ID Theft/Credit Report Disputes

ID Theft/Credit Report Disputes

Identity Theft

If there is information on your credit report about bankcounts, credit cards, or loans in your name that you did not authorize, you could be the victim of identity theft.

  • By law, if these counts have been fraudulently opened under your name, you are not responsible for the charges incurred.

What You Should Do:

  • File a police report with the county or city police department in your area listing the fraud. Get a copy of the police report and save it for your records.
  • Order copies of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting agencies (CRAs), TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
  • Check each report thoroughly for mistakes. All three credit reports may have differing information.
  • Prepare a letter to each CRA, listing the mistakes that appear on your credit report, and request an investigation.
  • Send the letter and a copy of the police report via certified mail, return receipt requested, to each of the credit reporting agencies. (You can use our sample letter below as a guide)
  • Thirty days after you receive the return receipt from the credit reporting agency indicating that they received your letter, order a new credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies.
  • Check each report thoroughly to make sure the mistakes have been removed or investigated.
  • When you have completed the above steps, call our office for a free consultation if the information has not been removed from your credit report or if you have been denied credit based upon the inaccuracy.

Sample Letters:

Open the file below, then save it to your computer. You will then be able tocess it any time and fill it out at your convenience.

DOWNLOAD: Credit Report Request - MS Word© Format

DOWNLOAD: Credit Report Correction Request MS Word© Format

What Else Can I Do?

If you have been a victim, you have the right in Oklahoma to place a "SECURITY FREEZE" on your credit report. This stops a credit reporting agency from releasing your credit report without express authorization from you. A Security Freeze gives you control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report.

NOTICE: A security freeze may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any request or application you may make regarding loans, credit, mortgage, government services or payments, employment, investments, utilities, online credit card transactions, and so on.

How a "SECURITY FREEZE" Works

When you place a security freeze on your credit report, you will be provided a personal identification number (PIN) to use if you choose to remove the freeze or authorize the release of your credit report. In order to provide that authorization, you must contact the consumer reporting agency by telephone or certified mail and provide:

  • Your PIN number;
  • Proper identification to verify your identity;
  • The period of time for which the report shall be available;
  • The payment of the appropriate fee (See Below)

The CRA will authorize the release of your credit report no later than three business days after receiving your request.

Costs of a "Security Freeze"

  • Up to $10 to place the freeze
  • Up to $10 to temporarily lift the "Freeze"
  • Up to $10 to permantly remove the "Freeze"

If you have been a victim of Identity Theft or are age 65 or older, you will not be charged for the "Freeze" or its removal provided the CRA has received a valid copy of the police report.

Credit Report Disputes

Fair Credit Reporting

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that regulates consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) and consumer credit reports. A CRA is a business that provides credit reports to other persons. Credit reports are reports that detail your creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, and can include public records which reflect upon your general reputation.

ORDERING COPIES OF YOUR CREDIT REPORT

You are entitled to a copy of your credit report from each CRA if,
  1. You have been denied credit or
  2. Once a year regardless of your credit.

To Request your Credit Report by Phone:

  1. Call 1-877-322-8228
  2. You will go through a simple verification process over the phone.

Your reports will be mailed to you within 15 days. Please, allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.

To Request your Credit Report by Mail:

  1. Download the request form (You need an Adobe viewer to view the requested form. Download the free Adobe viewer)
  2. Print and complete the form

Mail the completed form to:

Experian (Formerly TRW): 701 Experian Parkway Allen TX 75013

Trans Union: PO Box 390 Springfield PA 19064-0390

Equifax: PO Box 740241 Atlanta GA 30374

Your reports will be mailed to you within 15 days. Please, allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.

To Request your Credit Report Online:

Visit the following website:

http://www.annualcreditreport.com

IN YOUR CREDIT REPORT

If the information listed in your credit report is wrong, you have the right to dispute the information with the CRA and the creditor that is reporting the inaccurate information.

Examples of inaccurate information in a credit report:

  • Date of Default is wrong;
  • Defaulted Amount is wrong;
  • Account is not yours;
  • Account reported with a balance that was previously paid in full;
  • Account reports with late payments when all payments were made timely;
  • Account opened as a result of identity theft;
  • social security, alias names or address do not belong to you
If you think there are errors or incorrect information you should send a dispute letter to each CRA from whom you have ordered, received, and reviewed a copy of your report . Rather than use credit dispute forms, a consumer is better off being providing the information that covers their individual situation. Letters to credit reporting bureaus and furnishers of information should consider the Fair Credit Reporting Act, disputes to collection agencies should take into account the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and possibly the Fair Credit Billing Act and disputes to credit card companies may want to take into account the Fair Credit Billing Act.

This letter should be sent by certified mail with return receipt requested.

Sample Dispute letter to Credit Bureau-Request for Investigation

Send Disputes to Credit Reporting Bureaus. It is imperative you send dispute letters directly to the credit reporting agency. This is not only a logical step, to have an action against a company that provides false data to a credit reporting bureau, you must provide the credit reporting bureaus notice and the liability of that furnisher under the Fair Credit Reporting Act depends on their response to the credit dispute it provides to the credit reporting bureau. What to do if the disputed information is not corrected

If the inaccurate information is not corrected by the CRA's, then you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the CRA or the company that is providing the inaccurate information to the CRA.

WARNING: Your right to file a lawsuit does have a deadline.

Please contact our office for a FREE PHONE CONSULTATION at 405-912-3225.

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