Your credit report may do more to define you than you give it credit for. Credit reports are legal documents that businesses can use, with a valid reason, to make all sorts of decisions when interacting with you. There are the obvious considerations that most people will be familiar with, such as applying for loans, credit cards, and auto finance. However, your credit score can also impact housing leases, job applications, and more – so it’s vital to get it right.
If your score isn’t where you want it to be, it can lead to rejection and stress – even the process of filling out an application for credit can bring on anxiety. In some cases, your score might be low because of financial issues in the past, covering everything from unpaid credit card bills to unexpected medical bills.
However, if your credit score is lower than it should be through no fault of your own, and you have had no success in getting it rectified by contacting the credit bureau directly, you might need help from a Leavenworth, KS, credit reporting lawyer.
Bell Law, LLC – Your Local Leavenworth, KS Law Firm
The importance of credit reports cannot be understated, and that is why protections are enshrined in law. If you face legal issues with a business and struggle to resolve them yourself, then the attorneys at Bell Law, LLC are standing by to help.
We work in Leavenworth, KS, Overland Park, Kansas City, and nearby cities, helping clients and consumers with all manner of services involving their assets and property. We can advise potential clients on their obligations in terms of their credit file and also provide guidance according to the highest ethical standards.
Our attorneys work on consumer finance cases and cover a range of related practice areas, ensuring that every client always receives the best possible advice tailored to their unique circumstances.
Our KS lawyers are standing by now to help you make sense of your financial affairs. If you need help to rectify your credit report, call our team today for a free consultation at 816-281-0649.
What Can Go Wrong on a Credit Report?
Those that do not pay all that much attention to their credit history may be unaware of what can potentially go wrong with their report. A key frustration faced by many with debts and other issues is that while a credit score can make or break an application, it relies solely on third-party data. Creditors can report missed payments or unpaid fees, and other businesses can access and search the report to aid their decision-making process.
Without careful oversight, credit reports can quickly deteriorate into a mass of incorrect or outdated information. Unfortunately, a typical business is far quicker to report a missed payment than it is to decide to correct information. Some will do so when asked, while others can make life difficult for a debtor. Fortunately, that is where our super lawyers come in, ensuring that only correct, relevant information plays a part in the perception of anyone with access to your score.
So, what can go wrong on a credit report and make it more difficult to borrow in the future?
There are many ways in which a report can be considered incorrect, and your attorney will advise based on your specific circumstances. However, some of the most common cases involve:
Virtually every adult in the country has a credit file, so it is safe to expect the larger credit bureaus to maintain millions of documents at once. Those individual documents are drawn from a central database rather than held individually, and that means an opportunity for crossed wires.
Mixed files are credit records whereby information belonging to more than one individual is accidentally combined in the database. This can lead to incorrect contact information, inaccurate income and debt relief data, or anything else.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, those with similar names, dates of birth, or addresses are most at risk of mixed files. This is due to the fact that the convergence of information typically relies on all parties in a mixed credit file having something specific in common. For whatever reason, their records become interlinked in a way.
That could be beneficial, as someone without a credit history could inadvertently have an impeccable payment history added to their file. However, in most cases, the mixed data leads to unwanted interference with what should be the correct score.
Incorrect or Outdated Data
Even if the data contained in your credit reports is yours and yours alone, that does not always make it accurate. An old debt may potentially have been due for removal by a certain date, or your record may still show installment payments on debts that were settled long ago.
Wrong information can have a significant impact on an individual’s creditworthiness. An incorrect name might mean a potential lender is unable to obtain any records at all when they search for someone. That leaves them unable to determine anything about that person’s credit history and almost inevitably leads to rejection.
If you suspect that you have been compromised by identity theft, it is vital to speak to and hire an attorney as soon as possible. Such cases immediately extend beyond a disagreement with a business and can quickly turn into more significant legal issues.
One of the easiest ways to spot potential identity theft is through searches on your report that took place without your consent. Whether you pay for on-demand access to your report or rely solely on the annual free copy consumers are entitled to without paying, identifying a search that you never authorized is cause for concern.
Of course, identity theft can be even more serious and can transform even the highest credit scores into someone being viewed as far too high of a credit risk. Worse still, as far as the lending business is concerned, you are liable for any debts accrued in your name.
Some identity theft cases can be solved with a simple phone call. Others can be extremely serious and potentially even life-altering if left unaddressed. If you suspect that you have been a victim of this increasingly common crime, contact an attorney for a free consultation to determine the next course of action.
The Impact of The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Whether you’re in Leavenworth, KS, Overland Park, Kansas City, or indeed anywhere else in the US, you can rely on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as a legal basis for any disputes related to your credit report.
In practice, the Act governs consumer reporting agencies. That means the biggest national names, such as Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, but may also extend to landlords, employers, and anyone else with a reason to access your credit history.
The FCRA is built around four core provisions:
- The maintenance of reasonable procedures to ensure the accuracy of any information held on individuals
- The right for consumers to access and search their reports, and the right to amend any incorrect information
- Limitations on who may access a credit report with and without consent
- The consumer right to commence legal action against anyone that violates their rights under the FCRA itself
How a Credit Report Lawyer Can Help
Given the obligations contained in the FCRA, most consumer reporting agencies are compelled to act when a client contacts them about their services. Whether it is a small change to a date on a report or sweeping removals of incorrect information, they are legally obliged to act.
Of course, the agency may not be the only business involved in the contribution of erroneous information. Any firm that extends credit facilities is entitled to search and contribute to your report. While their obligations remain the same by law, attempts to get them to change their contributions can quickly spiral into legal issues. Unsurprisingly, this can lead a debtor to consult a lawyer on their options.
Once again, your attorney will provide tailored advice during the initial free consultation. Your attorney will also draw not only on consumer law, but numerous related practice areas to put together an action plan to bring your credit file up to date.
Actions taken by your attorney with your consent and on your behalf may include:
The Removal of Negative Information
It is not always simple to remove information that holds your credit score back, and for good reason. If a business is unable to trust credit reports for a full and unbiased financial history, the documents become worthless.
However, your attorney can utilize the full extent of the law to ensure that any negative information contained in your report is there for a good reason. The process typically begins with incorrect and outdated information, but an attorney from our firm will leave no stone unturned as they search for opportunities to boost your score.
Negotiation With Creditors
Creditors typically want to recover the loan amount, associated fees, and any interest agreed upon at the time of the arrangement. They generally have little to gain by compromising an individual’s credit reports and are therefore open to negotiation if there is a possibility of recovering their money sooner or otherwise benefiting from a new agreement.
This can be a daunting task for anyone in Leavenworth, KS, to undertake alone, but your attorney will once again utilize the full extent of the law to speak to a business you owe money to in the hopes of coming to a new agreement to the benefit of all involved. In some cases, this new agreement may lead to the removal of negative information on the understanding that the debtor gives consent to a new agreement.
Credit Improvement Strategies
While it is important to remember that your attorney is not necessarily a financial strategist, they can assist in formulating a credit improvement plan while providing the legal intervention required to see it through.
It is also possible to arrange a plan to pay down debt, systematically tackle errors and omissions on your report and prioritize which creditors to approach first as part of the process.
By putting such a plan in place and having the reassurance of a Kansas City lawyer that it works perfectly under state and federal law, Leavenworth, KS, residents can begin to look to the future and appreciate that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Contact Bell Law, LLC Today
If you need a credit report lawyer in Leavenworth, KS, look no further than Bell Law, LLC. Our law firm specializes in helping clients in the city and throughout Leavenworth County and the surrounding areas to ensure that they never suffer from false or incorrect credit reporting.
We don’t just practice law. We also provide a personal service from the free consultation onwards, as it is always far easier to put together a winning strategy when your attorney understands each client on a personal level. They will create an action plan based on your unique circumstances and then work with you as you navigate creditors and speak to reporting services to put right any incorrect information.
If you’re facing issues related to your credit report, we invite you to speak to a dedicated attorney at Bell Law. They work with people throughout Leavenworth, KS, and the surrounding areas to ensure you make the right decisions to get your credit profile back on track.
Our lawyers are standing by to commence the free consultation now. With no up-front fees and no obligation to hire a lawyer following the initial discussion, there’s no time like the present to take control of your financial future.
Call the Bell Law, LLC offices today at 816-281-0649.