The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently reported to Congress on its efforts to inform consumers about the right to dispute and correct errors in credit reports. As regular readers of our Minnesota Consumer Rights Blog know, erroneous credit report information can have negative effects on your ability to secure a mortgage, car loan, new line of credit or better lending terms and interest rates.
Credit report errors can also impact eligibility for insurance, employment and other essential parts of life.
In addition to its education efforts, the FTC touted its enforcement actions as well, including its case against the Credit Protection Association, a debt collection agency.
The company recently settled the case by paying $72,000 in penalties and agreed to adopt new procedures to handle consumer disputes regarding information the company supplied to credit reporting agencies.
The FTC’s complaint alleged that the company failed to follow FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) requirements by not informing consumers how investigations of disputed information turned out.
The company also failed to inform consumers whether disputes had been corrected or not.
“When consumers dispute potentially incorrect information in their credit reports, companies must not only investigate those disputes, but also let consumers know whether the information has been corrected,” said the FTC’s director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. If consumers aren’t informed about the outcomes of dispute investigations, they don’t know if there are additional steps they need to take.
One of the steps people can take to fix credit report errors: contacting a consumer protection attorney experienced in making companies follow the law.