Have you recently discovered incorrect information on your credit report? Perhaps you’ve experienced an unexpected disaster related to your credit, such as the denial of a mortgage or a car loan?
You may have a claim under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA is a series of laws designed to protect the privacy of consumer reporting information, as well as to ensure that information reported by consumer reporting agencies (CRAs, such as TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) and companies that supply information to CRAs are as accurate as possible.
In order to accomplish these goals, the FCRA provides the opportunity for consumers to hold CRAs accountable for including incorrect information on the credit reports that they produce. CRAs may commonly include incorrect information from multiple parties in a single credit report, creating what is known as a “mixed credit file.” This is in violation of the FCRA, and consumers may need to rely on the abilities granted to them under the FCRA in order to repair the damage that the CRAs cause by creating mixed credit files.
There are many reasons why a CRA may mistakenly mix two credit files. CRAs may mistakenly include information related to one individual in a credit file of another individual with a similar name, address, or social security number.
Furthermore, lenders and creditors sometimes report information to CRAs with limited identifying information, thereby causing the CRAs to incorrectly file the information in a mixed file. Whatever the particular cause of a specific case, the result is a credit report containing information that belongs to two different consumers. The results of this can be devastating.
Incorrect information contained in a mixed credit file can have potentially significant and detrimental effects, which you may not even realize until you apply for credit from a lender.
Because lenders often rely heavily on the contents of a credit report to approve a loan, a mixed credit can make it appear to a lender that you have a delinquencies, excessive hard inquiries, a disproportionate debt load, or even bankruptcy discharges that, in fact, are only listed on your credit report because the CRA mistakenly mixed another person’s credit history with your own. This misinformation may cause the lender to only offer you credit with unsatisfactory terms. Even worse, the misinformation may cause the lender to wrongfully refuse to extend your credit altogether.
Besides the obvious financial damage these cases can cause, mixed credit files can wreak havoc on an individual’s personal life, causing an immense amount of unnecessary emotional distress.
Along with the peace of mind of a corrected credit file, a consumer may be eligible for monetary compensation for damage caused by a mixed credit file. In one case, a woman in Oregon was awarded $18.4 million after successfully suing Equifax for failing to correct her mixed credit file.
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