Something as simple as inaccurate information can have a debilitating impact on your credit reports, and that only covers honest mistakes. Such is the importance and relevance of credit reports in modern life that people can no longer rely on errors being the only issue with their credit report.
Rising cases of identity theft and consumer fraud mean that it has never been more important to keep a close eye on your credit score. Putting these things right can potentially lead to legal issues and drawn-out communications with a credit bureau. Of course, depending on the actions taken, it can even lead to a criminal defense case for the other involved party.
Whether due to consumer fraud or your own financial situation, such as in bankruptcy cases, the law is often on your side when seeking to ensure your credit score is where it should be. If you’re unsure about what to do next, why not speak to an Olathe credit reporting lawyer as part of a free consultation?
At Bell Law, we work throughout Olathe, KS, Kansas City, and across both Kansas and Missouri to ensure consumers receive fair representation throughout any legal dispute.
If something isn’t right and you’ve been unable to address it alone, our lawyers will help to ensure progress in your best interests.
You can speak to a consumer protection lawyer in Olathe today – contact our office now at 816-281-0649.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act
Credit reports are an integral part of everyday life. Their prominence is recognized in law by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Instituted in 1970, the Act provides significant legal protection to the consumers that rely so heavily on their scores for property, finance, and even employment.
If you have been treated unfairly and your complaints have failed to address the issue, the FCRA may provide the protection you need to get your credit report back in order.
The Act includes a number of provisions to help individuals to ensure they can stay on top of their scores and understand what companies may have on file related to their money.
The Right to Review
The FCRA ensures that consumers may request and access data on their credit reports from each reporting agency once per year. Residents of Olathe, KS will be most concerned with data held by the three major agencies, and it is their right to request annual access.
Even if an individual does not use a paid service for on-demand report access, it is highly advisable for clients to take up the free option. If nothing else, it provides a current snapshot of the creditors and other information associated with your social security number.
Naturally, if the annual report includes something you were not expecting, that’s the perfect time to seek out KS lawyers and engage their legal services.
The Right to Dispute
Such is the importance of your report that no firm has the unilateral legal right to place inaccurate information on file. An attorney would be interested in any instances of incorrect or downright false information and can help you dispute errors on your credit report. If this has resulted in financial difficulties or legal issues for clients, it may even result in further action.
The Right to Remove Outdated Information
In practice, the legal circumstances around credit reports are not designed to remain with someone for life. A failed business or an unpaid loan many years ago may not accurately represent an individual’s current financial capabilities.
Credit reference agencies are expected to remove outdated information from your file by a specific date so that it would no longer appear in a new search. Their failure to do so gives individuals the legal right to dispute the presence of old information on their report.
Your credit report and the associated data are not considered to be in the public domain. As such, it is private, personal information that should only be accessed with good reason.
In many cases, a report will contain not only financial information but business interests, employment histories, and living arrangements. Clients enjoy numerous legal protections over this information, and data breaches are serious. Companies have been the subject of class actions in recent times for accidentally or intentionally divulging this information, and a consumer has the right to have their privacy respected.
These are the key legal elements of the FCRA, but it goes into much deeper detail on consumer rights and individual protections. Our lawyers can provide more specific professional information on the Act and how it applies to you as part of the initial consultation.
Why Protect Your Credit Report?
It is relatively easy to forget all about your credit report until you need it. You might need new insurance or plan to apply for a mortgage. A company you’ve dreamed of working for may be hiring, but you need a decent score to determine whether you can work there.
Unfortunately, no consumer is ever truly in control of their credit report. While you may be an expert in managing your money and never even contemplated bankruptcy relief, much of what appears on your report is in the hands of a third-party company.
Complaints to a company do not always work in practice, and that’s without considering the potential impact of consumer fraud or identity theft. The fact remains that unless you use paid services to search your own report regularly, you can never be completely confident when applying for a mortgage or credit card or taking out insurance.
If something appears incorrect or outdated, the most important thing is to be proactive. Consumer protection covers most consumers in Olathe, KS, but it is not always automatic. You may choose to attempt to resolve the issue yourself. However, if a business refuses to meet its professional standards or there is a legal issue to resolve, it is time to speak to an attorney.
A poor score can impact your living arrangements, employment, and future plans. Always remember that the law is on your side, and an attorney from our law firm will always put the consumer first. We will support you through our knowledge of consumer law and related practice areas at every step, all the way through to court, if needed.
An issue with your score can cause stress and hardship, and we will aggressively pursue compensation and legal fees on your behalf as part of our services if you have suffered losses or other financial penalties of any form.
Common Cases Involving Olathe, KS Credit Reports
It is easy for a consumer to wonder whether their specific case warrants the involvement of attorneys and legal counsel. In the first instance, we always advise Olathe, KS residents to speak to our lawyers about their specific circumstances. However, if you’re unsure, some of the most common cases we handle include:
- Reports that include accounts of which you have no knowledge or ownership
- Mixed credit files
- A report that contains outdated information that should have been removed by the current date
- Errors in personal information, such as employment data and living arrangements
- Incorrect or outdated financial information, such as tax liens, bankruptcy, and judgments handed down by a court
These are just some of the issues that Olathe, KS clients may face, and your attorney will be happy to advise on what these potential issues may mean to you in practice.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Consumer Protection Lawyer
At Bell Law, our attorneys believe that everyone deserves fairness and respect for their rights. A credit score is far more vital to everyday life than some believe, and even minor discrepancies can have a significant impact on the decision-making process.
Our lawyers cover Olathe, KS, as well as Kansas City, Overland Park, and many surrounding areas, and we are ready to help from the initial free consultation all the way through to attending court, where required.
If you believe that you have been the victim of inaccurate reports or wish to understand more about legally rebuilding your credit score, contact our Kansas City Office today at 816-281-0649.