Posted by William Charles on May 30, 2014
Consumer Credit Law

Published on May 30th, 2014 | by William Charles

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Consumer Reporting Agencies Make Changes To Their Dispute Systems

With the help of the CFPB consumer reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian & TransUnion) have made some small changes in the way they handle disputes. When a consumer finds incorrect or inaccurate information on their credit report they must dispute it with these agencies to get it removed, in the past these consumer reporting agencies would assign each dispute with a code.

This code would then be forwarded to the data furnisher who supplied the information (e.g a bank or credit card issuer) who would then have to respond to the dispute with evidence that the item is valid. This system is now changing slightly, consumers that submit additional documentation (e.g showing that a bill was paid on time when it’s being reported as late) will now automatically have this information sent onto the data furnisher as well.

Let’s take a look at the new & old system side by side.

Old SystemNew System
  • Consumer disputes a bill that is marked as not paid on their credit report
  • Files a dispute with the consumer reporting agencies & includes evidence showing the bill has been paid
  • Dispute is coded as “incorrect information”
  • Consumer reporting agencies send this code to the company that reported the bill as not paid
  • Company says the bill is not paid due to their system not updating correctly
  • Dispute is not resolved satisfactorily
  •  Consumer disputes a bill that is marked as not paid 
  • Files a dispute with the consumer reporting agencies & includes evidence showing the bill has been paid
  • Dispute is coded as “incorrect information”
  • Consumer reporting agencies send this code & the evidence to the company that reported the bill as not paid
  • Company that reported the bill as not paid sees the evidences and notices an error with their internal systems, sends a note back to the consumer reporting agencies to let them know this information is incorrect
  • Incorrect information removed from the consumers report report. Satisfactory result.

This might not seem like a big change, but it does make things much easier for consumers. In the past they would’ve had to dispute the item with the consumer reporting agencies & the data furnisher that reported the incorrect information. This might not seem like a big issue, but it’s often difficult to find out information on who reported the negative item when debt has been sold to a third party debt collection agency.

This should make it much easier for consumers to deal directly with the consumer reporting agencies to fix errors on their credit report. Unfortunately it looks like this was done in response to the SECURE act in an effort to make it look like they can self regulate. This is a positive change but more still needs to be done to improve the accuracy of information found in consumer credit reports.


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