While thinking about cleaning up your credit can initially be pretty intimidating, once you get deeper into it and learn more about how the credit reporting laws work, you start to understand some of the more powerful rights that consumers have.
The right to sue a credit bureau for damages being one of the most critically important for many consumers that have exhausted all other channels for resolving their credit disputes but still find themselves facing a credit report with errors and inaccuracies.
TransUnion, one of the three major credit reporting bureaus in the US, plays a major role in the maintenance of consumers’ credit information, and subsequently, in the shaping of many financial futures. We’re going to take a comprehensive look at your credit report and the various types of errors that you might encounter on that report.
From there, we’ll dig into a step-by-step guide on how to sue TransUnion for failing to correct demonstrably incorrect information. In the end, we’ll talk about what the lawsuit and even the trial might involve.
TransUnion is one of the three major credit bureaus that are responsible for collecting and maintaining credit information for millions of American consumers. This data is used to generate credit reports and credit scores, both of which are used to evaluate creditworthiness by lenders, creditors, businesses, apartment rental agencies, and even potential employers.
This is why keeping your credit report accurate is critically important. Errors can lead to unfavorable and even unfair treatment in the financial sphere. Keeping your credit report accurate means regularly monitoring it, and addressing any errors or inaccuracies you find immediately.
TransUnion is a credit bureau and is regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 (FCRA). The FCRA is a federal law that was created to help promote fairness, accuracy, and privacy in the credit reporting industry, and governs how the bureaus and entities who furnish them information must behave when your credit information is involved.
The FCRA also grants consumers several rights concerning their credit and protecting their information. Additionally, the FCRA sets the process for correcting information but also for recovering compensation when that information is not kept accurate and causes damages.
When you’re looking at your credit report, pay special attention to things like your personal information, account details and statuses, balances, and payment history details. Inaccurate information in any one or more of these categories can have a significant, even devastating impact on your credit score, and can ultimately lead to unfavorable credit and financial outcomes.
If you find errors on your TransUnion credit report, it’s critical to take action quickly and follow the steps needed to resolve the issue. It’s important to understand what TransUnion’s role is as a credit reporting agency, or CRA, as well as your rights as a consumer, to ensure the best possible outcome for your disputes and, if needed, lawsuit, against TransUnion.
There are many reasons that an individual may consider suing TransUnion, including:
Errors on your credit report, such as incorrect balances or status, or errors in personal information, can negatively impact your credit score, and lead to unfavorable financial scenarios. These inaccuracies often result from simple clerical or data entry errors, but can also come from outdated information or even identity theft.
If TransUnion neglects to investigate or resolve inaccuracies promptly after you file a dispute, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit. The FCRA requires that credit agencies investigate consumer disputes and correct errors or inaccuracies within 30 days.
Your credit information is private, and if TransUnion discloses your credit information to someone without your permission, or in violation of the FCRA, you may have a case for a lawsuit. The FCRA prohibits disclosure of consumer credit information without an authorized and permissible purpose, like extending a line of credit or considering your employment application.
The FCRA outlines specific consumer rights and obligations for CRAs like TransUnion. Any violation of these regulations and standards could be the basis for a lawsuit. This could include failing to give you the needed notices or not following other procedures when a dispute is filed for an item on your credit report.
If any of these issues apply to your situation, the adverse effects on your credit can be considerable. For this reason, it’s important to hold TransUnion liable if they fail to address your legitimate concerns properly. Taking legal action can help you restore your credit standing, prevent additional harm to your financial future, and seek compensation for damages.
Before filing a lawsuit, it’s important to make sure you’ve exhausted all other possible channels for resolution. However, if you’ve gone through the motions and can’t get your credit report fixed, a lawsuit may be the best way to get it done.
Before initiating any legal action against TransUnion, you should put effort into much easier and less costly ways to find a resolution for your problem. Make sure that you’ve taken at least these three steps before you start looking for an attorney.
The FCRA guarantees you the right to get a free copy of your credit report from the three bureaus, once every 12 months. To get your TransUnion credit report, you can visit the official AnnualCreditReport.com site or you can use an app like CreditKarma, which will let you view a live copy of your credit report.
Once you have your report, start looking it over in great detail, looking for any errors, inaccuracies, or even typos, that can be bringing your credit down.
For each error you find, you’ll need to file an official dispute with TransUnion. There are multiple ways to do this, you can do it via mail, by phone, or online. When you file a dispute, you’ll need to provide sufficient supporting documentation to support your claims. This documentation will often include things like account statements, creditor correspondence, and anything else that may prove or substantiate your claim.
Keep all records, including a record of the date of the initial dispute, and any following correspondence. The FCRA mandates that the dispute be investigated within 30 days.
Even if you supply sufficient documentation, TransUnion may still fail to resolve your dispute, or even to reply sometimes. If this is the case, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB will work with you and TransUnion to address the issue. Even though the CFPB doesn’t offer legal representation, the mediation can help facilitate a resolution without going to trial.
If you’ve gone through the steps we’ve talked about here but still haven’t been able to get TransUnion to correct the inaccuracies or get you satisfaction any other way, you may have cause to bring legal action against them.
If you believe you have a case against TransUnion, one of the first things you should do is consult with an experienced consumer rights attorney who specializes in credit reporting disputes and FCRA violations. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to evaluate the specifics of your case in the context of FCRA violations and give their honest opinion of whether the case would have a good chance of winning.
If your attorney recommends pursuing litigation, they will generally work directly with you to create the draft of the complaint against TransUnion, and then they will have the complaint filed in the appropriate court. The complaint will lay out all of the facts related to your case, the legal grounds for your claim against the bureau, and the damages that you’re seeking.
After filing the complaint, TransUnion will be served with the papers for the lawsuit, and they will have the opportunity to respond. This response will often include either a motion to dismiss the case, an answer to the complaint, or potentially even a counterclaim against you.
In many cases, lawsuits are resolved through settlement negotiations before even reaching the trial stage. Your attorney and the legal team from TransUnion will likely engage in lengthy, complex discussions aimed at negotiating a resolution to the case that satisfies both parties. If a settlement can’t be reached the case will proceed to trial, where either a judge or a jury will decide the outcome of the case, as well as any damages ultimately awarded.
Making sure your credit report is accurate is important, but most people don’t realize how important it is, and they also don’t realize what they can do when those errors aren’t fixed. But you’re armed with information, and you know how to get your credit report, how to dispute errors, and how to start legal action if those disputes don’t get you the resolution you deserve.
Reach out to Fair Credit today and discuss the details of your case in a private environment with a member of our expert legal team.