You have the right to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information in your credit report. The credit reporting agency must comply with a strict timeline when responding to your dispute. What happens if the credit reporting agency does not respond to your request within time limits imposed by law?
(To learn about the credit reporting agency’s duty to respond to your dispute, and the time frame for doing so, see How to Correct Errors on Your Credit Report.)
Send a Follow-Up Letter
If you don’t hear from the credit reporting agency within 30 days (45 if you’ve provided additional information) after you send a dispute letter, send a follow-up letter to the president of the company or another officer, such as the CEO or Chairman of the Board (find the name of such persons on the Internet, at the library, or by calling the company). This is referred to as an “escalated complaint” and is more likely to get action from someone with authority to act.
Submit a Complaint to the FTC
Also submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, the agency that oversees credit reporting agencies, along with a copy of the letter you sent to the credit reporting agency. Be sure to fill out a formal complaint. If you just send a copy of your letter to the credit reporting agency, the FTC is likely to view it as informational only, and is less likely to take action.
Use the FTC’s online complaint form, or, if you want to include supporting documents, send your complaint by mail. As always, keep a copy for your records. You can contact the FTC as follows:
- FTC Consumer Response Center, CRC-240, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580
To learn more about disputing errors on your report, see our Cleaning Up Your Credit Report topic area.
This is an excerpt from Credit Repair, by Margaret Reiter and Robin Leonard (Nolo).