- Free Consultation: (213) 348-1988 Tap to Call
Identity Theft Credit Damage or Inaccuracies Recovery: Who’s affe
Has your credit report been damaged by identity theft within the last two years? Have you found accounts that are inaccurate or you don’t recognize, that creditors or credit reporting agencies failed to remove?
A consumer’s credit report is of vital importance during major purchases, such as a home or car, as well as for obtaining insurance, employment, or rental housing.
Fraudsters can open accounts while pretending to be other consumers or apply for credit offers using another person’s personal information. The resulting inaccurate information on a credit report can affect the ability of a consumer to buy a home or get a job.
When fraudsters don’t pay the bills on the unauthorized accounts they open, this information is reported to credit reporting agencies like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. The consumers whose information was used suffer credit injuries because of these late payments or accounts being sent to collections. In some instances, credit reporting agencies may refuse to remove inaccurate information from a consumer’s credit report, even if it is the result of fraud.
What Free Resources are Available to You?
You have substantial rights to quickly require the removal of inaccurate credit reporting accounts that do not belong to you and for attorney assistance at no cost to you.
If you suffered credit damage as a result of a creditor or credit bureau’s refusal to remove inaccurate or fraudulent information, you may qualify you for monetary damages.
Consumers who have been victims of identity theft may have suffered damage to their credit. A low credit score can affect a consumer’s eligibility to buy a home or other purchases. A low credit score can cause an individual to receive high interest rates on mortgages or other lending, costing them hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest rates.
Credit reporting agencies, such as Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, are obligated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to investigate information you dispute as inaccurate and, if they can’t verify that information, delete it. The creditors that report accounts tied to identity theft also have responsibilities to investigate when you dispute those accounts to the credit bureaus. However, this does not always happen. You may find that it is challenging to have certain fraudulent information removed from your records by Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.
If fraudulent activity is not caught and stopped, a consumer can face serious financial injury. In addition to the identity theft they have already suffered, customers can take a serious hit to their credit score after an incident of identity theft.
Do You Qualify?
If your credit was damaged by fraud or identity theft within the last two years, you may qualify for a free claim review.
How to tell if your credit report has been damaged by fraud caused by identity theft:
- Inaccurate or false information appears on your credit report
- You receive credit card applications in another person’s name
- Statements, bills, or even debt collection letters for unknown accounts arrive
- You apply for credit or a loan and receive an unexpectedly low score
If your credit report has been damaged due to identity theft or fraud, you may qualify to join this identity theft credit damage recovery lawsuit investigation.
What is a Credit Report?
Credit reports, which also contain credit scores, are used by companies to ensure a consumer is qualified to receive credit to make a purchase, such as a home or vehicle. Companies also use credit reports for employment purposes and during rental application processes.
Three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion collect information to create each consumer’s credit report. Credit reports are composed of information from creditors like banks and mortgage companies. The credit reporting agencies do not check any of it before it winds up on a credit report. This means that inaccuracies can be translated onto an individual’s credit report.
Though this information is not verified before it is put into a credit report, it has a large effect on a consumer’s financial life. Lenders and other businesses pull credit reports from these agencies to determine a consumer’s eligibility for credit, their suitability as an employer, their financial stability as a tenant, and more.
How can a Credit Report be Harmed by Identity Theft?
A consumer’s credit report is of vital importance and the effect of identity theft can be devastating.
The rate of identity theft and fraud is on the increase, skyrocketing to more than 5 million reported cases in 2020 alone, according to the Federal Trade Commission. 2022 may be a record year for these complaints, with the majority of complaints citing credit score concerns. Fraudsters obtain other consumers’ personal information and use it to open accounts under an assumed identity. The fraudsters then do not pay the bills for the accounts they open, destroying that person’s credit.
How to Identify and Stop Fraud Affecting Your Credit Score?
Each of the three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – will provide one free credit report each year. In addition, consumers who are denied credit or who receive an adverse action letter based on something in their credit report are also entitled to a free credit report.
Experts recommend obtaining and reviewing these reports as often as possible for strange or fraudulent activity. It is especially important to check your credit before making major purchases, like a car or home. This enables you to avoid any surprises when a creditor obtains your credit report.
Stay on the lookout for the following signs that identity theft or fraud may be affecting your credit score:
- Unknown names, addresses, or one or more accounts show up unexpectedly on your credit report
- Mail sent to you but listing someone else’s name, including credit card offers or even debt collection letters
- Credit pulls by businesses you have not contacted or patronized
- Information, statements, or bills for accounts you did not open arrive
Consumers who notice a fraudulent account or other inaccurate information on their credit reports should dispute it to the credit reporting agencies. Dispute letters should include complete information about the disputed record, why it is wrong and any supporting documentation. Qualified attorneys can assist with that process.
Under the FCRA, each credit reporting agency is required to investigate information consumers dispute. In addition, consumers can freeze their credit reports to stop further damage.
Identity theft victims may run into issues proving that the account or other discrepancy is fraudulent and should consider speaking to an attorney to help assist with the process. But remember, if the account is truly fraudulent, no creditor or debt collector can make you pay the account balance.
Have There Been Settlements for Inaccurate Credit Reporting?
Companies have paid millions to resolve claims that their inaccurate credit reporting caused damage to consumers. In August 2022, Experian agreed to pay $22.45 million to resolve claims that it inaccurately flagged certain credit reports as high risk or non-residential based on outdated home addresses. Transunion agreed to a similar $9 million class action settlement to resolve allegations that it wrongfully labeled consumers as terrorists by including inaccurate Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list information on credit reports.
Join an Identity Theft Credit Damage Lawsuit Investigation
Disputing a fraudulent account or other issue caused by identity theft to the credit reporting agencies may not be enough to stop problems caused by an inaccurate credit report.
Consumers who have unsuccessfully tried to report identity theft or fraud that took place within the last two years to the credit reporting agencies, lenders, or other businesses may be able to take legal action.
If your credit report has been damaged by fraud or identity theft within the last two years, you may qualify to participate in an identity theft credit damage lawsuit investigation.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.
Your information will be shared with attorneys working with Top Class Actions.