What if my dispute is ignored or I disagree with the results of a credit report dispute?
Consumers sometimes file multiple disputes, and even bring lawsuits, to get inaccurate information corrected in their credit reports. When consumers make a dispute, they often fail to get an adequate answer, or any answer at all, from the credit reporting company. You have rights under federal law if this happens to you.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the federal law that, among other rights, gives you the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. The credit reporting company must take certain steps when you notify them of an error. Once notified of an error, FCRA requires the credit reporting companies to do a reinvestigation after you dispute the accuracy or completeness of the information, unless your dispute is “frivolous.”
If a credit reporting company doesn’t respond to your dispute or doesn’t respond adequately, you have rights:
You have the right to add a statement to your credit file. If an investigation doesn’t resolve your dispute with the credit reporting company, you can ask that a brief statement of the dispute be included in your file and included or summarized in future credit reports. Your right to include a statement in your file only applies to disputes you’ve submitted to a credit reporting company, not to disputes that you’ve submitted directly to companies that provided the wrong information to the credit reporting company.
You have the right to bring a lawsuit. If the credit reporting company violates the FCRA, they can be held liable for actual damages and attorney fees. In the case of a willful failure to comply with FCRA requirements, the company can be liable for actual or statutory damages and punitive damages. There are time limits on when you would have to bring a lawsuit, so make sure you are aware of any deadlines.
If you need additional resources to find the answers or to get additional help in getting a response from the credit reporting company, you can:
- Speak with a lawyer. You may also qualify for free legal services in your community, if you need additional help and legal advice.
- If you are a servicemember, you can contact your legal assistance office .
- Submit a complaint to your state attorney general . Your state may have additional protections for consumers beyond the FCRA.
You can also submit a complaint with the CFPB online or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).