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The negative impact of credit report errors

A good credit score versus a lower number can make a world of difference for consumers. Approval for credit cards and loans with lower interest rates hinges on a credit report free of negative information. In many cases, an applicant is denied any credit.

Many consumers are turned down for credit because the data is not accurate. One of the most common errors involves companies pursuing debts already paid off or those that do not exist. These mistakes can lower scores and create chaos for consumers with a continually ringing phone with aggressive collectors on the other side of that call.

Your rights as a consumer

The Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) provides you rights as a consumer by ensuring that creditors report accurate and up-to-date information. State and federal laws provide protection by ensuring that companies are living up to their obligation to be truthful and accurate in the credit-related data they report.

Should your credit report contain inaccurate information, proactive steps in challenging the data are paramount in correcting the mistakes made.

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits creditors from harassment and outright abuse in their collection tactics. The most common is an excessive number of contacts at inappropriate times of the day or night. Violating rules requiring fair collections could result in lawsuits and other remedies against collectors if exercising your rights under the law fails to resolve the problem.

Civil penalties for FDCPA violations range from $100 to $1,000 with the possibility of attorney fees and punitive damages, depending on the case.

Continuing harassment based upon false information may require the help of an attorney experienced in this complex area of the law.