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Once discharge is entered and you are on your way to starting your financial fresh start, you need to regularly check your credit report. In a recent report, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) found that one in four people who participated in the survey spotted errors on their credit reports that might adversely affect their credit scores. A credit report includes information about where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued or arrested or have filed for bankruptcy. Creditors, insurers, employers and others use that information when they consider your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or housing.

Since your credit report has so much information about you, it is important to make sure it is accurate and that you are not charged more for financial products such as insurance, credit cards and auto loans based on errors in your credit report. So how do you know if your credit report is error-free?  The good news for consumers is that you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies. You can go to AnnualCreditReport.com to obtain your free credit report. You can take advantage of the free annual credit report by making a request from one of the credit reporting agencies every four months. We suggest that you get in a habit of checking your credit report at least every four months.

What should you do if there is an error? We recommend that you immediately dispute all errors with each of the credit reporting agencies and also the creditor. If you have any questions about a particular tradeline (credit information), you should  contact Doan Law Firm. We are here to assist you. The credit reporting agencies are under a duty to investigate and either validate the tradeline or delete the same within (30) thirty days. If a credit reporting agencies does not do so within (30) days or if a creditor is erroneously reporting credit information to the credit reporting agencies, they may be subject to civil liability under the Fair Credit Reporting Act 15 U.S.C. section 1681s-2(b) and the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act, Civil Code section 1785.25(a).

If you believe that a credit reporting agency or creditor has wrongfully validated a debt that was disputed by you, please call Doan Law Firm. We have successfully litigated these cases and can help you. You may be entitled to actual damages, including emotional distress and loss of earnings, as well as punitive damages and attorney fees. Our next article will address the duty to investigate by the credit reporting agencies and damages provided for failure to do so.

For more information about Doan Law, click here.