Your credit report can mean much more to your life than deciding whether you successfully apply for a loan or credit card or face rejection. That same score can influence the car you drive, the apartment you rent, and, in some professions, the jobs for which you’re qualified.
While not publicly available, the numbers measuring your creditworthiness are used more often than you might think. Some individuals might be surprised by the number of organizations that can legally access your report and make changes based on their records.
While that’s great news for those that keep the number of accounts low and make all their payments on time, it is not always the best possible situation for everyone. For example, while many companies are often very prompt in reporting a missed payment, they might not be quite as quick at updating outdated information.
Credit repair has become slightly easier in modern times, with many Kansas City, MO residents having the ability to check their scores online. Not all do, but it is highly recommended, as it’s the best way to understand whether something has gone wrong.
If you do discover an issue and raise a dispute with a company but find yourself getting nowhere, it can quickly turn into a legal issue. Fortunately, our Kansas City credit reporting attorneys are standing by to help ensure your score represents a fair reflection of your debt levels and finances.
Bell Law, LLC – Your Consumer Protection Lawyers in Kansas City, MO
Credit reports are difficult to control. Indeed, they may be trusted by a lender and most creditors because consumers have little say in how their score is presented beyond making payments on time. Effectively, they are third-party justification for someone’s credit history, bankruptcy profile, and financial obligations.
However, that is not to say that consumers have to put up with whatever a credit provider determines is correct. The law accepts the importance of a credit score in helping decide on an individual’s economic capabilities.
As such, entities that are entitled to read or contribute to credit reports must meet a range of legal obligations. Failure to do so can potentially see businesses ending up in court. Anyone seeking advice on dealing with this possibility should consider hiring an Independence, MO credit reporting lawyer from Bell Law, LLC.
Our attorneys draw upon financial law and a range of related practice areas to ensure that our clients receive the best possible advice, no matter the specifics. We also have extensive experience in all manner of financial cases, spanning everything from credit and income cases to bankruptcy and professional litigation.
If you need to make a claim in Independence, Kansas City, or indeed anywhere in Missouri, we’re extremely interested in helping you make that happen.
Our services commence with a free consultation. Our attorneys will work to understand the specifics of your case and provide preliminary details on how our firm can help determine the best course of action. From there, whether it means putting pressure on a business over old debts, ensuring your address is up to date on your credit report, or pursuing a company through the Missouri court system, our lawyers will be by your side to protect your rights and to help ensure you achieve the outcome you desire.
Call our office covering Independence, MO, today at 816-281-0649 for an initial discussion.
Why Your Credit Report Matters
As touched upon already, your credit report can mean much more than serving as a record of your income, assets, address, and costs. Beyond personal information, it also serves as a record of many kinds of actions. The simple act of applying for an auto loan or credit card may change your score, even if you ultimately decide not to sign the contract.
It is a tool used by lenders and a variety of other companies to establish how likely they are to receive each payment according to a schedule. Beyond standard personal finance, that could be a landlord, an insurance company, and even a cellphone provider.
In employment where you handle or control significant sums, a potential employer may even seek to obtain and review your credit report before they decide to hire you.
In practice, it’s always ideal to keep a close eye on your credit report. In minor cases, you may find that a debt that has long been settled continues to hold back your score, a search has been added erroneously, or some contributors have not used your most recent Independence, MO address.
However, there are also more sinister actors out there who, while they do not have direct access to your file, can attempt to take action under your name. That might mean opening a credit card, leading to an additional search on your file and legal responsibility for any debt, or it could even evolve into full-scale identity theft.
If you are unsure about anything on your report following your most recent review, a licensed attorney can help with your financial education and ensure that everything appears as expected.
The FCRA and Your Rights in Independence, MO
Such is the significance of fairness and accuracy in credit reporting that 1970 saw the introduction of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). While this is by no means unique to Independence, MO, given its federal nature, it applies a legal framework to credit reporting throughout the United States and attempts to afford certain protections to consumers.
While we would encourage anyone with an interest or concerns around their credit report to research the act further, the key elements for any business or individual include:
- Every individual is entitled to one free copy of their credit report annually
- Promoting the security of your report by ensuring that only companies with legitimate cause may access and amend your report
- Anyone with a credit report has the right to dispute incorrect entries on their documents, such as out-of-date or inaccurate information
In practice, your attorney from our firm helps clients understand the Act and how it applies to their specific circumstances. In many cases, they will be able to quickly determine whether the report itself and any businesses that have interacted with it have been maintained in line with federal law.
The Impact of a Bankruptcy Filing on Your Credit Report
The bankruptcy process is often long and arduous, especially when considering the time it can take to repair credit once the bankruptcy itself has ended.
Naturally, a business is unlikely to deal with clients that have recently needed to file for bankruptcy, regardless of their income. It is perhaps the clearest possible sign that the individual concerned struggled with their debts and may not currently be in a position to take on additional services.
However, bankruptcy does not need to mean a compromised financial future. While it makes it difficult to accrue further debt in the short term, a structured, strategic credit repair process can ensure a full recovery.
Credit repair following bankruptcy is a specific practice area, and most lawyers would highly encourage anyone considering using purported credit repair companies to avoid doing so. Many overpromise and underdeliver, and they often charge for their professional services – which is rarely ideal in practice when recently free of debts.
Instead, anyone looking to return their score to its previous heights should consider the implication of bankruptcy in the context of the law. Research matters, as does hiring the right attorney and carrying out regular reviews. In doing so, consumers ensure that they can remain debt free and that every step they take towards successful credit repair following bankruptcy satisfies Missouri law.
Restore Your Credit With Our Consumer Protection Lawyers
If your credit has suffered in the past, or you are concerned that a low score may impact your daily life more than it should, our Independence attorneys can ensure you have access to professional legal guidance to put things right. Indeed, our lawyers will do much of the work on your behalf, always with your personal goals in mind.
Where necessary, our attorneys will even provide insight and education into putting your score right and keeping it that way.
This may begin with a review of your current credit commitments and research into whether they adhere to legal standards. Your lawyer will look to contact creditors to remove discharged debts and search for records that are inaccurate or perhaps should never have appeared on your file in the first place.
Any firm operating in Kansas City, MO, is obliged to meet the requirements of the FCRA, and any failure to act could be considered in contravention of the Act. A company should carry out legal instructions for free, regardless of whether or not you hire an attorney to pursue them.
If they do not do so for any reason, your lawyer may recommend taking the case to court, potentially leading not only to a corrected credit report but the opportunity to collect compensation for any losses sustained as a result of the incorrect information.
That could be losing out on jobs or accommodation or even facing bankruptcy, but it might just as easily involve paying higher interest rates determined by a lender based on your score.
Access a Free Consultation With Bell Law, LLC’s Lawyers Today
As with any legal matter, every credit reporting litigation case is different, and there is no better way to understand your rights and potential actions than by speaking to an attorney directly. They will be able to use the information you have and search for additional supporting evidence to ensure your report is a full and fair reflection of your circumstances.
If you are unsure of anything about your report and require legal assistance, you can discuss your case with an attorney with no obligation as part of an initial free consultation.
The Bell Law, LLC offices cover Independence, Lee’s Summit, Kansas City, MO, and the surrounding areas, and our licensed lawyers are only a phone call away.
Reach out today for an initial conversation about any of your concerns at 816-281-0649.