditors putting data in inaccurately, lack of identifying information on government records, or when identity fraud or theft has happened.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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