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Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are not allowed to knowingly report false information on your credit report—and this includes misreporting when your account became delinquent and whether or not you dispute the debt. There is a catch, however. If a debt collector has already reported an item on your credit report before contacting you, the collector usually is not required to update your information unless you file a formal credit dispute with the major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). If your legal issue has to do with your credit report, you will need to obtain a real copy of your credit report. CreditKarma, while useful, is not a real copy of your credit report and does not hold up in court. The “real” credit reports are typically those provided by: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. And you may obtain them all for free once per year (or more) by visiting this government-sponsored website. Just fill out the forms, request all three types of reports (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), and then email them to us. Filing a Formal Credit Dispute. You may dispute items reported on your reports by visiting the following websites and filling out the required forms:
If this does not work, however, and the credit bureaus do not fix your account, you should reach out to an attorney to consider your options. You may have remedies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) and other statutes. An attorney can advise you on your next steps to drafting an even more thorough dispute letter, which should be sent at this point through certified mail. If nothing happens after that, you may want to consider an FCRA lawsuit. Our firm handles FCRA lawsuits on a “we don’t win unless you win” basis, so even if you think you can’t afford a lawyer, it may be possible for you to obtain legal help at no upfront cost.